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

  • IOM’s Migration Response (as of June 2019)

     

    IOM’s Migration Response (as of June 2019)

  • 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.  

    * * *

    (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.

     

     

Latest Vacancy

The first module of the second Community Dialogue was held in Capljina

The first module of the second Community Dialogue was held in Capljina. Youth from local communities Bivolje Brdo, Domanovici and Oplicici pointed to the problems they are facing. After discussing potential solutions, it was decided that two projects would be implemented in the coming period, one is "Procurement of equipment for cultural and artistic society", and the other "Procurement of sports equipment for pupils from 1st to 5th grade". 

English

Contract signed by the representatives of two youth groups from Foca and representatives of IOM ("Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina")

The contracts on the implementation of the projects "Construction of multipurpose sports grounds in Jezerine" and "Arranging area around monumental medieval tombstones and arranging promenade near lake" were signed yesterday by the representatives of two youth groups from Foca and representatives of IOM. 

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Meeting with Semiha Borovac, Minister of Human Rights and Refugees

During the courtesy visit and working meeting with Semiha Borovac, Minister of Human Rights and Refugees, Peter Van Der Auweraert, IOM Chief of Mission in BiH spoke about the necessity to have as many BiH institutions on board with the goal to issue adequate response to the migrant crisis and influx of migrants to the country, which is becoming larger.

It was emphasized that the priority now is to secure additional accommodation and protection for migrants, especially when it comes to most vulnerable population, like families, unaccompanied minors, marginalized groups.. Van der Auweraert also said that in order to receive international aid, it is necessary for Bosnia and Herzegovina to adopt clear plan of action when it comes to increased migrant influx. Such plan is being drafted and we are expecting a discussion at the BiH Council of Ministers about the mentioned topic.

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Press release / Saopštenje za medije

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) steps up its response to the ongoing arrivals of migrants and refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina

27th December 2017, SARAJEVO – During the past days Bosnia and Herzegovina has faced increased influx of irregular migrants that are arriving to its eastern border with Montenegro. The latest arrivals originate mostly from North Africa, through Greece, Albania, on through Montenegro to Trebinje. They arrive in small groups composed predominantly of single adult men.  From 01st January to 26 December 2017, the BiH Border police detained a total of 735 irregular migrants, which compare to total figures for 2016 of less than 100 irregular migrants. This represents a significant increase and has put the capacity of the relevant authorities and national aid agencies such as the Red Cross under strain. In response, IOM, in line with its mandate as the UN Migration Agency, has stepped up its efforts to assist them, in collaboration with other UN agencies.

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