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

  • Opening ceremony of "Rahat Zone" in Bužim

    In order for youth to create and organize interesting content requires the will, ideas, resources and space. The youth from Radoc / Buzim showed that they had the will and ideas. Funds were granted through the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", and they could move to the next step in their activities, and that was a needed space!

  • The second Community Dialogue in Gornji Rahići and Maoča

    With sports and cultural activities youth from Gornji Rahic and Maoca are trying to improve their status in the community. On the second "Community Dialogue" they pointed out the problems encountered, and they selected two projects to work on: "Cycling to Health" and “Youth Corner".

  • "Friendship Space" in Bužim

    By signing a contract, youth from Lubarda / Buzim are step closer do achieving the goal – the space in which they will be able to gather and conceive new ventures in order do make positive changes in the community. By arranging a room called "Friendship Space", youth will get a functional space where they will organize a series of activities such as the cycle of interviews with successful people in the community, 3D modeling, web and graphic design workshops, humanitarian actions, socializing, and similar activities. 

  • The third Community Dialogue was held in Bugojno

    Third Community Dialogue, an activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was held in Bugojno with youth from local communities: Vrbas I, Porice, Odzak, Golo Brdo, Hum, Poljice and Rovna. With the support of IOMs' local coordinators, they identified problems in their communities, and ways for those to be solved. 

  • The project “Youth Corner” was launched in Gornja Tuzla, on the second Community Dialogue

    The project “Youth Corner” was launched in Gornja Tuzla, on the second Community Dialogue. This is a project that will provide a space for youth from Gornja Tuzla and the surrounding local communities to socialize, learn and share experiences. The space will be partly renovated and equipped to be used. 

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IOM Sarajevo launches report funded by the IOM Development Fund

Today in Sarajevo, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched the report, ‘Mapping Major Migration Flows Over the Territory of Western Balkan Countries, 2009-2013'. This report was produced by IOM with the aim of supporting Western Balkan governments in formulating adequate policies to enhance the management of increasing mixed migration flows from, through and to the Western Balkans region. The report presents findings based on a mapping of the main regular and irregular migration flows through the territory of the Western Balkans in the period 2009-2013. The report presents migration to and from WB countries for the purposes of work, education and family reunification; irregular entry and stay of extra regional migrants; international protection; return of Western Balkan citizens under Readmission Agreements; and trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants in the region.


IOM Director General’s Message on International Women's Day 2015

By William Lacy Swing

More women are on the move than ever before. They represent approximately half of the world’s one billion migrants and are approximately half of the estimated 51 million displaced persons.

On this year’s International Women’s Day, IOM calls on the international community to ensure the empowerment of migrant and displaced women through the full realization of their human rights.


Japan Backs Reconstruction, Disaster Preparedness Projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Following catastrophic floods in May 2014, the Government of Japan yesterday (23/2) committed 6.2 million Bosnian Marks (USD 700,000) for two one-year projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). IOM will implement the BM 1.2 million Repair and Reconstruction of Centres for Disabled Children in Bosnia and Herzegovina project, which will repair and reconstruct five centres for children with disabilities, which were seriously damaged in the May 2014 floods.


IOM study “Labour Mobility as a Factor of Development in South-Eastern Europe”

This country reports are part of the broader IOM study “Labour Mobility as a Factor of Development in South-Eastern Europe” conducted within a project funded by the IOM Development Fund and implemented by IOM in partnership with the governments in the region in 2014. The research team produced seven separate reports for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, UNSC resolution 1244-administered Kosovo, Serbia and one regional overview. The seven reports looked at the policies and regulative mechanisms which govern labour mobility, in terms of their approaches in facilitating movements of specific categories of migrant workers, consistency with evolving regional objectives and compliance with the EU acquis and standards.



Within the project ‘’Scaling up Universal Access for Most at Risk Populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina –mobile populations’’ (HIV/AIDS Round 9), supported through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP BiH), funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), IOM Sarajevo hold two trainings from 16.09.- 19.09.2014, on HIV/AIDS and Mobility for municipal level health care professionals who provide healthcare services to – among others - migrants and mobile populations.