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.

Mission statement

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

  • "Parents without borders"


    On Saturday, 17th November, the second module of workshop for parents was held, where they had the the opportunity to learn more about great importance of good communication between parents and children as one of the biggest and maybe the heaviest challenges of parenting today, and to learn about basics of verbal and non-verbal communication as equally important factors in their relationship with children.



  • Community Dialogue was held in Maoča and Gornji Rahić


    Last weekend another Community Dialogue was held. This time it was held in communities Maoča and Gornji Rahić. Youth gathered on this Dialogue talked about problems and disadvantages related to their community, but offered solutions and made decisions about the best way to approach those problems, as well.



  • The first module of Community Dialogue with participants of the MoviEQ workshops was held in Tuzla


    On Saturday, the first module of Community Dialogue with participants of the MoviEQ workshops was held in Tuzla. The dialogue was attended by a group of 13 different young people who have already had an opportunity to develop a critical thinking trough MoviEQ workshops.




  • MoviEQ Workshop held in Foca

    During the last four days in Foca the group of young people, fourteen of them, were part of the MoviEQ workshop. Through various interactive exercises and games they have learnt how to develop different and broader picture and perspective of different life events. Learning and having fun, this group of youth had the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and improve their integrative complexity and creativity.


  • Community dialogue held in Foča has brought up the problems that the youth of this community is facing


    The recognition of the problem and its complete identification are one of the first steps to solving that problem. The fact that the young people are aware of the problems in their communities is well shown on every dialogue organized as part of the project "Community Based Approach to Support to Youth in Targeted Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" so far. The involvement of youth in these dialogues, the recognition of the problems and solving some of them, as well as the fact that it has been spoken about and listened to the needs of youth, create the positive story and improve the environment for youth.




Latest Vacancy

Meeting with Semiha Borovac, Minister of Human Rights and Refugees

During the courtesy visit and working meeting with Semiha Borovac, Minister of Human Rights and Refugees, Peter Van Der Auweraert, IOM Chief of Mission in BiH spoke about the necessity to have as many BiH institutions on board with the goal to issue adequate response to the migrant crisis and influx of migrants to the country, which is becoming larger.

It was emphasized that the priority now is to secure additional accommodation and protection for migrants, especially when it comes to most vulnerable population, like families, unaccompanied minors, marginalized groups.. Van der Auweraert also said that in order to receive international aid, it is necessary for Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt clear plan of action when it comes to increased migrant influx. Such plan is being drafted and we are expecting a discussion at the BiH Council of Ministers about the mentioned topic.


Press release / Saopštenje za medije

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) steps up its response to the ongoing arrivals of migrants and refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina

27th December 2017, SARAJEVO – During the past days Bosnia and Herzegovina has faced increased influx of irregular migrants that are arriving to its eastern border with Montenegro. The latest arrivals originate mostly from North Africa, through Greece, Albania, on through Montenegro to Trebinje. They arrive in small groups composed predominantly of single adult men.  From 01st January to 26 December 2017, the BiH Border police detained a total of 735 irregular migrants, which compare to total figures for 2016 of less than 100 irregular migrants. This represents a significant increase and has put the capacity of the relevant authorities and national aid agencies such as the Red Cross under strain. In response, IOM, in line with its mandate as the UN Migration Agency, has stepped up its efforts to assist them, in collaboration with other UN agencies.


The first meeting with representatives from the Education authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

How can teachers and schools contribute to the prevention of violent extremism?

Today IOM is organizing the first meeting with representatives from the Education authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina together and colleagues from the City of Helsinki, Finland, discussing how innovative approaches to learning and critical thinking can be introduced in schools.


Second “Community Dialogue” held in Gornja Tuzla

Youth from Gornja Tuzla, within the framework of the second “Community Dialogue”, identified few problems in their local community and made proposals of two projects to adress these problems. These are the proposed projects: finding and equipping a space that would be a corner for youth from Gornja Tuzla and reconstruction of a playground for the youngest, who currently have no place to spend their free time.


The local IOM team from Prijedor presented the project of building a Street Workout Park in the community of Urije

the local IOM team from Prijedor presented the project of building a Street Workout Park in the community of Urije. Activities planned in the second "Community Dialogue" were presented to the head of the mission of IOM in BiH, Peter Van Der Auweraert, Coordinator of the project "Support to Youth in Local Communities in BiH" Mirza Omerhodžić and Grant Manager, Kristina Šešlija.