The platform of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian diaspora in Switzerland
Looking for a possible answer how the potential of Bosnian-Herzegovinian diaspora around the world can be more actively involved in the development of BiH, the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH proposed to the government of Switzerland in 2011, in the framework of the bilateral Migration partnership, to realize a mapping of the BiH diaspora. The aim was better understanding of the potential for inclusion of the BiH diaspora living in Switzerland in the development of BiH, based on real statistical and empirical data.
The results of the study were presented in Switzerland in 2014, during the first conference of the BiH diaspora, under the title "How Can the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Diaspora Contribute to the Development of Bosnia and Herzegovina?". The initiator of this all-day event was the Swiss Government and its line ministries, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). More than 65 representatives of BiH associations, organizations and individuals attended the conference.
The presented study clearly showed that the BiH diaspora, although still very heterogeneous, is well-integrated into Swiss society. It further showed that there are real opportunities for cooperation in the areas of economy and culture, as well as in the domain of education, the transfer of know-how and experiences. Conference participants critically analysed and stressed the validity of study findings and emphasized the need to establish an "umbrella organization" or a "platform" of BiH diaspora in Switzerland, which would be self-sustaining over the long term, and able to offer specific facilities and services to stimulate the development of the economy and entrepreneurship, social inclusion and culture, education, and the transfer of know-how in BiH.
The i-platform has been launched in November 2016.
- The established heterogeneous platform will connect the BiH diaspora in Switzerland and strengthen the diaspora’s potential for long-term contributions to the economic, social, cultural and democratic development of BiH.
- The i-platform will be a place for establishing contacts, gaining information and enabling networking.
One of its key elements will also be close cooperation with institutions, organizations, associations and individuals at all administrative levels in BiH in the aforementioned fields.