People on the move in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Last update : June 2023
Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

The route from Serbia through Bosnia and Herzegovina or via Montenegro to Bosnia and from there on to Croatia towards Italy is one of the main routes across the Balkan Peninsula towards the EU. The capital of Sarajevo is one of the main transit points. There is one big official camp there for single men (Blazuj) and one for families and unaccompanied minors (Ušivak). Both are a little bit outside the city center.
To go to Croatia, most of the people go to the north by bus, for example to the cities of Bihać and Velika Kladuša and others. Some years ago it was common practice that police would stop the busses at the border of the Una Sana Canton in the city of Kljuc. Everyone without valid documents had to get off the bus but this has not happened since summer 2022. There is one big camp in Una Sana Canton, it is in the mountains more than 25k away from Bihać. In beginning of 2023, a separated section for detention was created in Lipa camp but it is not being used that. This might change (last update May 2023). If you’re registered in the camp you get a camp ID, this is only for the camp administration, it is not an official document and does not mean that you’re in the asylum procedure.

Over the past years, violent pushbacks from Croatia to Bosnia are common. People have also been pushed back from Slovenia to Croatia and from there to Bosnia. Croatian police can be very violent and they also steal money, destroy phones and power banks.
In 2022, Croatian police started to give people a 7 day paper that allowed them to pass through Croatia, but some others were still pushed back.
In 2023 Croatia became official member of Schengen zone, meaning there are no official border controls between Croatia and Slovenia anymore but police still patrols the border area with Slovenia.

WARNING: the rivers between Bosnia and Croatia (Sava) but also between Serbia and Bosnia (Drina) are very dangerous, especially in winter and if it’s raining.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is not part of EU. The economic situation is bad and it is difficult to find work, also for people from Bosnia and many of them migrate to the EU too. From 1992-1995 there was a brutal war in Bosnia and until today there is a division into the Serb dominated entity Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH.
To enter asylum procedure in BiH, a procedure needs to be initiated right after arrival to the country. The asylum procedure itself is very slow and the number of people who receive protection is quite low. Bosnia, under pressure of the EU, is working on more deportation agreements with other countries. So far there is a return agreement with Pakistan but only very few people were deported, and the agreement is not really implemented. That might change in the future (last update May 2023). More information on deportation here.