Survey: People in Serbia don’t want migrants as neighbours, colleagues or family members

The Red Cross in Serbia presented the results of a survey of Serbian citizens’ attitudes towards migration.

The survey results show that Serbian citizens do not want migrants as neighbours and family members and about 20% of survey respondents believe that Serbia’s borders should be defended so that no migrants can enter the country.

The research, conducted by the Serbian Red Cross in collaboration with the PIN (Psychosocial Innovation Network), was carried out on 304 people from six cities: Belgrade, Sid, Kikinda, Sombor, Subotica and Pirot.

As was said in the press conference where a survey titled “Social inclusion of migrants: research on attitudes towards migration and recommendations to reduce discrimination” was presented, just over a third of respondents believe that migrants can enter Serbia, but only to continue their movement towards other states.

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About a quarter of respondents believe that it is acceptable for some migrants to be in Serbia, but they should not be encouraged to stay, i.e. they should not be provided with services that make their stay pleasant. On the other hand, 17% of respondents have a positive attitude and believe that migrants should be provided with all services and helped to integrate into Serbian society if they so wish.

When asked whether people have the right to move to another country, including Serbia, for economic reasons, 10% of respondents answered with a “no”, said Jovana Bjekić, a doctor of psychological sciences at the PIN, and pointed out that survey respondents had no problem with Serbian citizens going to work in another country, but it is not desirable for migrants to look for a job here.

Bjekić also said that there were survey participants who believed that if the citizens of Serbia could go to another country for work, then we should also accept other people in Serbia.

The survey also shows that 10% of respondents believe that we should not leave the country of origin if there is a war, but that we should stay and fight.

“When asked whether people have the right to flee to another country because of war and persecution, including Serbia, 5% of respondents did not agree, 7% generally did not agree, while a third replied with “I don’t know”,” Bjekić said.

She also pointed out that migrants would be poorly accepted as neighbours, colleagues and family members.

“When asked whether they agree that a migrant should stay permanently in Serbia, 41% of respondents said they did not agree,” she concluded.

The research showed, among other things, that the religious reasons are very pronounced in answering to survey questions so certain respondents believe that migrants should not be allowed to live in Serbia because they belong to other religions, while some respondents believe that migrants do not want to adapt to “our way of life”.

(Danas, 23.06.2020)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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