At the end of 2017, Bosnia and Herzegovina started seeing an increase number of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers arriving to the country. In 2018, the Ministry of Security (MoS) recorded 24,067 migrant and refugee arrivals, compared to 755 in the whole of 2017. In 2019, 29,124 arrivals were recorded, and the trend continued throughout 2020 with 16,150 migrant arrivals registered in BiH. In 2021, 15,740 migrant arrivals were registered while in 2022 the number was 27,429.
The composition of the migration flows is mixed, with top declared countries of origin being Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Morocco and Syria. While the vast majority is single men, there are also families with children, elderly, unaccompanied migrant children, and other vulnerable categories.
In the context of the increased number of migrants transiting through the country since the end of 2017, IOM seeks to support the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to effectively manage a protection-sensitive reception system that is in line with international standards and that provide living conditions where the dignity of those accommodated is maintained and their basic needs met.
As the lead agency for the Inter-Agency Migration Response in BiH and sector lead on Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), IOM worked closely with the Ministry of Security (MoS) and the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs (SFA) in the management of temporary reception centres (TRCs), managing up to seven reception centres, in Sarajevo Canton (SC) and Una-Sana Canton (USC), providing accommodation to more than 8,000 people at a time.
At the moment, there are four remaining reception centres in the country, with 4,592 available beds.
Parallelly IOM cooperates with BiH authorities furthering the plan for a transition to a state-owned migration response. The plan aims to progressively transfer management of TRCs to the SFA and has started in 2021 with direct management of TRC Lipa. To this aim, capacity building and on-the-job trainings were organized with the SFA and other key agencies, to strengthen systems for data collection and ensure protection-sensitive assistance.
Una Sana Canton:
- Borici Temporary Reception Centre in City of Bihac for families and vulnerable migrants re-opened in December 2018 following complete renovation.
- Lipa Temporary Reception Centre in Una-Sana Canton is managed by the Service for Foreigners Affairs (SFA), with support from IOM and partners.
- Usivak Temporary Reception Centre in Hadžići Municipality for single men, families and vulnerable migrants opened in October 2018.
- Blažuj Temporary Reception Centre in Sarajevo Canton, started providing provisional accommodation solutions during the winter in 2019.
In these four reception centres, IOM has dedicated CCCM staff (centre managers, centre administrators, registration staff, protection and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) staff, centre assistants, cultural mediators, and others. The BiH Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies is in charge of security management in reception centres from April 2022.
IOM CCCM coordinate the service provision in each centre, and work to increase the Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) and participation of the migrant population in the daily life of the centres. Together with partners, IOM has established community representation structures, complaint and feedback mechanisms, as well as info centres to enable participation of communities in the decision making at the reception centre level and open channels for two – way communication with beneficiaries.
For more detailed information of each centre, please see the below Monthly Site Profiles.
- September 2023
The Site Profiles are prepared by IOM on behalf of the Inter-Agency Response shortly after the close of each month, reflecting the situation in the reception centres during the previous month or a snapshot from the last day of the month. Is your organization contributing to one or several of the sectors but not included in the Site Profiles? If you want to contribute to the Site Profiles, please fill out and submit this template before the fifth of each month to IOMSJJMISSION@iom.int.