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The Kosovo Exodus

Kosovo migrants look for a better life in Europe

Kosovo, with NATO’s help, won independence from Serbia in 1999. In 2014 Serbia opened its borders with the young republic allowing tens of thousands of migrants to leave Kosovo for Europe. Disenchanted Kosovars hoped to escape poverty and unemployment by seeking better lives abroad for themselves and their children. The massed departure has come to be known as “the Exodus”. 

Following NATO intervention in the bloody Serbian conflict of 1999, the Republic of Kosovo achieved independence. The new country failed to restore its economy and build the proud and prosperous nation that Kosovars had dreamed of. 15 years after, when Serbia reduced border controls, an unprecedented illegal migration from Kosovo began, they call it the “Exodus”. Using Serbia as a corridor into the EU through Hungary, thousands of migrants hoped for a new start but found themselves thwarted at every turn.  The dream of a new life has become impossible for most; their hopes dashed, they are eventually deported and forced back to economic uncertainty.

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