Briefing note

Refugees trapped in Europe’s “death zone”

Published 09. Jul 2024
Needs and challenges of the local organisations providing humanitarian assistance at the Polish-Belarusian border.

Since the beginning of the humanitarian crisis at the Polish-Belarusian border in 2021, local actors have recorded nearly 20,000 requests for help from refugees, migrants and asylum seekers crossing into Poland. Nearly 9,000 violent pushbacks to Belarus were experienced by individuals, including pregnant women and young adults. During this time 82 deaths were recorded.

While all refugees are crossing the border irregularly, leaving people to suffer without access to humanitarian aid cannot be allowed to continue. Despite promising signals of policy change following the 2023 elections in Poland, recent events have shown the situation to be deteriorating again.