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.  

On 9 June 2005, Bosnia and Herzegovina was admitted as a Member of the International Organization for Migration (RESOLUTION No. 1114 (LXXXIX), adopted by the Council at its 464th meeting). 

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.