Internally displaced peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina: impacts of long-term displacement on health and well-being

Med Confl Surviv. 2005 Jul-Sep;21(3):199-215. doi: 10.1080/13623690500166028.


Several hundred thousand people remain internally displaced in Bosnia-Herzegovina living in camps and settlements. The public gaze of the media has long since moved on elsewhere and donors have shifted their resources. Displaced peoples have specific burdens over belonging, housing, occupation, welfare, security and loss of communities. The decision whether to return to their homes is complex, with local and international political pressures adding to their uncertainties and insecurities. In addition there is the impact of the war, the experiences of violence, the remembering and issues of reconciliation, and a variety of mostly unevaluated psychosocial programmes aimed at helping with these. All this has a profound impact on their health and well-being. Understanding these processes and the views of chronically displaced people themselves should guide policies of post-conflict management to plan for the longer-term and to be more focussed on the human factors rather than simply rules and properties.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina / epidemiology
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Health Status*
  • Housing
  • Human Rights
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Refugees*
  • Safety
  • Social Support
  • Social Welfare
  • Warfare*