International humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres – MSF) urged the Bosnian authorities to close the temporary migrant centre Vucjak in northern Bosnia, saying it is an inhumane and dangerous place and it is only a matter of time before migrants start dying there.
MSF warned that thousands of people staying here could dye without adequate shelter and other necessities.
“Vucjak is a dangerous and inhumane place and no human being should live like that. People from Vucjak come to our clinics in flip-flops, without socks or jackets and many of them suffer from respiratory problems and skin diseases caused by horrible living conditions,” MSF Coordinator Nihal Osman said. “It is heartbreaking to see or treat those people, knowing they will have to go back to the tent and sleep on the ground. It is unacceptable to hear that the camp will remain open. It should be closed as soon as possible.”
The group noted they also treated sexual violence victims.
The Doctors Without Borders have been present in the Balkans for the past years. In cooperation with Bosnian authorities, they treated over 60 patients daily, at two locations.
“The people in migrant camps are unregistered, they don't have access to any services and they're exposed to dangers. Our response is envisaged so that we could reach the group that needs us the most. Unless the authorities provide those people with safe, adequate winter accommodation and services, it's only a matter of time we start seeing people die,” Osman noted.
Local authorities in the Una-Sana Canton decided to limit the freedom of movement of migrants in this Canton and to limit their accommodation in the Bira and Miral migrant centres in this north-western region of Bosnia.
Official data said there are around 5,200 migrants staying there.