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Migrant Presence Outside Temporary Reception Centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina - Round 11, March 2022 [EN/BS]

Bosnia y Herzegovina
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On 24 March 2022, the eleventh joint data collection exercise was conducted by IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), together with the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs (SFA), 1 and the support of the Red Cross Society BIH (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 estimation of the migrant population (stock) that was not accommodated or registered in any official Temporary Reception Centres (TRCs) at any given date. Fourteen teams were deployed for a total of 39 enumerators (27 males and 12 females), plus 11 SFA staff (8 males and 3 females), 13 RCSBH staff (8 males and 5 females). The data collection exercise was implemented in 7 Cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and in 5 regions in the Republika Srpska (RS) entity. A total of 233 locations3 in 49 different municipalities were visited: 74 locations in 5 municipalities in Una-Sana Canton, 44 locations in 6 municipalities in Sarajevo Canton, 35 locations in 10 municipalities in Tuzla Canton, 20 locations in 5 municipalities in Herzegovina – Neretva Canton, 4 locations in 4 municipalities in West Herzegovina Canton, 3 locations in 1 municipality in Bosnian Podrinje Goražde Canton, 2 locations in 2 municipalities in Canton 10, 11 locations in Zvornik, 7 locations in Višegrad, 5 locations each in Vlasenica and Bijeljina, 4 locations in Kozarska Dubica, 3 locations each in Foča and Rudo, 2 locations each in Banja Luka,
Gradiška, Rogatica, Srbac, and 1 location each in Milići, Kostajnica, Prijedor, Bratunac and Novi Grad (see Map on p.2).


The total number of migrants observed in the locations covered was 326, out of which 325 stated that they were not accommodated in any of the official TRCs in BiH.

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 related to migrants’ routes which often imply a rapid change of the same which can lead to not covering all the locations where migrants tend to habitually reside. Therefore, in Round 11 a higher percentage of locations were found empty, going from 71 to 76.3 per cent. Lastly, as for previous rounds, the number of migrants who declared that they were not hosted in any reception centre represents almost the 100 per cent in Round 11.

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

Sex and age disaggregated data show that most migrants outside TRCs are adult males (295), followed by adult female (11), boys (10) and girls (9).

Overall, adult males represent 91 per cent of the migrant population identified outside TRCs in BiH, which is the highest percentage since the first round conducted in March 2021.

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

On the type of locations covered, unlike the previous round most of the migrants observed were found in abandoned buildings (34.4%), outside locations including bus and train stations (28.3%), private accommodation that they can use for free (16.6%), paid private accommodation (7.7%), makeshift barracks or tents (7.4%), paid hostels (3%) and others (2.5%). Interestingly, the percentage of migrants mapped into makeshift barracks or tents is significantly higher than in the previous round by more than 6 per cent. This is likely due to more favorable weather conditions. According to the methodology used, migrants residing in paid hostels are counted in the number of people who do not reside in official TRCs in BiH.

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