IOM in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) is located at a migration crossroad between Eastern and Western Europe. The conflict in the former Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1995 destroyed the social and economic infrastructure and forced over half of citizens of BH to leave their homes. Today, the return of displaced persons and a rise in illegal migration, such as human trafficking and smuggling, make migration a major challenge for BH’s post-conflict recovery and development.
IOM initiated a mission in Sarajevo in 1992 in the basement of Koševo Hospital, setting up the MEDEVAC programme to evacuate war-wounded individuals who could not be treated locally. Following the end of the war, IOM expanded its activities to the return of refugees from abroad and to assist BH nationals resettling in third countries. Today, IOM’s programmes aim to prevent irregular migration, stop the trafficking of human beings, contribute to national development, and assist the BH Government to manage migration activities.
IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.
As the leading international organization for migration, IOM acts with its partners in the international community to:
- Assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management,
- Advance understanding of migration issues,
- Encourage social and economic development through migration, and
- Uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.
Latest News and Events
Van der Auweraert said many migrants with families now preferred to remain in some of the facilities run by the IOM in Bosnia.
“Most of the families, I think, decided to sit out the winter in Bosnia and Herzegovina – that's the information that we have in the facilities that we run for families in Bira and Borici [in Bihac], though young males are continuing to cross over,” he said.
Through discussion on different examples of so-called "crisis situation" with which parents meet on a daily basis, it is concluded that every situation can be solved, as well as that a timely reaction to certain behaviors in young people can prevent consequences such as deviant behavior. The aim of this education is for parents to learn more about the skills that contribute significantly to the optimal development of youth, the proper building of identity and the formation of healthy and strong personality.
"Back to the Game" and "A Bus of Happiness" are two project ideas that the informal group of young people from Bužim presented at the Community Dialogue. For the past month, this group of young people has been working hard on gathering and drafting documentation. The enthusiasm of the selection panel members and other guests is the evidence of their hard work, but also the wind in their backs to persist in their intentions.
After the presentation of the projects, young people emphasized that the members of the selection panel, proposed by them, met their expectations through well-intentioned advice and critics, which is very important for young people who have the opportunity to work on project ideas for the first time.
Together they have come to many conclusions, and some of them are: media messages must be human and reasonable, the system of values must be strengthened through social action and response, authority over children implies love, and not force, the goal of parenting is to teach the child to act responsibly in the absence of parents.
The Ambassador of Norwegian Embassy in Sarajevo, H.E. Guri Rusten, and the Chief of IOM Mission Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Peter Van der Auweraert, signed the agreement for the project “Strengthening Institutional Capacities for Referral Mechanisms for the Prevention of Violent Extremism” on 15 November 2017.
Twenty fathers, participants of the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" from Prijedor, Bužima, Bugojno Jablanica, Foca and Gornji Rahića/Maoče, last weekend participated at the workshop “Strengthening parenting skills", which is focused on the development of self-confidence in children and youth, educational styles, communication with children and youth, non-violent conflict resolution, adolescence.
On the 31st of October, 2017, IOM facilitated a Coordination Meeting of Heads of Border Police in Budva, Montenegro. This one-day meeting is one in a series of regular coordination meetings between Border Police Directorates in the Western Balkans supported by IOM, in which representatives present and exchange updated information related to the migration situation in each respective country in order to enhance coordination on shared migration challenges in the region.
Months of work and effort of youth from Buzim was made official by signing of the contract between IOM and two informal groups of youth who worked on the preparation of the idea to build a street workout park and workshop rooms for youth called "Rahat zona" in the local community Radoc. These activities are a continuation of the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", implemented by IOM and supported by the USAID Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Embassy Sarajevo and the Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
IOM’s Sub-regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans, Mr. Peter Van Der Auweraert, gave an interview at Al Jazeera Balkans regarding the issue of the increased entry of irregular migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Second Community Dialogue, an activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", was held in Bužim. The youth from the local communities Lubarda, Vrhovska and Čava pointed the problems they are facing – the lack of space for their activities, passivity, lack of interest from local leaders and managing structures for solving problems
Launch of "Little kindergarten" – workshop for pupils and children of preschool age, the first activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was presented to the residents of local communities Gornji Rahic and Maoca and to the selected commission.
Second Community Dialogue, an activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was held with youth from Gradisce, Smajici and several other local communities in Zenica. With the support of IOM's local coordinators, they presented two projects to be implemented in Gradisce, and one for the local community of Smajici.