IOM - UN Migration Agency

Established in 1951, the IOM is the leading inter-governmental organisation in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners in the field of migration. The IOM has 146 member states, 13 observer states and offices in over 100 countries. The IOM works to ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international co-operation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. Its activities also include the promotion of international migration law, policy debate and guidance, protection of migrants' rights, migration health and the gender dimension of migration. The IOM maintains close working relationships with UN bodies and operational agencies and other international and non-governmental organisations.

IOM Presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina

IOM began its operations in Sarajevo in 1992, during the war in the former Yugoslavia.  In collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), IOM established the MEDEVAC programme to evacuate war-wounded individuals who could not be treated locally. The Yugoslav conflict destroyed the country’s social and economic infrastructure and forced over half of BiH’s citizens to leave their homes. Following the end of the war, IOM expanded its activities to help the return of refugees and to assist BiH nationals to resettle in third countries. Today, the return of BiH nationals and a rise in illegal migration, such as human trafficking and smuggling, the reintegration of discharged military personnel and the management of migration, make migration a major challenge for BiH’s post-conflict recovery and development.

IOM’s programmes address these new challenges, by providing assistance in preventing irregular migration, in stopping the trafficking of human beings, and by contributing to national development and helping the BiH Government manage migration flows.