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Commissioner Mijatovic welcomes the closure of the “Vučjak” migrant camp in Bosnia Herzegovina

Statement
Strasbourg 11/12/2019
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The improvised migrant camp “Vučjak” near Bihać that is being dismantled following the relocation of migrants to Ušivak and Blažuj near Sarajevo on 10 Dec 19.  © Snezana Mitrovic

The improvised migrant camp “Vučjak” near Bihać that is being dismantled following the relocation of migrants to Ušivak and Blažuj near Sarajevo on 10 Dec 19. © Snezana Mitrovic

I welcome the closure of the improvised camp “Vučjak” near Bihać where migrants and asylum seekers had been languishing for months in absolutely dire conditions. This much-needed closure was made possible thanks to co-operation between the state and the Una-Sana and the Sarajevo canton authorities, and to the committed work of various humanitarian and international organisations engaged on this issue. I have also noted that almost all the people living in the camp accepted to be relocated without any resistance.

I applaud the dedication of the staff of the Red Cross of Bosnia and Herzegovina who had been doing their best to meet the basic humanitarian needs of the migrants in the extremely difficult and inhumane conditions in “Vučjak “. I also praise the important work of the many NGOs, INGOs and volunteers, some of whom I met during my recent visit, who have worked tirelessly to provide this population with the much needed assistance and protection.

This development is a wakeup call for the new Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina to assume full responsibility for migration issues and ensure that the human rights of refugees and migrants, including asylum seekers, are respected. This should be done in close co-operation with the international community and civil society actors. My dialogue with the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina on these issues will continue.