Migrants in Velika Kladusa: 'A humanitarian catastrophe' (infomigrants.net)

Date Publish: 
Monday, August 6, 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.

How many migrants are currently here in northwestern Bosnia and what are the biggest challenges the migrants are facing? What challenges are you as the UN Migration Agency IOM facing?

Peter Van der Auweraert: Currently, our estimate is that there are about 3,000-3,500 people in Una-Sana Canton. Everyone is trying to go to Croatia but people do spend some time here in this canton. The exact number is difficult to say because people are arriving every day. But we also have irregular border crossings into Croatia every day. There is not sufficient official accommodation in Una-Sana Canton, which means that people are not registered in particular places where we could monitor when people come and go.

The biggest challenge remains official accommodation.

This former hotel, the Sedra hotel, is an excellent solution for families. It will go up to the capacity of 400 individuals. Currently, we have 150 individuals, all families with children which were selected on vulnerability criteria. Some people from Bihac from the dormitory and some from Velika Kladusa from the field.

But it remains as urgent as it was a month or two ago to also find accommodation solutions for the other people who will not be able to be accommodated here [in such hotels]. We currently have close to 1,000 people living in a student dormitory which is clearly too many for the capacity of the building, at least in the shape that the building is in now. We have people in the field in Kladusa, so accommodation remains the biggest challenge.

Because of the lack of official accommodation, protection and safety become a concern. People are vulnerable, whether it's fights among migrants as we have seen last week in Velika Kladusa, or people being approached by smugglers and traffickers that may not have the best intentions and try to defraud people of their money. We also have vulnerable young men that are exposed to drug gangs that try to sell them drugs or try to recruit them to sell drugs. All these issues you could get under control if you have proper accommodation.

Finally, I think for the local population, specifically in Velika Kladusa and Bihac who has reacted really well to the difficult situation, it would get a lot easier if you could get migrants away from the city center, away from the parks, and into official accommodation. 

There are many reports by migrants about violence by the Croation police, of violent push-backs at the border with Croatia but also Slovenia. Can you confirm this and what is IOM's position?

I cannot confirm whether these stories are true. The only thing that I can confirm is that there are a lot of migrants that tell those stories. IOM workers in the field also hear those stories. But I have no independent means to verify whether they are correct or not.

I also know that there is violence among migrants. When migrants have injuries, it's sometimes difficult to establish without proper investigation where those injuries occurred, but I can confirm that we hear those stories as well.

Our official position is very clear: every state has the right to control its own border, with respect for European human rights law, with respect for international law in the sense of the right to access to asylum. It is clear that under no circumstances, people have the right to use violence, even if people try to cross the border irregularly. They can be stopped – states have the sovereign right to decide whether to accept people on their territory or not. Asking to apply for asylum is a different issue, but violence can never be the answer to people crossing the border irregularly.

The situation in Velika Kladusa is currently probably the worst in the country. Does the IOM have any plan for it?

Clearly, the situation is unsustainable. People cannot stay in that field, no matter how much money is invested there. It gets inundated when it rains, the little river that flows there is very polluted. The site is not sustainable and it was never intended to be. We are working together with local authorities in Velika Kladusa and the Ministry of Security to find a short-term solution to move those people to another location. One of the locations that have been mentioned is Agrokomerc, which could be an alternative for the short term. It is a lot better than the field. So hopefully next week we will have a solution, at least for the short term, so we can move people away from the field.

The situation, as it is, is a human catastrophe – there is no question about it and I think we should be very clear about that it's a human catastrophe. In the field, there are health issues, security concerns, protection concerns, with everything I mentioned. Right now we are prioritizing families from the field to come here to the hotel.  Actually, what we have seen at times, is that some families refuse to move even if they are in the field. They want to stay close to the border with Croatia because they have arranged for some smuggler to take them across the border.

So if there are migrants watching this, I highly recommend families and children to get out of there. We have accommodation and there is a process that you could register for. Unfortunately, we have seen that despite the best efforts done by the UNHCR to talk to the migrants, they have refused to come here.

Source: http://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/11068/migrants-in-velika-kladusa-a-humanitarian-catastrophe

 

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Broj izbjeglica i migranata koji dolaze u Bosnu i Hercegovinu i dalje raste, što situaciju čini kritičnom, a naročito u sjeverozapadnom dijelu zemlje. Predstavnik Međunarodne organizacije za migracije u Bosni i Hercegovini i subregionalni koordinator za zapadni Balkan, Peter Van der Auweraert, govorio je o najvećim izazovima sa kojima se ova zemlja susreće i o kratkoročnim rješenjima koja će pomoći da se migranti sklone od veoma loših uslova boravka na otvorenom.

Koliko migranata se trenutno nalazi u sjeverozapadnoj Bosni i koji su najveći izazovi sa kojima se susreću? Koji su izazovi sa kojima se vi, kao UN-ova agencija za migracije, najčešće susrećete?

Peter Van der Auweraert: Prema našoj procjeni u Unsko-sanskom kantonu trenutno se nalazi oko 3000-3500 migranata. Činjenica je da svi pokušavaju otići u Hrvatsku, ali također i da određeni period provedu u ovom kantonu. Tačan broj ljudi je teško procijeniti jer svakodnevno imamo nove ljude koji pristižu ovdje, ali također i određeni broj iregularnih prelazaka u Hrvatsku. Trenutno u Unsko-sanskom kantonu nema zvaničnog smještaja, što znači da ljudi nisu registrirani na jednom mjestu na kojem bismo mi mogli svakodnevno pratiti ko odlazi, a ko dolazi.

