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 INFO CAMPAIGN WITHIN THE PROJECT “ASISTED VOLUNTARY RETURN AND REINTEGRATION (AVRR) OF MIGRANTS IN THE WESTERN BALKANS”
In 2018, with the support of the European Union (DG ECHO and DG NEAR), IOM opened four new Temporary Reception Centres in Una Sana Canton with the support of the Council of Europe Development Bank, IOM opened one new Temporary Reception Centre in Hadzici Municipality:
Sedra Temporary Reception Centre in Cazin Municipality for families and vulnerable migrants opened in July 2018
Usivak Temporary Reception Centre in Hadzici Municipality primarily for single men, but also for families and vulnerable migrants opened in October 2018.
Bira Temporary Reception Centre in the City of Bihac, primarily for single men opened in October 2018
Miral Temporary Reception Centre in Velika Kladusa Municipality primarily for single men opened in October 2018, with IOM supporting the site management from November 2018.
Borici Temporary Reception Centre in City of Bihac, families and vulnerable migrants re-opened in December 2018 following complete renovation.
Zajednička izjava povodom izvještaja o trenutnom prebacivanju migranata i izbjeglica, među njima i maloljetnika, na područje Vučjaka. UN u BiH snažno apeluje na vlasti da rade na pronalasku alternativnog smještaja
17. oktobar 2019.
Prema izvještavanju medija, 14. oktobra, nakon odluke Ministarstva unutrašnjih poslova Unsko-sanskog kantona, nekoliko stotina migranata koji su boravili na javnim površinama u Bihaću su prisilno premješteni u Vučjak. Pored toga, objavljeno je da je lokalna policija pješice provela grupu od gotovo hiljadu ljudi na Vučjak.
UN ponovo izražava veliku zabrinutost povodom trenutnog prebacivanja migranata i tražitelja azila na područje Vučjaka. Veliki sigurnosni i zdravstveni rizici na Vučjaku i dalje postoje, te lokacija nije u skladu sa međunarodnim humanitarnim standardima pa stoga nije adekvatna za smještanje ljudi. Ovi nedostaci su već istaknuti u zajedničkoj izjavi tima UN-a (14. juna 2019.) koja je data nakon odluke Gradskog vijeća grada Bihaća da se dislociraju migranti, uključujući i tražitelje azila, koji borave van prihvatnih centara na područje Vučjaka.
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Joint Statement on reports of on-going Relocation of Migrants and Refugees including minors to the Vucjak site. The UN in BiH strongly urges the authorities to act swiftly on alternate accommodation space
17 October 2019
According to media reports, on 14 October, after decision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Una-Sana Canton, hundreds of migrants residing in public areas in Bihac were forcibly transferred to Vucjak. In addition, it has been reported that a group of around 1,000 people were escorted to Vucjak on foot by the local police.
The UN reiterates its grave concern over the on-going relocation of migrants, including asylum seekers, to the Vucjak site. Significant safety and health risks at Vucjak remain; and the location falls well short of international humanitarian standards. It is thus unsuitable for the purpose of accommodating people. These inadequacies were already highlighted in the UNCT Joint Statement dated 14 June 2019, which followed the decision of the Municipal Council of Bihac to relocate migrants, including asylum seekers, staying outside reception centers to the Vucjak site.
(Sarajevo, 11. oktobar 2019. godine) - U sklopu projekta koji finansira Evropska unija “EU podrška upravljanju migracijama i granicom u BiH”, Peter Van der Auweraert, koordinator za Zapadni Balkan i šef misije IOM-a u Bosni i Hercegovini, uručio je Ministarstvu unutrašnjih poslova Unsko-sanskog kantona ključeve tri nova policijska kombija u vrijednosti od preko 160.000 konvertibilnih maraka.
(Sarajevo, 11th October 2019) – Within the EU funded project 'EU Support to Migration and Border Management in BiH' Peter Van Der Auweraert, IOM Coordinator for the Western Balkans and Head of Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, handed over keys of three new police vans worth over BAM 160,000 to the Ministry of the Interior of the Una Sana Canton.
Još jedna vrijedna donacija Evropske unije za MUP Unsko-sanskog kantona
(Sarajevo, 02. oktobar 2019. godine) - U sklopu projekta koji finansira Evropska unija, Međunarodna organizacija za migracije (IOM) je danas uručila pripadnicima Ministarstva unutrašnjih poslova Unsko-sanskog kantona još jednu vrijednu donaciju u vidu opreme koja će biti od značaja u svakodnevnom obavljanju posla u zaštiti građana i migranata koji trenutno borave u kantonu.
Another valuable donation from the European Union to the Ministry of Interior of Una-Sana Canton
(Sarajevo, 1st October 2019) – Within the project 'EU Support to Migration and Border Management in BiH' the International Organization for Migration (IOM) donated equipment to the Ministry of Interior of Una-Sana Canton (USC) which will contribute to their day to day work in protecting the citizens and the migrants currently residing in the Canton.
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).