Rights groups warn of a new humanitarian emergency in Bosnia

Winter is coming to Europe, and thousands of people are struggling in tents without running water, electricity o proper toilets at Vucjak camp in Bosnia, near the border with Croatia. Some of the inmates do not even have shoes or jackets and are walking around in flip-flops without socks, according to Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The camp is located in the former landfill, according to German Agency DW.

In recent years, Bosnia has become a new transit path to Europe since the borders of Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia were shut after the migrants’ crisis in 2015. HRW criticizes that this camp was already overcrowded with 700 people, but on October 16, police transferred around 1,700 more people, and the conditions have become unsustainable. Elida Vikic from HRW describes it as a: “fast-developing humanitarian emergency”, in the website of HRW.

In October, a UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Mr Felipe González Morales visited the camp and described it as “absolutely inappropriate and inadequate for accommodating human beings”, urging the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to identify an alternate location.

Over 20,000 migrant people and asylum seekers have arrived in Bosnia since January 2019, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and many of them got stuck at the border with Croatia. More than 40,000 people are estimated to enter Bosnia since 2018 trying to reach Western Europe, according to Reuters.

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