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.
JAPANESE GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES, IOM, ORAŠJE MUNICIPALITY AND POSAVINA CANTON ARE GOING TO OFFICIALLY OPEN THE CENTRE FOR CHILDREN AND PERSONS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN ORAŠJE
On 11.12.2015., Orašje - H.E. Kazuya OGAWA, ambassador of Japan in BiH, Mr. Nobumitsu KAMIO, the first secretary at the Japanese Embassy in BiH, Mr. Harry SMITH, IOM representative, Mr. Đuro TOPIĆ Mayor of Orašje and Mr. Marijan KLAIĆ, Prime Minister of Posavina Canton are going to officially open the newly constructed Centre in Orašje.
18 December - International migrants day
Worldwide candlelight vigil to remember lost migrant lives
LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE
This report was prepared within the framework of the project “Strengthening the Fight against Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling in the Western Balkans” Regional Project funded by the IOM Development Fund and the Government of Italy. The opinions expressed in the report are those of the authors and do not necessarily re!ect the views of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).