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 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
The meeting started with a virtual introduction given by Mr Sacha Chan Kam, Senior Regional Migrant Protection and Assistance Specialist. The welcoming remarks by Mr Peter Van der Auweraert, Sub Regional Coordinator WB and Chief of Mission BIH followed. Then there was an overview of AVRR from the Western Balkans given by Mrs Donatella Bradic, Migration Management Team Leader followed by an open discussion. Event outlined the main opportunities and challenges in the future such as:
- To streamline return process and reinforce links with Countries of Origin
- To further embed the AVRR approach within beneficiaries' administrative structures
- To further exchange approaches to return and reintegration with other regions experiencing mixed migration flows
- To reinforce the reintegration spectrum both at individual and community level
- To strengthen return management ensuring AVRR is available – making return increasingly a choice
- Migrants set to and continue to be willing to embark on their journey to the EU
- Finding the balance between Reintegration Assistance in the EU and Reintegration Assistance back in Countries of Origin
- Keep up and maintaining-innovating the communication medium
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fourth MoviEQ workshop, supported by the Islamic Community in Bugojno, as a continuation of activities implemented by IOM, through the project "Community Based Approach to Support Youth in Targeted Municipalities in BiH" was held in Bugojno.