From 2014 to July this year, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)granted asylum status to 122 people, 9 of whom received it on the basis of refugee status, and the rest refers to people who received some other additional form of protection, according to the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
According to these data, in this period, a total of 39.709 migrants applied for asylum in the Western Balkans, and 287 refugee statuses and 329 other types of asylum protection were approved. Also, as stressed in this report, during 2021, a total of 770 asylum applications were submitted in the entire area of the Western Balkans. 23.724 asylum applications were rejected, which means that at least 16.000 of them never tried to register in BiH, at least formally, Nezavisne writes.
When it comes to our region, Serbia has approved the most asylum statuses – 86 for refugees, and 103 have received some additional form of protection, which means that the residence permit in Serbia has been granted not only on the basis of refugee status. Self-proclaimed Kosovo is next in terms of the number of approved asylum statuses, 108 on the basis of refugees, and 19 on the other basis. BiH is third, followed by Montenegro with a total of 87 approved asylum applications. Next is Albania with 48 and North Macedonia with 36.
It is interesting, however, that among the asylum seekers who were granted asylum, there is the largest number of Turkish citizens, while most others are from countries we traditionally call migrants, except for citizens of Ukraine, Palestine, and Cuba, who also requested and obtained asylum in the Western Balkans.
If we look at the categories, self-proclaimed Kosovo approved the most refugee statuses, and BiH the most other kinds of statuses for asylum seekers who came to the Western Balkans.
According to the data published by the UNHCR, since the beginning of 2018, the largest number of registered migrants stayed in BiH in July last year, almost 8.000, which can be explained by the fact that migrants could hardly move towards the European Union (EU) during that period. From the spring to the autumn of last year, at least according to these UNHCR data,there was the largest number of migrants in BiH. If we do not include that period, there were always less than 6.000 registered migrants in BiH, not counting only September 2019, when there were about 6.100 migrants in BiH.
In this period, most migrants that came to the Western Balkans were from Pakistan, ie 26.8 percent, followed by Afghans, whose share is about 21.7 percent. 11.7 percent came from Syria, followed by Bangladeshi citizens, who made 5.7 percent of the total number of migrants. About 5.5 percent of Iranians came, and 4.5 percent of migrants were from Iraq. Citizens of Morocco, India, Libya, and Algeria made between 2 and 3 percent of people who applied for asylum status.
During this year, almost 90 percent of migrants are men, only 3percent are women, and the rest refers to boys and girls. According to UNHCR, since 2014, most migrants who were registered in the Western Balkans were men. The largest number of women was in October 2019, but even then they did not exceed more than 10 percent of the total number.