Asylum and Integration are Possible in Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 March 2023
UNHCR Participatory Assessment Report 2022 states feedback from asylum-seekers and refugees
Despite lengthy asylum procedures and disputable decisions taken on protection status, integration prospects are possible in Bosnia and Herzegovina states the UNHCR Participatory Assessment 2022 Report that was presented today. The report that highlights the feedback received from a representative sample of refugees and asylum seekers answers whether BiH can be considered as a long-term solution for people in need of international protection.
“My plan was only to pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina, not to stay. I didn’t even know it was possible to seek asylum here… I feel comfortable here. People are nice,” said an asylum-seeker from Afghanistan during the Participatory Assessment process in 2022.
The report is developed through a participatory process, where people who might be interested in asylum in BIH or people who were already granted international protection status were actively involved in identifying and prioritizing their needs. The report reflects their collective aspirations, concerns, and vision for their community, which makes it unique.
“This report is the result of months of hard work and collaboration between the refugee community and UNHCR team. We have listened to their concerns, identified their needs, and together, we have developed strategies to address them,” said Lucie Gagné, UNHCR Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Participatory Assessment is a valuable tool for refugee community development because it provides a clear understanding of the community’s needs and priorities. It’s also a platform for UNHCR, authorities at all levels, international community and civil society partners to come together and work towards a common goal. By involving the refugee community in the process, a trust and ownership in the humanitarian programmes is being built, which is essential for the protection and integration prospects of asylum-seekers and persons granted international protection.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country where life worthy of a human being is possible to build and that is the most important for my family and myself,” is one of the feedbacks received by an asylum-seeker from Iran during the participatory assessment process.
By promoting inclusive and participatory processes, the Participatory Assessment report contributes to the realization of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which emphasizes the importance of active participation and engagement of all individuals in the decision-making processes that affect their lives. This is of a particular importance as in 2023 the United Nations are marking 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Participatory Assessment Report 2022 serves as a roadmap for addressing the needs of asylum seekers and persons granted international protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ensuring they receive the support necessary for a safe and dignified life.