The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic expressed her conviction that the Bosnian authorities would reach an agreement on the issue of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina which should be resolved in accordance with the human rights.
In her letter to the Bosnian Council of Ministers, Mijatovic said that according to her information, only the asylum centre in Trnovo was used for the housing of asylum seekers so far, but that the Salakovac asylum centre was never used.
She pointed out that according to the UNHCR’s data 1,138 migrants entered Bosnia while only 253 asylum requests have been submitted from January 1st to March 31st, adding that their requests must be processed justly and efficiently.
Mijatovic expressed her concerns because many refugees and migrants including families with children are sleeping in the streets and don’t have regular access to food.
“It seems that this is happening due to lack of a systemic response by the Bosnian authorities to the humanitarian needs of these persons,” Mijatovic concluded, adding that medical attention was provided only to the persons residing in Trnovo asylum centre.
She also noticed that civil society organizations, humanitarian and international organisations as well as ordinary citizens are providing help to the migrants but stressed that the authorities must take responsibility and fulfil their obligations in an efficient and systemic manner.
“The authorities must urgently provide adequate housing to all the refugees and migrants, including the asylum seekers. In my opinion that would logically imply the use of the unused Salakovac asylum centre,” Mijatovic wrote.
Mijatovic pointed out that ever since the Bosnian Security Ministry adopted plans for extraordinary situation related to migrations in 2015, the situation has since changed and the number of readmitted migrants from Croatia to Bosnia has increased, which is why many migrants remained in Bosnia.
Seeing that the Bosnian authorities expressed their intent to increase border control in order to prevent the arrival of migrants to the country, she stressed that it is paramount that all the persons requesting international protection in Bosnia be provided with the possibility to do so.