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Violence Within State Borders: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Date 24 May, 2023
Category Violence within Borders

This report is the product of the Border Violence Monitoring Network’s (BVMN) efforts to document violence occurring against people-on-the-move (herein POM) within the borders of countries along the Balkan Route. In addition to identifying cross-border pushbacks, BVMN collects evidence of physical, material, and structural violence against POM within Bosnia-Herzegovina. The quantitative and qualitative data included in this report was collected via a questionnaire from volunteers who interacted daily with POM in cities such as Bihać, Velika Kladuša and Sarajevo. Additionally, information was drawn from the testimonies of POM and from the observations of long-term volunteers and activists, which collectively illustrate the complex factors influencing the well-being of POM in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Through analysis of data collected in the field, the first section of this report will discuss the direct physical aggression either against POM or against their immediate necessities such as food and shelter. The second will examine psychological violence and the living conditions in the transit reception centers (TRCs) present in the region, while the third will report instances of criminalisation of solidarity against activists and grassroots organizations supporting POM. Specific examples of structural violence reported by POM and the organizations which support them include restricted access to asylum, collective expulsions, evictions, harassment, and criminalization of solidarity.