Minorities in the Context of Forced Displacement in the South East European Region
erschienen in der Publikation "The Stability Pact for South East Europe - Dawn of an Era of Regional Co-operation" (ISBN: 3-901328-75-0) - November 2002
Within the region of the former SFRY, and particularly after the armed conflict of the 1990s, the definition of minorities has a slightly different connotation: in this context, minorities are non-dominant groups that may, nevertheless, be a numerical majority in the country.
Within BiH, the term "minority" is e.g. used to describe groups of persons who are in a numerical minority situation in a particular location or municipality, regardless of their status elsewhere in BiH.
If, for example, a member of one of the three constituent peoples of BiH (Bosniak, Serb and Croat) returns to his/her place of origin, this is generally referred to as minority returns as s/he is returning to a place where the majority are of a different background. This particular definition of minorities applies also to other countries in the Balkan region.
UNHCR is mandated under Annex 7 of the GFAP to ensure the safe and secure return to their homes of all those who have been displaced during the war, and such is engaged on a daily basis in facilitating "minority returns".