A total of 23,541 migrants entered the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) from Jan. 1 to Dec. 19, BiH Council of Ministers (CoM) stated at a regular session here Friday.
Out of the total number, 22,177 migrants expressed their intention for asylum, but 1,358 actually applied for asylum, the information from BiH Foreigners Office showed.
Currently, there are between 4,000 and 5,000 migrants on the territory of BiH.
CoM said competent institutions will continue more effective fight against illegal migration, and BiH Border Police will continue with the aim of better border control and prevention of illegal entry, capacity building in the area of asylum and intensification of the fight against migrant smuggling.
“We want to maintain a humane attitude towards migrants and we will continue to act in accordance with BiH and international laws,” it said.
CoM has issued a decision approving the grant of 150,000 KM (87,630 U.S. dollars) to secure the humanitarian needs of migrants in the centers in Salakovac near Mostar.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants passed through the so-called “Balkan route” in 2015, trying to reach Western Europe. BiH was then not part of that route. The increasing number of migrants was recorded from the end of 2017, and since January this year, over 23,500 migrants and refugees arrived through Serbia and Montenegro, compared to a mere 755 in 2017, Xinhua reports.