Cross-Border Returns Between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

The project aimed to organize the voluntary, orderly and sustainable return of refugees displaced by the conflict in former Yugoslavia by providing transport and en-route medical assistance to an estimated 16,000 Croatian and Bosnian refugees. In cooperation with UNHCR and other relevant authorities and agencies, IOM planned to organize the logistics for the return of 8,000 Bosnian refugees in Croatia and 8,000 Croatian refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

Returnees have offered preliminary Go-and-See Visits, in order to assess personally the viability of their decisions to return. The project will undertake the organization of these visits, including all logistics, the co-ordination of security escorts and liaison with all relevant authorities, and assistance with obtaining necessary documentation at return sites.

The project aimed to implement the actual return movements, including the processing of return applications, liaison with all relevant state authorities including customs and border police, transportation of the refugees, their household effects including farming implements and equipment, from the current locations in the host countries to their places of origin. For needy cases, special transportation and medical assistance will be provided. All returnees will receive a repatriation grant on arrival at their final destination.

The overall objective of the project was to contribute to the post-conflict normalization process in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, as outlined in Annex 7 of the Dayton Peace Accord, by allowing refugees to return to their homes.