Press Release on marking of the 10th of December – International Human Rights Day by Initiative for monitoring the European integration of BiH
On the 10th of December, International Human Rights Day, the Initiative for monitoring the European integration of BiH points to a systemic violations of personal, civil, economic, social and cultural rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina and invites all competent authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to begin to fully apply international conventions that Bosnia and Herzegovina has ratified and national laws that protect human rights and freedoms.
The Initiative, while working on the first Shadow Report of the EU progress report of BiH’s integration process, has recorded numerous violations of human rights, and especially wants to draw attention to the following areas:
– Persons with disabilities in BiH are in a particularly difficult situation. Although there are number of international conventions in this field that have been signed, due to the complicated political system and lack of money, the implementation of these conventions is blocked at multiple levels. In some cantons people with disabilities can not be insured, and depend only on the help of their families. The constitutional reform of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina should enable equal social rights of all persons with disabilities, but it is necessary to harmonize the social system at the state level to ensure that all persons are treated equally;
– The educational system of Bosnia and Herzegovina is still allowing segregation in schools on a national basis. Federation should make an effort to unify the educationol system and to enable multicultural curriculum, also Republika Srpska should allow an equal right to education to all its citizens and to remove discriminatory elements from its educational system;
– Roma, the largest minority group in Bosnia and Herzegovina, face a number of problems in education, employment and health care. Currently, there are a number of BiH and international organizations that help the Roma, but Bosnia and Herzegovina should work on the inclusion of Roma in society and public life in order to have the same opportunities as all other citizens;
– One of the minority that is also a discriminated daily is the LGBT community. Although progress was made in reforming the legal system, it is necessary to ensure the full implementation of anti-discriminatory laws and penalties for attacks on members of this community. Federation has changed criminal law in order to include hate crime in the legal system;
– In terms of women’s political participation, progress has been made, but it is only symbolic, as it can be noted that women are not in leadership positions in the state. Sanctions for violence against women are legally harmonized but the prosecution of these cases is still slow and requires greater support to women to report the sexual assaults and other attacks.
Initiative urges responsible authorities to deal with the basic needs and rights of all citizens of BiH, because only in this way it can become a democratic state and a full member of the European Community.