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 August 2019)

     

    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.

     

  • SAOPŠTENJE ZA MEDIJE / PRESS RELEASE

     

    (Sarajevo, 09th September 2019) – Within the EU funded project 'EU Support to Migration and Border Management in BiH' the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Red Cross signed an Agreement for food provision to refugees and asylum seekers in the Refugee Centre Salakovac.  The EU will fund the staff of the Red Cross of the City of Mostar, as well as the provision, preparation and delivery food.

     

  • VACANCY For a senior migration advisor in the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina EU’s Pre-Accession Assistance Project (IPA 2019)

     

    Senior Advisor for Migration management

    Number of employees: 1

    Status: consultancy contract

    Length of contract: the temporary post is foreseen for a period of 12 months starting from October 2019 with a possibility of prolongation, if needed.

    The senior advisor will reinforce the office of the Ministry of Security (MoS) by providing guidance and advice to the MoS and the relevant implementing Agencies in managing increased migration flows.

    Deadline for applications: 23 September 2019

     

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

     

    IOM’s Migration Response (as of July 2019)

  • EU donated two vans to Service for Foreigners’ affairs (SAOPĆENJE ZA MEDIJE / PRESS RELEASE)

     

    (Sarajevo, 20. august 2019. godine.) - Evropska unija je nedavno obezbijedila dodatnih 14,8 miliona eura bespovratnih sredstava za nastavak podrške Bosni i Hercegovini u oblasti migracija i upravljanja granicama u kontekstu povećanog broja migranata i izbjeglica prisutnih u zemlji od kraja 2017. godine.

    To uključuje 13 miliona eura podrške za upravljanje migracijama - za koje je nedavno potpisan Sporazum o implementaciji sa Međunarodnom organizacijom za migracije (IOM) i 1,8 miliona eura humanitarne pomoći koju pruža Evropska komisija za humanitarnu pomoć i odjel za civilnu zaštitu (ECHO).

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    (Sarajevo, 20th August 2019) – The European Union has recently allocated additional €14.8 million in grants to continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina in migration and border management in the context of the increased number of refugees and migrants present in the country since the end of 2017.

    This includes €13 million of support to migration management - for which an implementation agreement has been signed recently with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and €1.8 million of humanitarian aid provided by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).

     

     

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". 

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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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