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.
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
The meeting started with a virtual introduction given by Mr Sacha Chan Kam, Senior Regional Migrant Protection and Assistance Specialist. The welcoming remarks by Mr Peter Van der Auweraert, Sub Regional Coordinator WB and Chief of Mission BIH followed. Then there was an overview of AVRR from the Western Balkans given by Mrs Donatella Bradic, Migration Management Team Leader followed by an open discussion. Event outlined the main opportunities and challenges in the future such as:
- To streamline return process and reinforce links with Countries of Origin
- To further embed the AVRR approach within beneficiaries' administrative structures
- To further exchange approaches to return and reintegration with other regions experiencing mixed migration flows
- To reinforce the reintegration spectrum both at individual and community level
- To strengthen return management ensuring AVRR is available – making return increasingly a choice
- Migrants set to and continue to be willing to embark on their journey to the EU
- Finding the balance between Reintegration Assistance in the EU and Reintegration Assistance back in Countries of Origin
- Keep up and maintaining-innovating the communication medium
Dvodnevna radionica na temu "Jačanje i unapređenje saradnje i učinkovitosti kod izvođenja zajedničkih djelovanja/akcija krijumčarenja migranata u zajedničkim akcijama sa tužiocima i ostalim akterima" održana je u Baru 27. i 28. septembra.
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.
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.