Najveći izazov i dalje ostaje smještaj migranata.

Bivši hotel, Sedra, koji ima kapacitet za 400 pojedinaca, odlično je rješenje za porodice. Trenutno se u ovom hotelu nalazi 150 osoba – porodica sa djecom – koje su odabrane prema kriteriju ranjivosti. Neke od njih ovdje su izmještene iz Bihaća, a neke iz Velike Kladuše.

No, i dalje je kao i prije mjesec ili dva, hitno potrebno pronaći smještaj i za ostale osobe koje neće moći biti smještene u navedenom hotelu. Trenutno se u Đačkom domu u Bihaću nalazi oko 1000 osoba što je previše za kapacitet koji ova zgrada ima. Također, imamo ljudi koji još uvijek borave na otvorenom u kampu u Velikoj Kladuši, što znači da je smještaj migranata još uvijek najveći izazov.

Upravo zbog nedostatka smještaja, zaštita i sigurnost postaju problem. Radi se o ranjivoj kategoriji ljudi, bez obzira jesu li u pitanju sukobi između migranata, kao što smo imali priliku vidjeti prošle sedmice u Velikoj Kladuši, ili približavanje krijumčara i trgovaca koji baš i nemaju najbolje namjere. Imamo također i slučajeve ranjivih, mlađih muškaraca koji su izloženi grupama koje žele da im prodaju drogu, ili da ih čak iskoriste kao dilere droge. Sva ova pitanja i problemi mogli bi se kontrolisati kada bi postojao odgovarajući smještaj.

Postoje mnoge pritužbe od strane migranata o nasilnom ponašanju hrvatske policije, te o nasilnom vraćanju sa granice sa Hrvatskom, ali i Slovenijom. Možete li Vi ovo potvrditi i kakav je stav IOM-a o tome?

Ne mogu potvrditi jesu li ove priče tačne. Jedino mogu potvrditi da postoji mnogo migranata koji pričaju o tome. IOM-ovi mobilni timovi također čuju ovakve priče. Ali nemam službenih potvrda o istinitosti ovih priča.

Također, znam da je prisutno nasilje među migrantima. Kada se uoče povrede na migrantima, veoma je teško, bez odgovarajuće istrage, utvrditi odakle one potiču, ali mogu potvrditi da i mi možemo čuti navedene priče.

Naš službeni stav je vrlo jasan: svaka država ima pravo da kontroliše vlastitu granicu, poštujući zakon o ljudskim pravima, poštujući međunarodni zakon koji govori o pravu na podnošenje zahtjeva za azil. Jasno je da ni u kojem slučaju nemaju pravo da primjenjuju silu, čak i ako migranti pokušavaju iregularno preći njihovu granicu. Oni se mogu zaustaviti – država ima suvereno pravo da odluči hoće li nekoga pustiti na svoju teritoriju ili ne. Traženje azila posebno je pitanje, ali nasilje nikada ne može biti odgovor na pokušaje iregularnog prijelaza granice.

Situacija u Velikoj Kladuši je vjerovatno najteža u zemlji. Ima li IOM planova u vezi s tim?

Jasno je da je ovakva situacija neodrživa. Ljudi ne mogu ostati na otvorenom. Područje poplavi kada pada kiša, također, rijeka, koja protiče tu, je veoma zagađena. Područje nije održivo i neće biti ni u budućnosti. Radimo zajedno sa lokalnim vlastima u Velikoj Kladuši i sa Ministarstvom sigurnosti kako bi se pronašlo kratkoročno rješenje da se ljudi iz ovog područja izmjeste na drugu lokaciju. Jedna od mogućih lokacija je Agrokomerc, koja bi mogla biti kratkoročna alternativa. I to je puno bolje od kampa u kojem se migranti trenutno nalaze. Nadam se da ćemo sljedeće sedmice imati rješenje, makar kratkoročno, kako bismo mogli izmjestiti ljude sa ove lokacije.

Situacija, kao takva, zasigurno je ljudska katastrofa – mislim da nema dileme i da trebamo biti veoma jasni da se radi o ljudskoj katastrofi. U kampu na otvorenom, u kojem se trenutno nalaze migranti u Velikoj Kladuši, prisutni su zdravstveni i sigurnosni problemi. Sada nam je prioritet da porodice iz ovog kampa dođu u hotel Sedra. Zapravo, primijetili smo da porodice odbijaju da promijene lokaciju, uprkos tome što se nalaze u ovom kampu. Oni žele ostati bliže granici sa Hrvatskom jer su već dogovorili sa nekim krijumčarem da ih prebaci preko granice.

Dakle, ako neki od migranata gledaju ovo, preporučujem porodicama i djeci da napuste kamp. Imamo smještaj i postoji proces na osnovu kojeg se možete registrovati tu. Nažalost, uprkos velikim nastojanjima UNHCR-a da razgovaraju sa migrantima, oni ipak odbijaju doći.

Izvor: http://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/11068/migrants-in-velika-kladusa-a-humanitarian-catastrophe