Refugees are now stuck in no-man's land waiting to cross borders only to be met by more fencing — and more police.
Slovenia is the latest country to announce plans to deploy the army to guard its borders and control the flow of refugees. Hungary completely sealed itself off from its neighboring countries, including Croatia, forcing refugees to reroute — but with nowhere to go.
Thousands of people are being held up at border crossings. The Serbian prime minister said at least 12,000 migrants were currently in the Serbia, and the UN refugee agency reported that at least 2,500 people are stranded in no-man's land between Croatia and Serbia.
Slovenia which borders Croatia, Hungary, Austria and Italy has a population of two million people. The government is calling on the EU to help and issued a statement saying Slovenia had "limited possibilities of border control and accommodating migrants." The government said:
"Slovenia publicly calls upon the EU member states and the European Institutions to actively engage in taking over this burden."
The latest report by Amnesty International (AI) said hundreds of men, women, children and babies as young as one month old traipsed through the rain to reach a border only to find it blocked by a fence and Slovenian police. Croatian police followed suit and quickly erected a temporary fence behind the group — trapping them between the two countries with what AI describe as having "no shelter or humanitarian assistance."
Barbora Cernusakova, a researcher with AI, currently on the Croatia-Slovenia border, has accused countries of washing their hands while migrants are left in no-man's land drenched by the rain.
"It is simply unacceptable for Croatia, Slovenia and other countries along the route to wash their hands of responsibility towards refugees and asylum seekers while the systems in place to offer them protection are ineffective.
"The fact is that European leaders have known full well for months that a situation like this could arise, but have still failed to prevent it by putting in place available support mechanisms."
Even though razor wire fencing to block people passing through has been erected, army personnel have also been drafted in to control the refugee influx.
This has become an all too familiar sight in the European Union — an approach that is clearly catching on.
"Croatian police tried to justify their actions by telling us 'everybody is doing it — look at Hungary'. This attitude is appalling and dangerous."
"If EU member states race to the bottom in terms of how to they deal with the refugee crisis it could spark a domino effect with drastic consequences for thousands of people arriving daily," Cernusakova said.
The consequences are already visible on the faces of the men, women and children wearing clothes drenched by rain and being slowly led by police in riot gear and on horseback into Slovenia — the latest country to threaten militarizing its approach to the refugee crisis in Europe.