A family with two small children seeking shelter next to an abandoned house in Velika Kladuša, North Bosnia and Herzegovina. They have been pushed back into Bosnia after spending a week hiding from the police in Croatia. There is no family camp in Velika Kladuša, so they are forced to sleep outside. Fazilah is a friend of the family and has been traveling with them for the last four months: “We have been here for three days. We were tired and my feet were injured after a week of walking and running in Croatia. Now that we’ve had some rest we will make our way to Bihać to take shelter in the family camp there.”
Bihac is about forty kilometers away. This is what people have to endure in order to find a safe place to live.
On this cornfield on the border of the two entities of Bosnia-Herzegovina reside hundred to two hundred men, used as pions in a political game.
Since authorities of both entities have restricted movement of refugees on their territory, roadblocks have been put in place, people on the move have been intercepted on the streets and in shops and squads have been raided. They are forced in busses and driven to the border of the region, with no information about what is happening and why. Both provinces are driving people out of their borders.
A day of heavy rain in Velika Kladuša, North Bosnia-Herzegovina. The estimated number of people on the move in the Northern province of Una-Sana is seven thousand people. There is space in the reception centers for less than half of them, meaning many people survive outside without proper shelter, food or hygiene facilities. A plastic bag is then your best and only protection against the rain.
An abandoned factory where about two hundred boys and men reside. There are not enough places in the reception centers to accommodate all the refugees and migrants in Velika Kladuša, so many people are forced to seek shelter in places like this. Life is not easy in these unsanitary and overcrowded situations. Yet, not many think about giving up the search for a better and safer life of self determination. The strongest and most resilient people on the planet are found here.
Photo: Tessa Kraan / No Name Kitchen