The winter refugee transit centre in Slavonski Brod, eastern Croatia, was visited on Friday by an UNHCR delegation led by Assistant UN High Commissioner for Refugees George Okoth Obbo, who after touring the centre thanked the Croatian government for its very well organised and humane approach to dealing with the refugee crisis and commended its decision to set up such a centre considering the approach of the winter.
In a statement for the press, Okoth Obbo confirmed that not all persons on the refugee route had the right to refugee status but they all had the right to seek asylum and protection.
Separation of refugees on the refugee route should not be based on their nationality but on international laws on who is and who isn't a refugee, said Okoth Obbo.
He added that his mission was to ensure that Croatia, too, should have such an approach to refugees as should Slovenia, which he visited yesterday.
As for new rules on the passage of refugees along the Balkan route, Okoth Obbo said that it was important to know what happened with persons whose passage had been prevented due to increased control. He expressed concern that the new rules could break up refugee groups and redirect them to alternative routes, which could jeopardise their safety.