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

  • 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.

     

  • Let’s Talk About Climate Migrants, Not Climate Refugees

     

    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.

  • SAOPŠTENJE ZA MEDIJE / PRESS RELEASE

     

    (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.

     

     

  • 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.

     

Latest Vacancy

What are the challenges facing Bosnia and Herzegovina presently and in the coming period? - TV1

 

Peter Van Der Auweraert, IOM Representative in BiH and Western Balkans Sub-regional Coordinator, Mijo Kresic, Deputy Minister of Security of BiH and Nedzad Korajlic, Dean of the Faculty of Criminalistics, Criminology and Security Studies of the University of Sarajevo spoke about this issue for TV1.

https://tv1.ba/produkcija/kopca-sa-nikolinom-veljovic/video-kopca-sa-nikolinom-veljovic-migrantska-kriza-7-6-2018/

 

 

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UN Migration Agency Statement on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT)

 

In a world where more than a third of countries criminalize consensual same-sex relationships, disclosing your gender identity and sexual orientation can be extremely dangerous. For internally displaced members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) community, it can also cripple livelihoods and even be life-threatening.

The injustice that the LGBTI community faces in non-emergency settings does not simply disappear in times of crisis or when people become displaced, in fact, it is usually amplified.

LGBTI internally displaced persons face complex challenges and threats during all stages of displacement. These include discrimination, prejudice, violence, difficulty accessing humanitarian services and barriers to articulating their protection needs.

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The migrant confession about the smuggling from Montenegro (N1)

 

Peter Van der Auweraert, the Western Balkans Sub-regional Coordinator of the International Organization for Migration pointed out that smugglers from BiH are often part of the international criminal networks:

“Large majority of immigrants in BiH used smugglers at one point. If they didn’t, such journeys would not be possible to organize. It is hard to detect the smugglers, due to the fact that most of the smugglers routes are international ones. Those are not necessarily the routes of Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro. They are international.”

 

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Interview with Peter Van der Auweraert, Start magazin, 09 March 2018

 

In first 2 months of 2018, 200 persons requested asylum and got free legal aid, mainly males, says NGO Your Rights. “We are acting in their behalf in the procedures of asylum seeking, we provide advice, information. If the asylum is approved, we are leading them through the procedures of realizing their refugee rights. If the MoS passes the negative decision, we are pressing charges with the Court of BiH”. The goal of each migrant is their personal thing. “It is not good to talk about their goals because we are entering the essence of individual cases. We should bare on mind that asylum process is secret”. “The Law on Foreigners and the Law on Asylum do not prescribe sanctions for providing humanitarian aid. The Law envisages sanctions to the private and physical persons who are providing accommodation to foreigners without reporting their residence. If someone has rented an apartment to the persons without documents, that one is not guilty because was not obliged to know about that”, says Your Rights.

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Za prva dva mjeseca 2018. godine 200 lica je u procesu traženja azila u BiH dobilo besplatnu pravnu pomoć u nevladinoj organizaciji „Vaša prava“, uglavnom samci muškog pola, kažu u ovoj nevladinoj organizaciji specijalizovanoj za besplatnu pravnu pomoć. „Zastupamo ih u proceduri traženja azila na način da ih savjetujemo, informišemo i pomažemo u procesu registracije i intervjua. Ako dobiju azil, vodimo ih kroz proceduru ostvarivanja izbjegličkih prava. Ako Ministarstvo sigurnosti BiH, koje je nadležno za postupak azila, donese negativnu odluku, pišemo tužbu Sudu BiH“, pojašnjavaju u „Vašim pravima“. Napominju da je cilj svakog azilanta u BiH lična stvar. „Nezahvalno je govoriti o tome šta je njihov cilj u BiH jer ulazimo u suštinu individualnih slučajeva. Treba imati u vidu da je postupak azila tajan“, kažu u „Vašim pravima“ i napominju da pružanje pomoći iregularnim migrantima i tražiteljima azila nije nezakonita radnja.

 

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Conference "Psychological Support in the Security Sector" organized by IOM in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Conference on the topic of Psychological Support in the Security Sector, organized by IOM in cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is being held within the project PREVENTIVA, at the UN House on 27 February 2018. Numerous security sector representatives have the opportunity to gain insights into professional and peer psychological support provided to security professionals in their everyday duties.

 

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The projects "Cycling to Health" and "Youth Corner" presented by youth from Gornji Rahic and Maoca

The projects "Cycling to Health" and "Youth Corner" youth from Gornji Rahic and Maoca presented to project committee last weekend. Guided by the fact that youth is turning to technology rather than sports, as well as lack of space for socializing, youth will strive to improve their position in the community through these two projects. 

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The third MoviEQ workshop held in Novi Grad Sarajevo

Youth from the local communities of Sokolje and Zabrdje (Novi Grad Sarajevo) participated in the third MoviEQ workshop and through interesting content they had opportunity to acquire new skills of emotional intelligence and increase their level of integrative complexity, more complex view of the world. Throughout a four-day workshop, youth applied the techniques of active listening and conflict resolution, made video clips about conflicting sides, and to see the responsibility of the media in highlighting differences among various groups. The workshop ended thirteen participants and they received Cambridge University certificates. 

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