23 March 2022
Given the declining human rights situation in Afghanistan and the continued adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economies of the major countries of origin, 2022 could witness a further increase in the numbers of forcibly displaced notably Afghans in the region and fresh migratory flows towards Turkey. [...] On the other hand, in the Western Balkans region, the total cumulative number of irregular entries in 2021 was 45% lower (26,280) compared to the trends observed in 2020 (47,460) and 2019 (42,450) for the same period.4 Figures being doubled-down in 2021 in the Western Balkans in comparison to the two predecessor years in conjunction with the increase in detections of illegal border crossings 1 In. [...] Afghanistan currently stands as the second largest country of origin in the world, 5 European Commission, Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the Report on Migration and Asylum, Brussels, 29.9.2021. [...] The increase in the reported arrivals in North Macedonia can be interpreted as the result of the increase in control and reporting by the Border Police, as the numbers in other countries suggest that there was not an actual increase, but a decrease in the number of arrivals. [...] The challenge remains with concluding readmission agreements with countries of origin or transit of the 49 The Strategy of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo on Migration 2021-2025 and the Action Plan for the implementation of the Strategy on Migration 2021-2025 (accessed on 20/01/2022) Source: 2025.pdf 5.