News in English     | 22.03.2023. 18:09 |

UNHCR report for 2022 - Asylum and integration are possible in Bosnia and Herzegovina

FENA Vernera Jakupović, Photo: Amer Kajmović

SARAJEVO, March 22 (FENA) - Asylum and integration are possible in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was the key message from the report presented today by the UNHCR in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which refers to the assessment of the situation in this area in 2022, which is based on the feedback from asylum seekers and refugees.

Despite lengthy asylum procedures and disputable decisions taken on protection status, integration prospects are possible in Bosnia and Herzegovina, states the UNHCR Participatory Assessment 2022 Report that was presented today.

The report that highlights the feedback received from a representative sample of refugees and asylum seekers answers whether BiH can be considered as a long-term solution for people in need of international protection.

The report also highlights key challenges and gives a number of recommendations to the international community and the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The UNHCR representative in BiH, Lucie Gagné, expressed hope that the recommended measures will be translated into concrete actions for the ultimate goal - a better life for refugees.

"This report is the result of months of hard work and cooperation between the refugee community and the UNHCR team. We listened to the refugees' concerns, identified their needs and together developed strategies to address them," says Gagné.

According to her, the presentation of the report is quite important for UNHCR since it is based on the comments, wishes and desires of the refugees themselves because "if we really want to hear what the real problems of asylum seekers are, we should also listen to them in order to build mutual trust in the process".

The "Report on the assessment of the situation through active participation and contribution in 2022", as is its full official name, is a valuable tool for the development of the refugee community because it provides a clear understanding of needs and priorities. It is also a platform for the necessary joint action of UNHCR, authorities at all levels in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the international community and civil society, UNHCR said.

The inclusion of the refugee community in the process builds trust and ownership of humanitarian programs, which is of key importance for the protection and integration opportunities of asylum seekers and persons granted international protection, it was also stated.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country where life worthy of a human being is possible to build and that is the most important for my family and myself,” is one of the feedbacks received by an asylum-seeker from Iran during the participatory assessment process.

“My plan was only to pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina, not to stay. I didn’t even know it was possible to seek asylum here… I feel comfortable here. People are nice,” said an asylum-seeker from Afghanistan during the Participatory Assessment process in 2022.

By promoting inclusive and participatory processes, the Participatory Assessment report contributes to the realization of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which emphasizes the importance of active participation and engagement of all individuals in the decision-making processes that affect their lives.

This is of particular importance as in 2023 the United Nations are marking the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Participatory Assessment Report 2022 serves as a roadmap for addressing the needs of asylum seekers and persons granted international protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ensuring they receive the support necessary for a safe and dignified life.

(FENA) S. R.

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