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

  • ASSISTED VOLUNTARY RETURN AND REINTEGRATION (AVRR) BULLETIN 2018

     

    Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) is an indispensable part of a comprehensive approach to migration managemen aiming at orderly and humane return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host or transit countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.

    The successful implementation of AVRR programmes requires the cooperation and participation of a broad range of actors, including the migrants, civil society and the governments in both host and transit countries and countries of origin. The partnerships created by IOM and a diverse range of national and international stakeholders are essential to the effective implementation of AVRR – from the return preparation to the reintegration stage.

     

  • Promotion of audio books was held in Bugojno

     

    Within this project, seven audio books have been recorded so far. The complete set of these audio books was donated to all local IOM teams in 14 municipalities in Bosnia and Herzego

    vina where the project "Moving to sustainable approach in the prevention of violent extremism in the Western Balkans“ is being implemented, which they will share in their local community.

     

     

  • Photo exhibit “Mladost ludost”

     

    Through this exhibit, they want to present young volunteers and activists who worked for the wellbeing of their community and to encourage other youth to join actions of this kind. This exhibit is set in high school in Bužim and it will be open for the next five days. Besides for the students of this school, the exhibit is open for all citizens of Bužim.

     

  • IOM donated technical equipment to the RS Ministry of Labour and War Veterans Protection

     

    In the framework of the Joint UN project “Seeking Care, Justice and Support Survivors of Conflict Related Sexual Violence in BiH” IOM will further continue to support the implementation of the newly adopted Law by providing expert and technical support. The Law opens the possibility for CRSV survivors to access the rights and to gain the recognition through the status of victims of torture. It is very important to maintain non-discriminatory and equal access to status and rights making sure that victims are recognized and treated with dignity. 

     

  • The MoviEQ workshop was held in Zvornik

     

    Eleven young people have, through interesting and interactive games and presentations, learned about a different view of the world, the world that is full of colors and not necessary black or white.

     

     

Latest Vacancy

Financial overview of the response to the migrant situation in Una-Sana Canton with the support from the European Union

 

International Organization for Migration (IOM) - the UN Migration Agency would like to use this opportunity to express our gratitude for the support and cooperation that the official institutions in Una-Sana Canton have provided to the IOM over the past period in response to the large influx of migrants. Without this support as well as the support of the local community, which have been crucial, the situation would have been much more complex and the humanitarian response to migrants whould not have been put under control in such a short period of time.

The Operational Headquarters of the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina for managing the migrant situation has appointed IOM as a leading organization that will prioritize its activities in establishing the Temporary Reception Centers for migrants in the Una-Sana Canton.

 

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Finansijski pregled za odgovor na migrantsku situaciju u Unsko-sanskom kantonu, uz podršku Evropske unije

 

Međunarodna organizacija za migracije (IOM)- UN Agencija za migracije ovim putem izražava zahvalnost na podršci i saradnji koju su zvanične institucije u Unsko-sanskom kantonu pružile IOM-u tokom proteklog perioda kao odgovor na veliki priliv migranata. Naime, bez ove podrške kao i podrške lokalne zajednice koje su od neprocjenljivog značaja, situacija bi bila mnogo kompleksnija i humanitarni odgovor migrantima ne bismo mogli da stavimo pod kontrolu u ovako kratkom periodu.

Operativni štab Ministarstva sigurnosti Bosne i Hercegovine za upravljanje migrantskom situacijom imenovao je IOM kao vodeću organizaciju koja će prioritizirati svoje aktivnosti na uspostavljanju privremenih prihvatnih centara za migrante u Unsko- sanskom kantonu.

Obzirom da je odgovor na masovni priliv migranata bila jedna od prioritetnih mjera donijetih od strane Ministarstva sigurnosti Bosne i Hercegovine u februaru 2018.g., a sa ciljem spriječavanja velikih humanitarnih i sigurnosnih problema, EU je obezbijedila sredstva u ukupnom iznosu od 9,2 miliona € koje je dodjelila IOM-u, UNHCR-u I UNICEF-u.

 

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IOM Responds to Security Incident in Humanitarian Hub “Miral”, Velika Kladusa, as seen in Video Footage

 

The Miral video footage that was shared on social media appears to show that private security guards did not deal with the incident at hand in a sufficiently restrained way and in line with the instructions and trainings provided to them by IOM and United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS). In response, IOM has alerted the local police and asked them to start an investigation about what occurred preceding, during and after the video footage, and take action as required. With immediate effect, IOM has allocated additional migrant protection staff in Miral and accommodation center Bira in Bihac to work alongside private security guards to further ensure that security and safety is maintained with the full respect of human rights and dignity of all.

 

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1 million BAM from the UK Government in support of local communities in Una-Sana Canton hosting migrants and refugees

 

The project will support local authorities’ efforts to ensure improved delivery of public goods and services, both to migrants and the local population in Una-Sana Canton. The project will also support the reparation and revitalization of public spaces, such as the Bihac City Park and the Partisan Memorial Cemetery in Borici.

 

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Bosnia struggles to cope with arrival of thousands of migrants

 

15 May, 2018

SARAJEVO/BIHAC (Reuters) - Bosnia is struggling to cope with the arrival of thousands of migrants and refugees, many of whom are sleeping in parks in the capital and other towns as they seek passage into western Europe. The country’s asylum center has 200 beds and 80 to 150 people have arrived each day this month, Security Minister Dragan Mektic said on Monday. About 4,000 people from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Algeria and Afghanistan have entered Bosnia this year compared with 755 in 2017 and up to 1,500 are stuck there. Many have faced perilous journeys.

“I was sent back from Croatia six times,” said Omar from Iraq, who arrived in Bosnia with his younger brother after spending two years in Greece. Omar declined to give his last name. “I must get to Germany because all my family is there,” said the 19-year-old, echoing many others who spoke in the empty old building in Bihac near the Croatian border where he stayed.

 

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Bosnia Struggles With Thousands Of Migrants On New Route To Western Europe

 

16 May, 2018

 

Bosnia-Herzegovina is struggling to cope with an influx of thousands of migrants mostly from the Middle East trying to reach Western Europe that authorities and aid groups warn could develop into a crisis.

Bosnia's governing council met on May 15 to consider measures to deal with the thousands of migrants who have turned to the small Balkan country in recent months, trying to avoid more heavily guarded routes and borders in the Balkans. About 4,000 people from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Algeria, and Afghanistan have entered Bosnia so far this year compared with 755 in 2017, migrant aid groups say. Most are seeking to cross the border into EU-member Croatia, and then move on toward Western Europe, but about 1,500 have remained in the country after being blocked from entering the European Union.

 

 

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Rights Official Urges Bosnia to Do More for Migrants

 

By The Associated Press
May 15, 2018

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — Bosnia must do more to help migrants, a European human rights official said Tuesday as the war-scarred country struggles to cope with a growing influx of people trying to reach Western Europe through the Balkans.

Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, expressed concern in a letter to Bosnian authorities over "lack of systematic response" to the situation, with migrants sleeping outdoors in Bosnia's streets and parks. "I am concerned to learn that many refugees and migrants, including families with children, sleep rough on the streets and have irregular access to food," Mijatovic wrote. "This situation cannot continue in this way."

 

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