The screening and vaccination of migrant children staying at the Usivak Temporary Reception Center in Hadzici has begun on Friday, the Sarajevo Canton Government has announced.
Vaccination of children has begun following several joint meetings between representatives of the Health Center of the Canton of Sarajevo, the Institute for Public Health of the Canton of Sarajevo, the World Health Organization – Office in Bosnia-Herzegovina, UNICEF, IOM and DRC in December 2019.
At the meetings, an immunization plan for the children residing at the Usivak Temporary Reception Center in Hadzici was agreed and prepared.
“The pediatric team of the Cantonal Health Center, together with the team of the Immunization Department of the Institute for Public Health of the Canton of Sarajevo, carried out the examination of the children and the vaccination”.
Save the children teams supported an estimated 2,000 unaccompanied migrant and refugee children in Bosnia in 2019. Our teams on the ground confirmed that new arrivals continued to enter the camps in the last few weeks.
Aazar (name changed), 14, had been living in Vucjak for a few weeks, after leaving Afghanistan 18 months ago to come to Europe:
“We felt scared in the mountains. [We were with] three or four people and there were also wolves. That’s the scary part. We are also scared of the police. We want the people who are here to get to Europe. I want to go to France.”
Between June and end of November 2019, Save the Children and Bosnian social services evacuated around 250 children from Vucjak and brought them to safe shelters in the area, one of which has an area providing specialized care for unaccompanied children. On Tuesday, 15 children were relocated from Vucjak before the camp’s closure.
Save the Children staff on the ground confirmed several cases of children traveling with single men who were not their relatives, exposing them to a series of protection-related risks.
Jakey* from Afghanistan, 15, is staying in one of the other camps. From Turkey, he travelled onwards to Serbia and ended up in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
“There is a really difficult situation [in my country] for boys of 15, 16. The Taliban can just come and say you have to be a soldier. If you say no, they can kill you.”
“When we were at the border [from Iran] with Turkey, two people died. One was from Iran, one from Afghanistan.”
After arriving in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
“I had a friend here, [we travelled by] train but 50 kilometres before arriving here, they threw us off the train. Someone showed on GPS where [the camp] was, it took me one day to get here (on foot).