forced migration


Political confrontations over power in post-Cold War Yugoslavia resulted in massive displacements, disappearances, sexual violence, and deaths perpetrated against civilians targeted for their ethnic and faith identities. The confrontations began in 1991, with conflicts in: Croatia 1991-95; Bosnia 1992-95; Kosovo 1998-99 and 1999-2001; and Macedonia 2001, resulting in thousands of military and civilian deaths. NATO bombing campaigns in 1995 and 1999 also killed military personnel and civilians. In Bosnia, half of the population was displaced and 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, 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. 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 ended Bosnians’ Temporary Protected Status in 1997.