The pandemic year 2020 did not stop the trend of illegal border crossings, so an increase of over 100% (102.37%) of detected illegal crossings was recorded compared to 2019.
It is shown by the data of the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
Illegal border crossing means persons detected in an attempt to illegally cross the state border of BiH when entering or leaving BiH at the border crossing or outside the border crossing. The mentioned persons may be BiH citizens, foreigners, or stateless persons.
In 2019, a total of 5.859 people were discovered in an attempt to cross the BiH border illegally.
When it comes to 2020, an increase of 102.37% was recorded and amounted to 11.857 persons, which is a direct consequence of mass migration movements in last year through our country.
Namely, in 2015, there was a significant increase in migration in Europe but mass mixed migration flows that took place through the so-called Western Balkan routes, from the second half of 2015 to March 2016, bypassed BiH.
However, the large number of migrants who stayed in transit countries, primarily Serbia, but also other countries on the Western Balkan route, as well as the continuous arrival of migrants to countries on Europe’s external borders, caused migrants to search and change routes to reach the desired destination countries. As a result of these migration movements, BiH faced intensified illegal migration movements in the last quarter of 2017 and during 2018, 2019, and 2020.
It should also be emphasized that during 2020, the BiH Border Police registered 11.006 persons (noting that in a number of cases they are the same persons who make multiple attempts to cross the border illegally) who were prevented from attempting to cross the territory of BiH illegally from the territory of neighboring countries, to which they returned, according to data from the Migration Profile of the Ministry of Security for 2020, Buka writes.