A total of 652 migrants outside temporary reception centers were identified in Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2022, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirmed for FENA, referring to the last, 15th round of the IOM system for tracking and monitoring internally displaced populations – Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).
A clear pattern of high mobility of the migrant population in BiH was observed. Compared to the previous round, the number of observed migrants is significantly higher, by 34.6%, which is in line with the growth in the number of migrants registered upon arrival in the country every week, according to data from the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the trend that has been observed throughout the Western Balkans.
Several factors can be the causes of the mentioned phenomena, including favorable weather conditions, but also the change in the dynamics of routes in connection with visa-free regimes, border management controls, and human trafficking and migrant smuggling networks.
“A large part of migrants staying outside the official temporary reception centers is located in border areas, especially at the border crossings with the European Union in the Una-Sana Canton (32.9%), while 25.5% was recorded in the Sarajevo Canton,” the IOM said.
When asked which countries migrants are coming from and what is the cause of the new influx, the IOM refers to its data from October 16, when most people from Afghanistan (49%), Burundi (34%) ), Pakistan (4%), Bangladesh (3%) and India (1%) were housed in the reception centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Outside the official temporary reception centers, the IOM displacement monitoring teams recorded the presence of migrants from Afghanistan (58%), Pakistan (12.5%), and Burundi (11.3%) in September.
IOM stated that Bosnia and Herzegovina has good accommodation capacity when it comes to housing migrants temporarily, that is, those people whose goal is not to stay here but to go to countries of the European Union.
There are currently four temporary reception centers for migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees, two in the Sarajevo Canton and two in the Una-Sana Canton, with a total of 4,577 beds. According to data from October 16, 2022, a total of 3,135 beds were filled.
IOM provides direct assistance in the form of accommodation, food, and non-food items, access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services, as well as protection assistance, including referrals to specialized services. IOM is also deploying mobile teams to reach migrants at transit point locations and will continue to support institutional capacity building for screening, registration, and assistance to vulnerable people in mixed migration flows, Fena news agency reports.