Peter Van Der Auweraert, IOM Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans, held a presentation on the occasion of the NATO field exercise in the Base Operations at the University campus yesterday in Tuzla on behalf of the UN agencies. Field NATO exercise to manage the consequences of crisis situations, simulated in Tuzla, represents a central event exercise organized jointly by the NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) and the Ministry of Security of BiH.
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.
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They performed all the tasks, and learned through fun and socializing a few things that they didn’t pay attention to until now. Besides performing their tasks diligently, the parents made new friendships and expressed gratitude that they were able to participate in the workshop.
"Everyone is encountered on a daily basis with many details we've been able to listen about over the past three days. I think that everyone should participate in this workshop, young people to gain new experiences and parents to improve the already acquired ones," one of the participants said.
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration managemen aiming at orderly and humane return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.
The successful implementation of AVRR programmes requires the cooperation and participation of a broad range of actors, including the migrants, civil society and the governments in both host and transit countries and countries of origin. The partnerships created by IOM and a diverse range of national and international stakeholders are essential to the effective implementation of AVRR – from the return preparation to the reintegration stage.
The Combined secondary school students created two parking lots for bicycles and the copies of tourist offer of Tajan Nature Monuments were printed and shared with mountaineers from other cities. In addition, two sport climbing training sessions were held in the First Elementary School hall, as well as workshops on "Stop violence against persons of both sexes".
The realization of this project started with two panel discussions held at the Youth Center Bugojno. The first panel discussion was held with high school students who pointed out why it is important for them to re-launch the cinema in their town as more and more young people plead for active film productions within the Cultural and Sports Centre Bugojno. They also emphasized their feeling that film gives knowledge and power and enables the development of individuals what makes this project very important.
The third MoviEQ workshop, under the project "Community Based Approaches to Support Youth in Local Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", implemented by IOM BiH, was held in Prijedor, 21-24 September, and it was attended by young people from several local communities of the City of Prijedor.
The Coordination Meeting on the Prevention and Combatting Violent Extremism (P/CVE) in Bosnia and Herzegovina was held yesterday, at the UN House, and organized by the Ministry of Security of BiH, with support from the IOM Mission in Sarajevo.
With opening remarks delivered by the BiH Minister, Mr. Dragan Mektić, the meeting took place within the framework of the BiH Strategy for Preventing and Combatting Violent Extremism 2015-2020, and it was chaired by the P/CVE National Coordinator for BiH, Mr. Samir Rizvo.
The third MoviEQ workshop, under the project "Community Based Approaches to Support Youth in Local Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", implemented by IOM BiH, was held in Tuzla, 21-24 September. 18 young people had the opportunity to share their experiences and gain new knowledge about themselves and others.
Second MoviEQ workshop, as a continuation of activities implemented by IOM, through the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in BiH" was held in Maoca (24 to 27 of August).
As part of the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in BiH", a MoviEQ Workshop began on 26 August, in Zenica.
The fourth module of the workshop for parents from Jablanica was held within the framework of the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in BiH", in Blagaj.
In the framework of the project "Reconstruction of Sports Fields" in Miljevina, the construction of sports grounds in front of the Primary School "Sveti Sava" started yesterday. This is a project run by the youth from this community and financed by IOM BiH through its project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in BiH".
Representatives of non-governmental organizations from the Western Balkans region attended a two-day meeting on 19th and 20th of September 2017 in Budva on Cultural Sensitive Care of Victims of Trafficking in Mixed Migration Flows. During the meeting, good practices were presented and exchanged experience in this field. IOM organized this activity in the scope of the project "Enhancing Counter Trafficking in Crisis in the Western Balkans", supported by U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).