Bosnia and Herzegovina reviewed under the UPR
Thursday, 18 February 2010 09:32


On the afternoon of 17 February 2010, the Working Group on the UPR reviewed the human rights situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The medium-sized high-level delegation was headed by Dr Safet Halilovic, Minister for Human Rights and Refugees. Comments from the floor were a mix of constructive criticism and encouragement for progress on human rights that has been made since the end of the war in 1995. A number of States also used the opportunity to encourage Bosnia and Herzegovina to seek financial and technical assistance from international organizations and other States, to help with efforts at reconstruction and poverty elimination.


Other recommendations and comments focused on specific issues including:

  • Constitutional reforms in order to address a recent ruling from the European Court of Human Rights concerning racial and ethnic discrimination in relation to the prevention of ethnic minorities from standing for election to public office.
  • Continued concerns over internally-displaced persons, including sustainable social and financial support for those families and individuals who have returned home.
  • Reports of physical threats and attacks against human rights defenders and journalists, specifically in Republika Srpska.
  • Continued segregation in schools along ethnic lines under the 'two schools under one roof' policy in certain cantons.
  • Limitations on freedom of association for organisations working on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, and specific concerns over violence at the 'Sarajevo Queer Festival' in 2008.
  • Calls for inclusion of a definition of sexual violence in the criminal code, specifically in regard to war crimes, to be in line with international norms.
  • Continued concerns over the huge number of anti-personnel mines still in the country, and the welfare of children who have been injured as a result.
  • Issues of children's rights, including illegal adoption, street children, and child pornography.
  • Concerns related to the rights of vulnerable groups, including women, Roma, other ethnic minorities, and the disabled.
  • Calls to remove the death penalty from the constitution of Republika Srpska.
  • Encouragement to sign the optional Protocols to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances.

The delegation was largely cooperative and self-critical, and provided answers to a great number of questions raised. However some questions remained unanswered as time expired and the delegation stated it would provide written answers as soon as possible.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 10:07
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