Presence of migrants outside temporary reception centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Round 11, March 2022 [EN/BS] – Bosnia and Herzegovina

On 24 March 2022, the eleventh joint data collection exercise was conducted by IOM in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Service (SFA), 1 and the support of the BiH Red Cross (RCSBH) to collect information on the number of migrants and asylum seekers2 present in the country. The purpose of the exercise was to provide an estimate of the migrant population (stock) that was not hosted or registered in any official temporary reception center (CRT) on a given date. Fourteen teams were deployed for a total of 39 investigators (27 men and 12 women), plus 11 SFA agents (8 men and 3 women), 13 RCSBH agents (8 men and 5 women). The data collection exercise was implemented in 7 cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FB-H) and in 5 regions of the entity Republika Srpska (RS). A total of 233 sites3 in 49 different municipalities were visited: 74 sites in 5 municipalities in the canton of Una-Sana, 44 sites in 6 municipalities in the canton of Sarajevo, 35 sites in 10 municipalities in the canton of Tuzla, 20 sites in 5 municipalities in Herzegovina – Neretva Canton, 4 sites in 4 municipalities in West Herzegovina Canton, 3 sites in 1 municipality in Bosnian Canton of Podrinje Goražde, 2 sites in 2 municipalities in Canton 10, 11 sites in Zvornik, 7 sites in Višegrad, 5 sites each in Vlasenica and Bijeljina, 4 sites in Kozarska Dubica, 3 sites each in Foča and Rudo, 2 sites each in Banja Luka,
Gradiška, Rogatica, Srbac and 1 location each in Milići, Kostajnica, Prijedor, Bratunac and Novi Grad (see map p.2).

DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE AND LOCATION

The total number of migrants observed in the places covered was 326, of whom 325 declared that they had not been accommodated in any of the official CRTs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The number of migrants observed in round 11 remains relatively low, in line with the previous round. This can be partly explained by the dynamics linked to migrant itineraries, which often involve a rapid change in these, which can lead to not covering all the places where migrants tend to usually reside. Therefore, in Round 11, a higher percentage of slots were found empty, increasing from 71% to 76.3%. Finally, as for the previous rounds, the number of migrants who declared that they were not accommodated in any reception center represents almost 100% of Round 11.

Pakistan (41.5%) and Afghanistan (25.5%) are the two main declared nationalities of observed persons residing outside the CVRs in Bosnia and Herzegovina5, followed by Morocco (6.5%), Iraq (5.8%), Islamic Republic of Iran (5.2%), Algeria (3.7%). Other nationalities reported include Bangladesh and the Syrian Arab Republic (2.5% each), Turkey (1.8%), Panama (1.5%), followed by Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, India, Libya, Palestinian Territories, Gambia,
Tunisia with less than 1 percent each. For the first time since the start of the data exercise in March 2021, Afghan nationals are not the top nationality with a drop of almost 11%, while Pakistani nationals have increased significantly by more than 17%. Additionally, Panama and Ivory Coast nationals were mapped for the first time in Round 11, indicating that there is a constant shift in nationalities and routes taken. At the same time, it is interesting to note that no Cuban nationals were mapped during this exercise, unlike the previous one. However, they are reported as the third major nationality registered in reception centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with 5% of the total, followed by Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Data disaggregated by sex and age show that most migrants outside the RTCs are adult men (295), followed by adult women (11), boys (10) and girls (9).

Overall, adult males make up 91% of the identified migrant population outside the CRTs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the highest percentage since the first round conducted in March 2021.

For the first time, Afghanistan is not the main nationality declared by migrant children with a drop of 26% compared to the previous cycle. Instead, most children come from Iraq (42%), followed by the Syrian Arab Republic (26%), Afghanistan (16%), the Islamic Republic of Iran (11%) and the Morocco (5%).

On the type of places covered, unlike the previous round, most of the migrants observed were in abandoned buildings (34.4%), outdoor places, including bus and train stations (28.3%), housing which they can use for free (16.6%), paid private accommodation (7.7%), barracks or makeshift tents (7.4%), paid hostels (3%) and others (2.5%) . Interestingly, the percentage of migrants mapped in barracks or makeshift tents is significantly higher than in the previous cycle by over 6%. This is probably due to more favorable weather conditions. According to the methodology used, migrants residing in paying hostels are counted in the number of people not residing in official TRCs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, it should be noted that accommodation is available in the CRTs. Migrants may decide not to reside in the CVRs, despite the best efforts of IOM, SFA and other humanitarian actors to inform them of the assistance available in the CVRs

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