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

  • Interview with Peter Van der Auweraert, Start magazin, 09 March 2018


    In first 2 months of 2018, 200 persons requested asylum and got free legal aid, mainly males, says NGO Your Rights. “We are acting in their behalf in the procedures of asylum seeking, we provide advice, information. If the asylum is approved, we are leading them through the procedures of realizing their refugee rights. If the MoS passes the negative decision, we are pressing charges with the Court of BiH”. The goal of each migrant is their personal thing. “It is not good to talk about their goals because we are entering the essence of individual cases. We should bare on mind that asylum process is secret”. “The Law on Foreigners and the Law on Asylum do not prescribe sanctions for providing humanitarian aid. The Law envisages sanctions to the private and physical persons who are providing accommodation to foreigners without reporting their residence. If someone has rented an apartment to the persons without documents, that one is not guilty because was not obliged to know about that”, says Your Rights.

    * * *

    Za prva dva mjeseca 2018. godine 200 lica je u procesu traženja azila u BiH dobilo besplatnu pravnu pomoć u nevladinoj organizaciji „Vaša prava“, uglavnom samci muškog pola, kažu u ovoj nevladinoj organizaciji specijalizovanoj za besplatnu pravnu pomoć. „Zastupamo ih u proceduri traženja azila na način da ih savjetujemo, informišemo i pomažemo u procesu registracije i intervjua. Ako dobiju azil, vodimo ih kroz proceduru ostvarivanja izbjegličkih prava. Ako Ministarstvo sigurnosti BiH, koje je nadležno za postupak azila, donese negativnu odluku, pišemo tužbu Sudu BiH“, pojašnjavaju u „Vašim pravima“. Napominju da je cilj svakog azilanta u BiH lična stvar. „Nezahvalno je govoriti o tome šta je njihov cilj u BiH jer ulazimo u suštinu individualnih slučajeva. Treba imati u vidu da je postupak azila tajan“, kažu u „Vašim pravima“ i napominju da pružanje pomoći iregularnim migrantima i tražiteljima azila nije nezakonita radnja.







    Project:            BHRI001 – Construction of the river walkway and outdoor gym in Gornji Rahić, Brčko  District        

    Ref. No.:          BHRI/RFQ/002

    Published on:  09 March 2018

    Deadline:        21 March 2018

  • Youth from Foca presented projects "To hear us louder"


    Youth from Foca, gathered around the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", implemented by the IOM, presented projects "To hear us louder" and "Sport and reconstruction of a youth outings spot for greater youth activism" to the Project Comittee on the third "Community Dialogue".



  • Third MoviEQ workshop was held in Zvornik


    At the third MoviEQ workshop in Zvornik, February 25-28, through socializing, play, presentation, thinking and learning youth learned that the world not black and white. During the four-day workshop, they expanded views of the world, and raised integrative complexity to a higher level.


Latest Vacancy

Local IOM team from Novi Grad Sarajevo organized and held a MoviEQ Workshop in the primary school "Behaudin Selmanović" within the framework of the project "Community Based Approaches to Support Youth in Local Communities"

Local IOM team from Novi Grad Sarajevo organized and held a MoviEQ Workshop in the primary school "Behaudin Selmanović" within the framework of the project "Community Based Approaches to Support Youth in Local Communities". Through this unique workshop, participants had the opportunity to build their emotional intelligence, widen their horizons, and learn new skills to help their future community engagement and/or employment. Participants who fullfiled all the requirements and regularly attended the sessions were awarded a Cambridge University certificate.


Up to Three Quarters of Children and Youth Face Abuse, Exploitation and Trafficking on Mediterranean Migration Routes – IOM, UNICEF

New York/Brussels – Migrant and refugee children and youth trying to reach Europe face appalling levels of human rights abuses, with 77 per cent of those traveling along the Central Mediterranean route reporting direct experiences of abuse, exploitation, and practices which may amount to human trafficking – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and UNICEF said today (12/09) in a new report.

Harrowing Journeys shows that while all migrants and refugees are at high risk, children and youth on the move are far more likely to experience exploitation and trafficking than adults aged 25 years and above: nearly twice as likely on the Eastern Mediterranean route and at a rate 13 per cent higher on the Central Mediterranean route.

Aimamo, a 16-year-old unaccompanied child from the Gambia interviewed at a shelter in Italy, described being forced into months of gruelling manual labour by traffickers upon his arrival in Libya. “If you try to run, they shoot you. If you stop working, they beat you. We were just like slaves. At the end of the day, they just lock you inside.”  

The report is based on the testimonies of some 22,000 migrants and refugees, including some 11,000 children and youth, interviewed by IOM.


POZIV ZA UČEŠĆE: Istraživačke studije o mapiranju dijaspore Bosne i Hercegovine (BiH)

Međunarodna organizacija za migracije (IOM) BiH i Razvojni program Ujedinjenih nacija (UNDP) BiH u saradnji sa Ministarstvom za ljudska prava i izbjeglice Bosne i Hercegovine (MLJPI) i uz podršku Vlade Švajcarske trenutno sprovode projekat ‘’Dijaspora za razvoj’’. Jedna od aktivnosti ovog projekta je mapiranje dijaspore, istraživanje koje će se sprovesti u Austriji, Australiji, Danskoj, Njemačkoj, Italiji, Sloveniji, Švedskoj, Švajcarskoj, Holandiji i SAD-u, a koje će nam pomoći da dobijemo informacije o društveno - ekonomskom profilu bosanskohercegovačke dijaspore, uključujući demografske, sociološke, ekonomske i socio-kulturne podatke.
Na osnovu nalaza mapiranja dijaspore, pripremiće se niz preporuka koje će koristiti relevantni donosioci odluka i politika u BiH i zemljama odredišta kako bi se poboljšala interakcija i saradnja sa dijasporom iz BiH, razvile politike i uslovi koji će BiH dijaspori doprinos razvoju svoje zemlje učiniti privlačnim i povoljnim.


‘Establishment of an Early Warning Information Sharing Network along the Migration Route from Greece to Hungary and Croatia’

On 8 November 2016, the IOM Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina welcomed almost 40 guests from international organizations, local embassies, state authorities and NGOs to mark the end of the project Establishment of an Early Warning Information Sharing Network along the Migration Route from Greece to Hungary and Croatia’, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration.


Summit on Refugees and Migrants Begins as IOM Joins the United Nations


United Nations, New York - The United Nations Summit on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants which took place on Monday in New York, provides a singular opportunity for the global community to forge a greater consensus on managing the world’s movements of migrants and refugees. IOM considers migration to be a mega-trend of the 21st Century representing unprecedented human mobility with one of every seven persons worldwide living or working somewhere other than their place of birth.