IOM has been present in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) since 1992, providing life-saving assistance and medical evacuations for war-affected populations during the war in former Yugoslavia. Following the end of the conflict, IOM expanded its activities to the return of refugees from abroad and to assist BiH nationals resettling in third countries. Together with the international community, IOM continues to assist the population in BiH in rebuilding their lives and working for a better future.
As the BiH authorities pursue their aim of accession to the European Union (EU), increasing attention has been given to key migration issues by state actors, the international community, civil society, and the media. Today, with a focus on building the capacity of the authorities to govern migration, IOM is working with a wide range of governmental and non-governmental partners within the area of migration governance.
As the Sub-regional Hub for the Western Balkans, the IOM Mission in BiH plays a key role in coordinating the offices and activities in the region, with the objective to facilitate the development and implementation of programmes with a strong regional dimension, to promote common and coordinated strategies to partners and donors.
At the local level, IOM works with local communities, authorities, minorities, and informal groups on several issues affecting long-term prospects for mobility, development and human rights. Over the years, this has enabled the IOM Mission in BiH to establish excellent relations with community leaders, including youth and women, and be recognized as an organization that brings effective changes in people’s lives.
IOM is an active member of the UN Country Team (UNCT), notably as chair of the Social Cohesion Result Group. Together with the UNHCR, IOM co-leads the Mixed Migration Response in BiH, as well as the Protection Working Group. Finally, as the lead agency for Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) activities in BiH, IOM provides ongoing technical support to competent authorities assisting migrants in irregular situation in BiH
IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.
As the leading international organization for migration, IOM in Bosnia and Herzegovina acts with its partners in the international community to:
- Supporting a long-term, local, and state-owned response for protection and humanitarian assistance to migrants
- Building vibrant, inclusive and resilient communities by addressing prominent drivers of instability
- Helping migrants and society thrive through safe, orderly, and regular mobility pathways
- Leveraging informed and evidence-based policy and discourses