By Nevena Šarenac – Sarajevo
On the international day of refugees, 20 June, it should be recalled that during the war that began in Spring 2002, more than half of the pre-war local population was forced to flee their homes in BiH.
Therefore, the issues of refugees and displaced persons are of significant importance for BiH.
The Assistant Minister for Human Rights and Refugees Mario Nenadić specified that BiH is a country that experienced a demographic disaster, because of the 4,3 million inhabitants, according to the 1991 census, there were 2,2 million refugees and displaced peoples during the war.
“Until now, around one half of this number has returned to BiH. They live in very difficult circumstances, share the fate of a large number of unemployed peoples, they have many problems with access to basic human rights, such as the right to work, health, school, social protection and the like’’, said Nenadić.
According to the records of the appropriate authorities in BiH, today there are around 103.000 displaced people, 2.400 families live in collective centers, and 2.300 families live without electricity.
“These indicators obligate the BiH Parliament and Council of Ministers to do more in order for the issue of refugees and displaced peoples to be resolved. The requests that more money is set aside from the budget to resolve this issue were not met with approval. Specifically, in the 2013 budget 1,5 million KM are envisioned for this, and the total needs are about 800 million KM’’, said Nenadić.
The lack of money from the budget should be compensated thanks to international donations and loans.
“In the next two to three years investments of more than 200 million euros for this purpose are expected. We think that with these funds we will resolve an important part of this problem in BiH’’, said Nenadić.
BiH, as a signatory country, respects all international conventions from the area of refugees and displaced peoples.
“There is not one person, who is a refugee in BiH, whose country and the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees in BiH did not provide all the relevant rights (right to accommodation, health, school, social protection). When it comes to BiH citizens, returnees, the biggest problem presents ensuring existence, since the conditions for employment are very difficult’’, concluded Nenadić.