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

  • Regional Meeting on Readmission in the Western Balkans

     

    While readmission in the Western Balkans is a broad topic that touches upon many aspects of migration management, the discussions at this regional meeting will focus on three key areas, namely: readmission practices, figures and challenges in the Western Balkans (presented by WB Readmission Officers)

     

  • European Union donated a new ambulance to Health Centre Bihać

     

    “From the very beginning of the migration crisis, the Health Centre Bihac was involved in the primary health care of the migrants, and at no time did we neglect the health care of the local population. Since this new situation largely surpassed pur capacities, we contacted the Ministry of Health, as well as at the International Organization for Migration, and emphasized our real needs for functioning on the field. With the full support of the City Administration and the Ministry of Health, the International Organization for Migration has implemented a project for the purchase of a medical vehicle for the Health centre Bihac, donated by the European Union. Today, perhaps symbolically, exactly one year after our first field visit and providing assistance to a migrant, the International Organization for Migration handed over the keys of the ambulance. This is a significant donation for the Health Centre Bihać and will enable us to provide faster and better quality health care to both the local population and migrants. We are grateful for this donation and we are looking forward to good cooperation on future projects”, said Ms. Ljubijankić.

     

  • JAVNI POZIV za dostavljanje prijedloga za dodjelu priznanja iseljenicima i organizacijama iseljenika iz Bosne i Hercegovine

     

    Poziva se iseljeništvo iz Bosne i Hercegovine, organizacije iseljenika iz Bosne i Hercegovine, privredna društva, nevladine organizacije, udruženja i drugi pravni subjekti iz iseljeništva i Bosne i Hercegovine da dostave prijedloge za dodjelu priznanja iz oblasti:

    a) privrede,

    b) nauke i obrazovanja,

    c) kulture i informiranja,

    d) profesionalnog i amaterskog sporta,

    e) zdravstva i socijalne zaštite,

    f) filantropskih i dobrotvornih aktivnosti.

    Iz svake oblasti dodjeljuje se jedno priznanje, bez obzira na to da li se priznanje dodjeljuje pojedincu ili organizaciji iseljenika iz Bosne i Hercegovine.

     

  • “Trafficking in Human Beings and Migrant Smuggling in Mixed Migration Flows”

     

    The seminar “Trafficking in Human Beings and Migrant Smuggling in Mixed Migration Flows” was organized by IOM in collaboration with the Centers for Education of Judges and Prosecutors of the FBiH and RS and OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 17-18 April.

     

  • Activities initiated by young students from Prijedor

     

    This is important for the young because they have enriched social content in this way, but also it will affect the elderly in Prijedor as they will now have a place to spend their time and hang out with their friends. After the official opening, a chess tournament followed where young people measured their strengths. The winner of the tournament received a small chess award for the first place.

     

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The first module of the second Community Dialogue was held in Capljina

The first module of the second Community Dialogue was held in Capljina. Youth from local communities Bivolje Brdo, Domanovici and Oplicici pointed to the problems they are facing. After discussing potential solutions, it was decided that two projects would be implemented in the coming period, one is "Procurement of equipment for cultural and artistic society", and the other "Procurement of sports equipment for pupils from 1st to 5th grade". 

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Contract signed by the representatives of two youth groups from Foca and representatives of IOM ("Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina")

The contracts on the implementation of the projects "Construction of multipurpose sports grounds in Jezerine" and "Arranging area around monumental medieval tombstones and arranging promenade near lake" were signed yesterday by the representatives of two youth groups from Foca and representatives of IOM. 

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Meeting with Semiha Borovac, Minister of Human Rights and Refugees

During the courtesy visit and working meeting with Semiha Borovac, Minister of Human Rights and Refugees, Peter Van Der Auweraert, IOM Chief of Mission in BiH spoke about the necessity to have as many BiH institutions on board with the goal to issue adequate response to the migrant crisis and influx of migrants to the country, which is becoming larger.

It was emphasized that the priority now is to secure additional accommodation and protection for migrants, especially when it comes to most vulnerable population, like families, unaccompanied minors, marginalized groups.. Van der Auweraert also said that in order to receive international aid, it is necessary for Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt clear plan of action when it comes to increased migrant influx. Such plan is being drafted and we are expecting a discussion at the BiH Council of Ministers about the mentioned topic.

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Press release / Saopštenje za medije

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) steps up its response to the ongoing arrivals of migrants and refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina

27th December 2017, SARAJEVO – During the past days Bosnia and Herzegovina has faced increased influx of irregular migrants that are arriving to its eastern border with Montenegro. The latest arrivals originate mostly from North Africa, through Greece, Albania, on through Montenegro to Trebinje. They arrive in small groups composed predominantly of single adult men.  From 01st January to 26 December 2017, the BiH Border police detained a total of 735 irregular migrants, which compare to total figures for 2016 of less than 100 irregular migrants. This represents a significant increase and has put the capacity of the relevant authorities and national aid agencies such as the Red Cross under strain. In response, IOM, in line with its mandate as the UN Migration Agency, has stepped up its efforts to assist them, in collaboration with other UN agencies.

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The first meeting with representatives from the Education authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

How can teachers and schools contribute to the prevention of violent extremism?

Today IOM is organizing the first meeting with representatives from the Education authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina together and colleagues from the City of Helsinki, Finland, discussing how innovative approaches to learning and critical thinking can be introduced in schools.

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