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)

     

    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.

     

  • Let’s Talk About Climate Migrants, Not Climate Refugees

     

    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.

  • SAOPŠTENJE ZA MEDIJE / PRESS RELEASE

     

    (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.  

    * * *

    (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.

     

     

Latest Vacancy

Increased entry of irregular migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Interview of Mr. Peter Van Der Auweraert - at Al Jazeera Balkans

IOM’s Sub-regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans, Mr. Peter Van Der Auweraert, gave an interview at Al Jazeera Balkans regarding the issue of the increased entry of irregular migrants in  Bosnia and Herzegovina.
 

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Second Community Dialogue was held in Bužim

Second Community Dialogue, an activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", was held in Bužim. The youth from the local communities Lubarda, Vrhovska and Čava pointed the problems they are facing – the lack of space for their activities, passivity, lack of interest from local leaders and managing structures for solving problems

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Launch of "Little kindergarten" presented to the residents of local communities Gornji Rahic and Maoca and to the selected commission

Launch of "Little kindergarten" – workshop for pupils and children of preschool age, the first activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was presented to the residents of local communities Gornji Rahic and Maoca and to the selected commission. 

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Second Community Dialogue was held with youth from Gradisce, Smajici and several other local communities in Zenica

Second Community Dialogue, an activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was held with youth from Gradisce, Smajici and several other local communities in Zenica. With the support of IOM's local coordinators, they presented two projects to be implemented in Gradisce, and one for the local community of Smajici.

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UN Migration Agency Marks 11th EU Anti-Trafficking Day with New Data, Analysis on Human Trafficking

Counter-Trafficking Work

IOM has been working to counter trafficking in persons since 1994. In this time, we have assisted over 90,000 trafficked persons. Ensuring freedom and a chance at a new life, IOM’s assistance can include accommodation in places of safety, medical and psychosocial support, skills development and vocational training, reintegration assistance, and the options of voluntary, safe and dignified return to countries of origin, integration in the country of destination, or resettlement to third countries when needed.

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Second Community Dialogue was held with youth in Urije, and several other local communities in Prijedor

Second Community Dialogue, an activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", was held with youth in Urije, and several other local communities in Prijedor. With the support of IOM’s local coordinators, the youth identified the problems in their communities, and ways for those to be solved - and they suggested projects related to sports and ecology.These activities implemented by IOM are supported by the USAID Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Embassy Sarajevo and the Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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FINAL REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE - Sub-regional consultative event in the Western Balkans on the Global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (Sarajevo, 29 June 2017)

The sub-regional consultative event on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in the Western Balkans, held in Sarajevo on 29 June 2017, built up on a series of six national informational events that presented the respective Global Compacts for Migration and for Refugees. The national events were facilitated by IOM and UNHCR, in close cooperation with the Governments in the region and other relevant stakeholders. 

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10th Symposium of Prosecutors of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The IOM BiH was participant and co-organizer of the Panel 3, as the part of the 10th Symposium of Prosecutors of Bosnia and Herzegovina where Peter Van der Auweaert, IOM Subregional Coordinator for the Western Balkans spoke on Cultural sensitive care of victims of trafficking and what IOM learned from the Western Balkans migration crisis when it comes to human trafficking.

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