Presentation on theme: "Durable returns to a durable state? An opinion poll on the situation of returnees in Bosnia and Herzegovina Rolf Kappel, NADEL, ETH Zurich Presentation."— Presentation transcript:
Durable returns to a durable state? An opinion poll on the situation of returnees in Bosnia and Herzegovina Rolf Kappel, NADEL, ETH Zurich Presentation for the press conferences Sarajevo, 23. August 2006 Banja Luka, 24. August 2006
nadel ETH Zurich1 Rationale of the study The return process is stipulated in the Dayton Peace Agreement. About 1 million returnees since the end of the war. The role of minority returnees in a multi-ethnic nation state. From anecdotal evidence to statistically reliable inferences. Potential and limitations of an opinion poll.
nadel ETH Zurich2 Concept of durable returns Derived from UNHCRs preconditions for repatriation in safety and dignity: –Right to return –Voluntary return –Physical safety –Legal safety –Material safety –Reconciliation
nadel ETH Zurich3 Voluntary returns and assistance More than 90% of the returnees explain that their return was voluntary. Only 3% of former IDPs and 7% of former refugees claim that their return was initiated by authorities and did not coincide with their own plans. 95% have returned to their pre-war homes, only 5% have since then moved elsewhere. 51% of former IDPs and 41% of former refugees explain that they have received assistance after their return. Ratios are higher in rural than urban areas. 80% see assistance as very important, 20% as fairly important.
nadel ETH Zurich4 Physical safety and discrimination (1) Around 90% of the respondents feel safe from violent threats based on inter-ethnic tensions. 12% of returnees fear such threats, compared to 8% of domiciles. The ratio is 15% for minorities and 8% for non- minorities. Feeling insecure is more widespread in urban areas and among elder people than in rural areas and among younger people.
nadel ETH Zurich5 Physical safety and discrimination (2) More than 70% of the respondents think that the rights and opportunities of people to shape their lives are not equally distributed. Minorities have a significantly more positive view in that respect than non-minorities. Around 80% of the respondents hold the opinion that members of minority groups can pursue cultural and religious beliefs without facing any problems.
nadel ETH Zurich6 Physical safety and discrimination (3) Discriminations against minorities supposedly exist in: – job seeking (54% of minority respondents hold that opinion, 32% of non-minority respondents); –public services (26% of minority respondents hold that opinion, 13% of non-minority respondents); –less friendly treatment in daily life, different treatment of minority children in school. Ratios of personal experience of discrimination among minority respondents are significantly smaller: 8% in the RS, 3% in the Federation.
nadel ETH Zurich7 Legal safety, political freedoms and rights (1) More than 90% of returnees have an ID-card, and almost 80% hold a passport. Virtually all returnees were able to claim their property / user rights for houses or apartments. Almost 30% of respondents think that the freedom of political opinion and activities is limited. More than 40% of the respondents think that media are not independent of undue political influence. More than 40% of the respondents hold the opinion that they cannot influence policies on the local level.
nadel ETH Zurich8 Legal safety, political freedoms and rights (2) More than 40 % of the respondents think that election processes are not fair and correct. All of the above ratios are higher for minorities than non-minorities, and higher in the RS than in the Federation. Only very small margins of respondents, between 1% and 2%, explain that they themselves have been hampered in exercising electoral rights and political freedoms.
nadel ETH Zurich9 Material safety and economic perspectives (1) 13% of returnees explain that they have difficulties to feed their family; that ratio is 6% for domiciles. This sort of extreme poverty is more frequent in rural areas than in urban areas, and more frequent among minority respondents than among non-minority respondents. 29% of returnees explain that they can provide sufficient food but have difficulties to pay bills for clothing and utility bills; that ratio is 23% for domiciles. This sort of general poverty is more frequent in the RS than in the Federation.
nadel ETH Zurich10 Material safety and economic perspectives (2) Large proportions of respondents, roughly 80%, are satisfied with public infrastructure and services. About 40% of respondents explain that their financial situation has worsened since their return or the end of the war (40%: no change; 20%: improvement). Regarding expectations for the future, 50% think that the situation of the household will remain unchanged over the next 5 years; 30% expect improvements, 15% expect deterioration. Domiciles tend to be more pessimistic than returnees, and respondents in the RS are more pessimistic than in the Federation.
nadel ETH Zurich11 Reconciliation More than 60% of respondents report to have regular and voluntary contacts across ethnic boundaries. The fraction of returnees and members of minorities is higher than that of domiciles. Almost 60% of respondents think that politicians have achieved small or no progress in reconciliation (40% for religious leaders). The readiness of respondents to live in a multi-ethnic nation state is in rather strong contrast with the opinion on the very limited progress achieved by politicians and religious leaders in promoting reconciliation.
nadel ETH Zurich12 Durability of returns and success of nation state building (1) 65 % of returnees explain that they plan to stay. 20% are undecided (28% younger, 12% older people). 10% plan to leave (16% urban, 5% rural). The fraction of those who plan to stay is higher in rural areas and among elder returnees. The fraction of those who are undecided or plan to leave is higher in urban areas and among younger people.
nadel ETH Zurich13 Durability of returns and success of nation state building (2) 36% of respondents think that the nation building process will be successful. 37% see equal chances of success and failure. 13% expect failure. Returnees are more optimistic than domiciles. Older respondents in rural areas are more optimistic than younger people in urban areas.
nadel ETH Zurich14 Conclusions (1) The return process achieved so far is a relative success. Assistance provided by the international community and by domestic authorities was much appreciated. The return process is not yet finished: –the durability of returns can and should be strengthened and consolidated; –there are still IDPs and refugees waiting for their returns; the number of returns has dropped dramatically in recent years. Improving the economic development (poverty reduction, increasing formal employment and social security) will have a positive impact on new returns and on the durability of returns.
nadel ETH Zurich15 Conclusions (2) Discriminations against members of minorities can and should be reduced, above all at the local level. Civil society organisations may play an outstanding role. Strengthening of political competences and capacities on the local level should continue. Politicians and religious leaders should act as role models to promote reconciliation. More political competences should be shifted from the entity level to the state level. The international community should continue its support for for the return process and the nation building process.