Camps and illegal pushbacks in Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s geopolitical situation as a non-EU state bordering #Croatia and the EU’s militarization of its borders causes disastrous circumstances for refugees taking the #Balkan route or escaping the dire conditions in #Greece. By promoting the vision of membership and providing financial assistance, the #EU lures the #Bosnian government into executing the Union’s migration policy. The weak political system and internal tensions make dealing with the situation difficult resulting in illegal #pushbacks and inhumane refugee camps.


#humanrights Groups have reported on Croatian policemen escorting refugees across the border, forcing them back into #Bosnia and Herzegovina. Such pushbacks strip refugees of their right to claim asylum and breach EU asylum law, EU Charter as well as the Geneva convention. According to the Geneva Convention individuals ought not to be punished for crossing territories when seeking asylum. However, border monitoring organisations have collected testimonies of violence being used against individuals on the move. Human Rights Watch for example reports that people are being sent back without shoes, mobile phones and money.


Despite the EU financial means which amount to 88 million euros flowing from, the camps in which refugees are housed, do not meet basic human conditions. The #Lipa camp, which was erected due to the COVID-19 outbreak, neither had running water nor electricity and the hygienic conditions were catastrophic. When the camp burnt down in December 2020 people were left outside, freezing in the snow. Volunteers report scarcities of food and hygienic products in camps across the country. The anti-refugee rhetoric has led local residents to demand the closure of the #Bira camp, locating the people outside the eye of the public.

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