forced migration


It all started when...

The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina was among a series of wars over the struggle for power in post-Cold War Yugoslavia during which half of Bosnia’s 4.5 million population was displaced and tens of thousands of women were raped (Croatia 1991-5; Bosnia 1992-5; Kosovo 1999-2000). Civilian deaths accounted for forty percent of the over 100,000 war-dead; nearly seventy percent of Muslim Bosnians killed during the war were civilians.

Of the million people who fled the country as refugees, nearly 170,000 made it to the United States, with Chicago serving as the largest relocation site for Bosnian refugees outside of Europe. St. Louis, Missouri is now home to the largest Bosnian war diaspora population in North America. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 169,000 refugees from former Yugoslavia were admitted between 1992-2012. The majority were Bosnian Muslims and Bosnians in mixed marriages, along with some Muslim Kosovars. This number also includes those who sought asylum after Germany and Austria began forcibly repatriating Bosnians in 1999.