Bosnia and Herzegovina 22 Jan 2021 16:03
Bihać, Bosnia Herzegovina, January 2021.
Migrants. Almost half of the 140.000 migrants currently in the Balkans are single men on the road for several years, sometimes “just” two, sometimes even more than 5. They left Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and middle east areas due to religious persecutions, political intolerance, poverty, conflicts, and they slowly moved towards Europe by any means of legal or illegal transport. They are mostly between 15 and 30 years old and they have spent part of their youth illegally crossing borders, illegally because their passport worth nothing around the world. Now, due to the current European political situation and the Covid-19 pandemic, these thousands of people are stuck in Bosnia Herzegovina waiting for the right conditions to crack “the game”. GAME, migrants expression for their chance to enter the European Union by land and seek asylum. They walk through the woods in the middle of the winter season for two weeks, they sleep under the sky, afraid of wild animals and worried about local authorities. Each of them has tried the game at least twice. Therefore, they have walked for days and days in the middle of a snowstorm, socked with wet clothes, colder and colder, with little food and no shelter. If their portrait is among those, it means they have been caught by Croatian, or Slovenian, or even Italian police, and with any respect of human rights, been beaten and deported back to Bosnia Herzegovina. Once back, some of them find shelter in the Temporary Reception Centres of the Una-Sana Canton, the area closest to the Croatian border, others live around the city in broken buildings, waiting for the best moment to try again. After the recent closure of the TRC of Lipa due to a fire that occurred on December 23rd 2020, part of the over 1500 migrants resident there, decided to move from the ruin of the tends to the neighbouring city of Bihać, 30km away from the TRC. Dom Penzjonera, the former pension for retirement, located close to the Una river in the center of the city, now welcomes about 115 migrants. It has never been finished and it doesn’t provide water, electricity and any kind of heating. They are all single men between 15 and 30 years old, all of them determined to crack the game, all of them stuck in the Balkans area but determined to enter in the European Union, to thrive education, job, dignity and a better life, all of them determined to fight for their rights.