The Western Balkan Route is one of the main migratory pathways into Europe. Since mid-2018, transit corridors from Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Serbia, as well as through Albania and Montenegro, via Bosnia and Herzegovina, became one of the most travelled mixed migration routes in the Western Balkans.
Today, the route continues to be the most active in the European Union, recording 15,900 attempted crossings in the month of August alone, 141% more than in 2021.
86,000 irregular border crossings were registered in the first eight months of 2022, three times more than in 2021 and ten times more than in the same period in 2019. The main countries of origin are Syria, Afghanistan, and Turkey, although there are also repeated crossing attempts by migrants who are already present in the Western Balkans. A particular increase has been recorded on the route through North Macedonia and, most of all, Serbia.
Migrants and refugees stuck along the Balkan Route are also at risk of exploitation and human trafficking, while being in desperate need of adequate shelter, warm clothes, nutritious food and medical assistance.