68 000 people left Bosnia and Herzegovina only last year in search of a better life in Croatia and Serbia, as well as in France, the United States and Scandinavia.
This is just part of the data released in the document “Support for Annex 7 of the Dayton Agreement and registration of the most vulnerable families in BiH”, published by the The Union for Sustainable Return in Bosnia and Herzegovina, pertaining to the areas of Northwestern, Northeastern and Southeastern Bosnia.
The largest group of emigrants are recent returnees who were unable to find suitable conditions for life.
Whole families are leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina, and youth are leaving their homeland forever due to the lack of opportunities in BiH in search of jobs in countries with higher standards of living.
People are leaving from Northwestern Bosnia, and also from cities like Bratunac, Srebrenica, Zvornik, Milici, Kasaba as well as from areas around Kalesija and Doboj.
Official estimates say that, from after the Croatian accession to the EU until today, only around 7,000 people from Western Herzegovina went to find temporary work abroad. It has been mostly Croats aged 20-35 years who, thanks to Croatian passport, have freedom of movement and thus seek work in the EU.
Often people must sell their property to pay for their emigration. Many end up in accommodation centers with difficult conditions and are barely able to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
For years, the non-governmental sector has warned of these disturbing data, but authorities have been trying to mitigate the consequences of their inaction.
Historically, BiH has been an area of migration. This trend has remained, as in the period from 1991 to 2013, around a million citizens emigrated from BiH.