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EU Council: Bosnia's migrant camps conditions alarming

December 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Irregular migrants, who were not allowed to cross the Croatian border and living in the camp ‘Vucjak’ near Bihac, reject foods, distributed by charities, as a reaction, in Bihac in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 5 December 2019. [Mustafa Öztürk – Anadolu Agency]

The Council of Europe commissioner for human rights said Friday that conditions in migrant camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina are “embarrassing”, Anadolu Agency reports.

Dunja Mijatovic visited migrant camps in different cities across the country and met with authorities and aid agencies to discuss possible solutions.

Speaking at a news conference in the capital Sarajevo, Mijatovic said scenes from the camps, especially at the Vucjak Camp near the Croatian border, moved her deeply.

“It is inhuman and unacceptable to accommodate migrants under these conditions. I recently visited migrant camps in Greece, but in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I came across a scene I’ve never seen before. It’s a shame…”

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“The number of migrants who should move to another location is 500 to 600. There is no reason why the state should not intervene,” Mijatovic said, noting that the Vucjak Camp should have been emptied and closed long ago.

Mijatovic also said that there are about 8,000 migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is a manageable figure.

“This treatment is also contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights. Croatia must end the repatriation of migrants and initiate investigations against police officers who use violence against migrants. These proceedings should not remain unpunished,” said Mijatovic.

Since the beginning of 2018, Bosnia and Herzegovina have been subjected to a heavy influx of migrants as a transition country to EU member states.