Bosnia and Herzegovina: SRSG report published mission report on current state of affairs in reception facilities and camps across the country. Recommendations given.

Context:

  • Currently, Bosnia and Herzegovina confronted with 9,000-10,000 migrants mostly in the north-western part  
  • IOM: 4,000-5,3000 migrants currently live in “rough” conditions
  • Although additional accommodation was provided in light of the closure of Bira and Lipa reception center and camp, overcrowding presents serious health and safety risks, particularly in light of COVID-19

The report, drafted by SRSG on Migration and Refugees:

  • Based on interviews with authorities, personal observations and quantitative date provided by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Migration and Refugees, Ambassador Drahoslav Štefánek
  • Time frame: 24-30 January 2021 as well as following weeks
  • Štefánek visited 5 reception facilities and camps  
  • Aim: to provide an overview of the current situation of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers with special focus on vulnerable persons including families, children and unaccompanied children or minors
  • Focus on adequate provision of human rights, i.e. reception conditions, treatment and access to asylum

Findings:

  • Overall, findings point to “harsh and dire” conditions in Lipa emergency military tent camp that need to be alleviated
  • Crisis of winter worsened situation further, although no casualties or serious health harm cases were recorded
  • “the establishment of a solid foundation for a sustainable solution in the Bihac area is essential”

Recommendations:

  • Support needed in developing and implemented a national policy capable of structuring and coordinating the country’s institutional response to migratory phenomena
  • Call for financial support by The Council of Europe’s Development Bank
  • Enhancement of provision of necessary support services, including accommodation (also for unaccompanied children), food supply and COVID-19 prevention

 

 

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