Representatives of non-governmental organizations from the Western Balkans region attended a two-day meeting on 19th and 20th of September 2017 in Budva on Cultural Sensitive Care of Victims of Trafficking in Mixed Migration Flows. During the meeting, good practices were presented and exchanged experience in this field. IOM organized this activity in the scope of the project "Enhancing Counter Trafficking in Crisis in the Western Balkans", supported by U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).
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
IOM, the UN Migration Agency, joins the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and partners in announcing a call for applications to participate in the prestigious youth entrepreneurship pitching event entitled Start and Scale-up for SDGs. The event will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on 15 November 2018 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week (12-16 November 2018).
The number of refugees and migrants arriving in Bosnia continues to increase and the situation is critical, especially in the north-western part of the country. IOM representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Peter Van der Auweraert, describes the main challenges and what he hopes will be a short-term solution to get migrants away from dire living conditions in the field.
Traditional folk plays were performed at this gathering, with young people from Maoca having the opportunity to be dressed in Serbian traditional costumes. They also performed previously learned steps of traditional Serbian games. On the other hand, the hosts had the opportunity to meet with traditional plays of Northern Bosnia and Herzegovina by wearing a traditional Bosnian costume, but also by presenting some of their choreographies.
The head of the International Organization for Migration in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Sub-regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans, Peter Van der Auweraert, visited the youth in Buzim
The youth had the opportunity to present all initiatives that have been realized so far within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", or whose implementation is in progress.
Final activities for the project „Climbing is my life“ – awarding the Certificates to the students of the climbing school – were carried out at the event marking the closing of the project, and held in the premises of PD Koprivnica in Bugojno. In addition to the sport climbing school, which lasted for 30 days, activities were carried out on mounting the rocks and setting up sponges, which were used by experienced sports coaches who will continue to work voluntarily in the upcoming period.
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.
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.
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.
Interview with Mr. Peter van der Auweraert, IOM Sub-regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans, 02/02/2017
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.