BOSNIA / AFGHAN ASYLUM SEEKERS

26-Mar-2019 00:02:40
The numbers of refugees and migrants arriving in Bosnia have risen dramatically in the past year, though the small country, still recovering from its own war trauma, is largely considered a transit country en route to the European Union. UNHCR
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STORY: BOSNIA / AFGHAN ASYLUM SEEKERS
TRT: 2:40
SOURCE: UNHCR
RESTRICTIONS: PLEASE CREDIT UNHCR ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: DARI / NATS

DATELINE: 11-12 FEBRUARY 2019, CAZIN, BIHAC, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
SHOTLIST
11-12 FEBRUARY 2019, HOTEL SEDRA, CAZIN, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

1. Various shots, Afghan asylum seeker, Abdul Bashir Jahqobi cooking
2. Various shots, hotel
3.SOUNDBITE (Dari) Abdul Bashir Jahqobi, Asylum seeker from Afghanistan:
"I see the future of my children, safe in Bosnia. The people here are kind and I like the seasons, the country, here."

11-12 FEBRUARY 2019, BIRA FACTORY, BIHAC, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

4. Various shots, refugees and migrants silhouetted while walking across the hangar
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Dorijan Klasnic, Spokesperson, UNHCR Bosnia and Herzegovina:
"There is definitely a large number of people who would like to have their asylum claims properly heard, and that would find Bosnia and Herzegovina as a place in which they could find a new future."
6. Med shot, UN staff talking in the centre
7. Various shots, asylum seekers dining in the Hotel Sedra asylum centre
8. Med shot, Bashir serving food
9. SOUNDBITE (Dari) Abdul Bashir Jahqobi, Asylum seeker from Afghanistan (man, Dari):
"Inshallah, we will see what doors the Bosnian authorities open for us, whether we are granted asylum or a work permit. Then, maybe I will open a hotel or a restaurant."
10. Various shots, Abdul Bashir and his family
STORYLINE
Abdul, his wife Marjan and their three young children were forced to leave their home in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, in 2018, and have applied for asylum in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

They are being accommodated in the northern city of Cazin, close to the Croatian border, in a centre for vulnerable families. This former factory near the border with Croatia is home to more than 2,000 migrants and refugees, mostly single men.

Abdul, who was a cook back in Afghanistan, works in the kitchens as a voluntary helper to the Red Cross.

SOUNDBITE (Dari) Abdul Bashir Jahqobi, Asylum seeker from Afghanistan:
"I see the future of my children, safe in Bosnia. The people here are kind and I like the seasons, the country, here."

The numbers of refugees and migrants arriving in Bosnia have risen dramatically in the past year. Though the small country, still recovering from its own war trauma of the 1990s breakup of Yugoslavia, is largely considered a transit country en route to the European Union, some families like Abdul’s are seeking to stay and build a future there.

Some 1,600 people have requested asylum in Bosnia and Herzegovina. But in 2018, none were granted refugee status. Greater international support could help Bosnia help those in need.

SOUNDBITE (English) Dorijan Klasnic, Spokesperson, UNHCR Bosnia and Herzegovina:
"There is definitely a large number of people who would like to have their asylum claims properly heard, and that would find Bosnia and Herzegovina as a place in which they could find a new future."

Like many, Abdul Bashir once saw Bosnia only as a place to pass through. He tried 5 times to make it into the European Union. But now the country holds out the prospect of safety for the professional cook.

SOUNDBITE (Dari) Abdul Bashir Jahqobi, Asylum seeker from Afghanistan:

"Inshallah, we will see what doors the Bosnian authorities open for us, whether we are granted asylum or a work permit. Then, maybe I will open a hotel or a restaurant."

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has offered support to Bosnian authorities to build capacity in its asylum process, and believes the country need additional donor support to improve its response to the rising numbers of asylum seekers seeking safe haven.
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