Protection for vulnerable refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In 2020, 9,000 refugees – primarily from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan – travelled to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The refugee camps are overflowing and the Covid-19 crisis has further exacerbated the situation. In the canton of Una-Sana along the border with Croatia, Solidar Suisse ensures that vulnerable refugees – unaccompanied minors, children and women – get adequate shelter and treatment.

Authorities under strain

Every day, people are forced to undertake the dangerous journey to Europe due to the precarious economic and security situation in their home countries. Although the Balkan route is officially closed, many refugees are stranded in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The refugees in Bosnia  have nearly no prospect of crossing the Croatian border into the EU. Refugees who try to cross nonetheless are immediately returned to Bosnia by the Croatian border police. As a result, there are thousands of people in overcrowded camps in the border canton of Una-Sana who have no information on how to apply for asylum. The food supply and sanitation facilities are inadequate and there is no security, healthcare provision or psychosocial support. The local authorities are overwhelmed and unaccompanied minors and families with children do not receive the protection and support that they need. Many have experienced violence before they fled or during their journey or have lost relatives.

Flüchtlinge in Bosnien formulieren ihre Zukunftsträume Flüchtlinge in Bosnien formulieren ihre Zukunftsträume

Young refugees and their dream jobs. © Solidar Suisse

Protecting the most vulnerable

Our partner organisation Women from Una (in Bosnian. Žene sa Une) has a presence in several centres for refugees. It informs people about government services and directs people to legal advisory agencies. It provides psychosocial support to traumatised people. Experts work with persons affected to develop personalised strategies to reduce their levels of stress and to promote their wellbeing. Unaccompanied children and victims of sexual and gender-based violence receive protection in special accommodation. In all shelters, regular meetings are organised for refugees to learn about abuses and equip them to take action against them. This strengthens the sense of community. As many refugees have to remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a long time, Solidar Suisse helps them to integrate socially. This reduces tensions between refugees and locals.

Donation for refugees

Your donation will support particularly vulnerable refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order for them to receive urgently needed support.

Your donation

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