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.
During the migrant and refugee crisis in 2015 - 2016, IOM - the UN Migration Agency - together with the international community, scaled up its presence in Greece and the Western Balkans, and in particular in North Macedonia and Serbia part of the so-called Western Balkan route, to support national authorities and civil society in responding to the emergency situation, and providing direct assistance and protection to migrants, particularly those most vulnerable to violence, exploitation and abuse, or a violation of their rights.
Following the significant increase of migrant arrivals to Bosnia and Herzegovina in late 2017, IOM, in coordination with State, Entity, cantonal and local authorities, scaled up its operations in key migrant locations across the country through the reinforcement of IOM Mobile Protection Teams. These mobile teams have been operating since June 2017, assisting migrants in vulnerable situations, providing safe transportation, interpretation services, provision of temporary and protection-sensitive accommodation, food and other necessities.
IOM Mobile Protection Teams – strategically located to be able to cover the entire migration route, from the Eastern border with Serbia and Montenegro to the North-West border with Croatia, and the main reception centres and informal settlements – performed vulnerability screenings and referred migrants to appropriate assistance and protection service providers.
Latest News and Events
IOM’s Migration Response (as of June 2019)
UN Country Team in BiH: Joint Statement on Relocation of Migrants and Refugees to a location near Bihać
“Vucjak” poses very significant health and safety risks and is currently not equipped to accommodate migrants and refugees in accordance with international standards. The site is located very close to landmine infected areas. There is also a high fire and explosion hazard due to the possible presence of methane gas underground, as the site was a former landfill. Unless these two serious risks are assessed and eliminated by the relevant authorities, the site is unsuitable for human habitation. In addition, there are no sanitary facilities available on the site and no access to running water or electricity. Under these circumstances, locating migrants and refugees there is not acceptable.
In 2018 alone, 17.2 million new displacements associated with disasters in 148 countries and territories were recorded (IDMC) and drought displaced 764,000 people in Somalia, Afghanistan and several other countries.
(Sarajevo, 01. juni 2019.) - U privremenom prihvatnom centru Miral u Velikoj Kladuši, u jutarnjim satima u 6:20 došlo je do požara na prvom spratu hale u kojoj se nalaze spavaonice za 247 migranata.
Osoblje Međunarodne organizacije za migracije (IOM) koji borave u centru 24/7 i koji su obučeni da djeluju u kriznim situacijama, uspješno su evakuirali korisnike centra koji su se nalazili u požarom zahvaćenom dijelu zgrade.
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(Sarajevo, 1st June 2019) - At the temporary reception center Miral in Velika Kladuša, around 06:20 this morning, a fire broke out on the first floor of the dormitory which accommodates 247 migrant and refugees.
IOM staff which is present in the centers 24/7 and is trained to respond to such events, quickly responded and successfully evacuated the migrants from the burning part of the building.
IOM organized the ninth regular coordination meeting of the directors of Border Police agencies from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo*
These regular gatherings serve to exchange information on migration trends and routes as well as main changes in smugglers’ modus operandi. Having in mind that in summer usually the number of arrivals increase, representatives of the Western Balkan countries working on risk analysis and contingency planning have also been included in the discussion.
The Regional Overview report “Labour Mobility as a Factor of Development in South – East Europe” is a result of a joint cooperation effort between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC).
Today in Sarajevo, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched the report, ‘Mapping Major Migration Flows Over the Territory of Western Balkan Countries, 2009-2013'. This report was produced by IOM with the aim of supporting Western Balkan governments in formulating adequate policies to enhance the management of increasing mixed migration flows from, through and to the Western Balkans region. The report presents findings based on a mapping of the main regular and irregular migration flows through the territory of the Western Balkans in the period 2009-2013. The report presents migration to and from WB countries for the purposes of work, education and family reunification; irregular entry and stay of extra regional migrants; international protection; return of Western Balkan citizens under Readmission Agreements; and trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants in the region.
By William Lacy Swing
More women are on the move than ever before. They represent approximately half of the world’s one billion migrants and are approximately half of the estimated 51 million displaced persons.
On this year’s International Women’s Day, IOM calls on the international community to ensure the empowerment of migrant and displaced women through the full realization of their human rights.
Sarajevo, 24. February 2015
Under the Project “Applying the Human Security Concept to Stabilize Communities in Canton 10” Training on writing and implementation EU projects - program 2 takes place in Kupres
Following catastrophic floods in May 2014, the Government of Japan yesterday (23/2) committed 6.2 million Bosnian Marks (USD 700,000) for two one-year projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). IOM will implement the BM 1.2 million Repair and Reconstruction of Centres for Disabled Children in Bosnia and Herzegovina project, which will repair and reconstruct five centres for children with disabilities, which were seriously damaged in the May 2014 floods.
This country reports are part of the broader IOM study “Labour Mobility as a Factor of Development in South-Eastern Europe” conducted within a project funded by the IOM Development Fund and implemented by IOM in partnership with the governments in the region in 2014. The research team produced seven separate reports for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, UNSC resolution 1244-administered Kosovo, Serbia and one regional overview. The seven reports looked at the policies and regulative mechanisms which govern labour mobility, in terms of their approaches in facilitating movements of specific categories of migrant workers, consistency with evolving regional objectives and compliance with the EU acquis and standards.
Within the project ‘’Scaling up Universal Access for Most at Risk Populations in Bosnia and Herzegovina –mobile populations’’ (HIV/AIDS Round 9), supported through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP BiH), funded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), IOM Sarajevo hold two trainings from 16.09.- 19.09.2014, on HIV/AIDS and Mobility for municipal level health care professionals who provide healthcare services to – among others - migrants and mobile populations.
During August and September 2014, within the implementation of the Project of provision of psycho-social support to the population affected by floods during May 2014, educational-experiential workshops have been held with topic “Preservation of mental health of soldiers-rescuers upon participation in crisis interventions”.
UN Headquarters, New York, July 14, 2014
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me to be here today and to represent the International Organization for Migration at this important event to observe, for the first time, the World’s Day Against trafficking in persons.