First module of the workshop for parents within the framework of the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in BiH" was held in Tuzla. The goal of the workshop is to strengthen the local community and to encourage young people to become active members of society, for which parents' support is needed; 16 parents pointed their readiness and desire to transfer all that they have learned in their daily lives.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another group of youth from Buzim, at the third MoviEQ workshop in this community, learned about the development of integrative complexity, emotions and management of them, communication, active listening, conflicts and their resolution and management, and many other topics.
Today, the IOM Chief of Mission, Peter Van der Auweraert, took delivery of the first office furniture to accommodate the new colleagues who will join IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina in December in the frame of the new USAID/OTI funded project on the prevention of violent extremism. In a second phase, also existing office furniture will be replaced.
The Ambassador of Norwegian Embassy in Sarajevo, H.E. Guri Rusten, and the Chief of IOM Mission Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Peter Van der Auweraert, signed the agreement for the project “Strengthening Institutional Capacities for Referral Mechanisms for the Prevention of Violent Extremism” on 15 November 2017.
Twenty fathers, participants of the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" from Prijedor, Bužima, Bugojno Jablanica, Foca and Gornji Rahića/Maoče, last weekend participated at the workshop “Strengthening parenting skills", which is focused on the development of self-confidence in children and youth, educational styles, communication with children and youth, non-violent conflict resolution, adolescence.
On the 31st of October, 2017, IOM facilitated a Coordination Meeting of Heads of Border Police in Budva, Montenegro. This one-day meeting is one in a series of regular coordination meetings between Border Police Directorates in the Western Balkans supported by IOM, in which representatives present and exchange updated information related to the migration situation in each respective country in order to enhance coordination on shared migration challenges in the region.
Months of work and effort of youth from Buzim was made official by signing of the contract between IOM and two informal groups of youth who worked on the preparation of the idea to build a street workout park and workshop rooms for youth called "Rahat zona" in the local community Radoc. These activities are a continuation of the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", implemented by IOM and supported by the USAID Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Embassy Sarajevo and the Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
IOM’s Sub-regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans, Mr. Peter Van Der Auweraert, gave an interview at Al Jazeera Balkans regarding the issue of the increased entry of irregular migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina.