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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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.
Regional program “Enhancing Capacities and Mechanisms to Identify and Protect Vulnerable Migrants in the Western Balkans”
The meeting gathered key representatives working on migration management and protection of vulnerable migrants from six countries of the Western Balkans. These meetings provide a platform for the countries of the region to regularly share information on the migrant situation, to exchange good practices and seek common solutions to similar problems. “We need to work together to establish a common approach to solve these issues” said one of the participants.
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)
“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:
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.
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).