tens of thousands of migrants who have flooded into the Balkans in
recent weeks need food, water and shelter, just like the millions
displaced by war the world over. But there is also one other thing they
swear they cannot live without: a smartphone charging station...
has transformed this 21st-century version of a refugee crisis, not
least by making it easier for millions more people to move...
In fact, the ease and autonomy the apps provide may be cutting into the smuggling business.
now, the traffickers are losing business because people are going
alone, thanks to Facebook," said Mohamed Haj Ali, 38, who works with the
Adventist Development and Relief Agency in Belgrade, Serbia's capital -- a major stopover for migrants.
from Syria, Mr. Ali has lived in Belgrade for three years, helping
migrants and listening to their stories. At first, he said, most
migrants passing through Serbia had paid traffickers for most or all of
as tens of thousands completed their journeys, they shared their
experiences on social media -- even the precise GPS coordinates of every
stop along their routes, recorded automatically by some smartphones.
those traveling today, the prices charged by traffickers have gone down
by about half since the beginning of the conflict, Mr. Ali said.