STATEMENT by the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the latest developments with the migrant, refugee and asylum-seeker situation in BiH

The UN is deeply concerned about yet another potential humanitarian situation unfolding in some parts of the country due to the lack of shelter options for several thousand migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers.

In 2020, the United Nations continued to work and support the authorities and the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to address the complexities that arose due to the migrant, refugee and asylum-seeker situation.

The United Nations acknowledges the efforts invested by the people, communities and authorities at all levels to respond to needs of these vulnerable groups. At the same time, we recognize that effective responses to the multiple challenges – whether with the pandemic or the management of the mixed movement – are based on solidarity, coordination and cooperation.

The UN is deeply concerned about yet another potential humanitarian situation unfolding in some parts of the country due to the lack of shelter options for several thousand migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers. They are currently exposed to low temperatures and inclement weather, with no access to basic services. In addition, they remain exposed to the many risks related to COVID 19.

In this regard, we call on the authorities to urgently take on their leadership roles in a timely and coordinated manner.

Quick action is needed to address these immediate emergency needs. But equally, attention must be given to generate joint decisions and policies that will deliver a dignified, human-rights centered, long-term solution. In this regard, the UN urges BiH to adopt without delay a comprehensive strategy and plan directed at promoting and protecting human rights of people on the move, including a core minimum standards of health, housing, social protection and education.

BIH has assumed responsibilities in terms of international treaties; to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights obligations. It is welcome that BiH adopted the Global Compact for Refugees (GCR) and endorsed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). They provide BiH with the established rule of law governing refugees and migration and treating all such persons in line with international human rights standards and with dignity and respect.

The UN stands with the people and institutions of BiH in this regard, including through the provision of technical support, capacity building and other practical guidance on the human rights protection of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in vulnerable situations and the Organization furthermore commits itself to helping generate a viable long-term strategy.

Media Contacts
UN entities involved in this initiative
IOM
International Organization for Migration
UNHCR
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees