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

  • Call for expression of interest for all interested media agencies specialized in digital/social media marketing

     

    Call for expression of interest

    for

    all interested media agencies specialized in digital/social media marketing

    for an

    IOM INFO CAMPAIGN WITHIN THE PROJECT “ASISTED VOLUNTARY RETURN AND REINTEGRATION (AVRR) OF MIGRANTS IN THE WESTERN BALKANS”

     

  • IOM’s Migration Response (as of September 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.

     

  • Zajednička izjava / Joint Statement

     

    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.          

    * * *

    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.

     

  • SAOPŠTENJE ZA MEDIJE / PRESS RELEASE

     

    (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.

     

  • SAOPŠTENJE ZA MEDIJE / PRESS RELEASE

     

    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.

     

Latest Vacancy

Increased entry of irregular migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Interview of Mr. Peter Van Der Auweraert - at Al Jazeera Balkans

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.
 

English

Second Community Dialogue was held in Bužim

Second Community Dialogue, an activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", was held in Bužim. The youth from the local communities Lubarda, Vrhovska and Čava pointed the problems they are facing – the lack of space for their activities, passivity, lack of interest from local leaders and managing structures for solving problems

English

Launch of "Little kindergarten" presented to the residents of local communities Gornji Rahic and Maoca and to the selected commission

Launch of "Little kindergarten" – workshop for pupils and children of preschool age, the first activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was presented to the residents of local communities Gornji Rahic and Maoca and to the selected commission. 

English

Second Community Dialogue was held with youth from Gradisce, Smajici and several other local communities in Zenica

Second Community Dialogue, an activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was held with youth from Gradisce, Smajici and several other local communities in Zenica. With the support of IOM's local coordinators, they presented two projects to be implemented in Gradisce, and one for the local community of Smajici.

English

UN Migration Agency Marks 11th EU Anti-Trafficking Day with New Data, Analysis on Human Trafficking

Counter-Trafficking Work

IOM has been working to counter trafficking in persons since 1994. In this time, we have assisted over 90,000 trafficked persons. Ensuring freedom and a chance at a new life, IOM’s assistance can include accommodation in places of safety, medical and psychosocial support, skills development and vocational training, reintegration assistance, and the options of voluntary, safe and dignified return to countries of origin, integration in the country of destination, or resettlement to third countries when needed.

English

Second Community Dialogue was held with youth in Urije, and several other local communities in Prijedor

Second Community Dialogue, an activity within the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina", was held with youth in Urije, and several other local communities in Prijedor. With the support of IOM’s local coordinators, the youth identified the problems in their communities, and ways for those to be solved - and they suggested projects related to sports and ecology.These activities implemented by IOM are supported by the USAID Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Embassy Sarajevo and the Embassy of the Republic of Italy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

English

FINAL REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE - Sub-regional consultative event in the Western Balkans on the Global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (Sarajevo, 29 June 2017)

The sub-regional consultative event on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in the Western Balkans, held in Sarajevo on 29 June 2017, built up on a series of six national informational events that presented the respective Global Compacts for Migration and for Refugees. The national events were facilitated by IOM and UNHCR, in close cooperation with the Governments in the region and other relevant stakeholders. 

English

10th Symposium of Prosecutors of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The IOM BiH was participant and co-organizer of the Panel 3, as the part of the 10th Symposium of Prosecutors of Bosnia and Herzegovina where Peter Van der Auweaert, IOM Subregional Coordinator for the Western Balkans spoke on Cultural sensitive care of victims of trafficking and what IOM learned from the Western Balkans migration crisis when it comes to human trafficking.

English