Action plan


BiH Armed Forces


Brčko District BiH


Bosnia and Herzegovina


Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees BiH


Bosnia-Podrinje Canton


Criminal Code of BDBIH


Criminal Code of BIH


Criminal Code of the FBIH


Criminal Code of RS


Council of Ministers BiH


Federation of BiH


Federal Ministry of Education and Science


Federal Ministry of Health


BiH Gender Action Plan


Gender Centre of the FBIH


Gender Centre of the Government of RS


Gender Equality


Agency for Gender Equality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH


High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH


House of Representatives of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly


Law on Gender Equality in BiH


Law on Prohibition of Discrimination of BiH


RS Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management


Ministry of Defense of BIH


Ministry of Education


Memorandum of Understanding


Ministry of Security of BiH


Local community


Non-government organisations


The Institution of Human Rights Ombudsman of BiH


Republika Srpska


Small and medium sized enterprise

Constitutional, legislative and institutional framework and definition of discrimination

1.The deadline for the harmonisation of all state and entity laws and other relevant regulations with the provisions of the LGE is 6 months. Harmonisation of legislation with the standards for gender equality, regardless of the deadline set by the Law, is a continuous process, because the country is in the process of European integrations and every year the laws and other regulations are harmonised with the European legislation, which means that the current ones are constantly reviewed and/or new regulations are adopted.

2.Pursuant to Article 32, paragraph (2) of the LGE, the GEA BiH has taken several measures to accelerate the process of harmonisation with the LGE, such as preparation, printing and distribution of the Handbook for Harmonisation of Laws with BiH LGE and International Standards in GE, which was published in 2011, as well as numerous educations of civil servants on the subject. GEA BiH continuously informs the CoM BiH on the process of harmonisation of legislation with the LGE BiH, and in its recommendations indicates the need to intensify this process.

3.Third GAP BIH (2018–2022) adopted in November 2018, states the principle of harmonisation of regulations with the LGE BiH as one of the fundamental principles, and it is expected that this obligation will be continuously implemented.

4.In 2018, GEA BiH gave its opinion on alignment with LGE BIH for 48 documents that were submitted to it. In 2017, 44 opinions were submitted, in 2016 this number was 40. In 2015, 32 opinions were given, indicating a trend of an increase in the number of opinions issued by GEA BIH.

5.By enacting the Law on Development Planning and Development Management in FBiH in 2017, the process of standardizing gender mainstreaming in all policies, strategies and plans, has been prescribed as binding at all levels of government in FBiH.

6.Given that the Rules of Procedure of the Government of the RS mandate that all acts be submitted to the GCRS for its opinion, the process of harmonizing existing and adopting new regulations also includes standards for GE, which is a regular and continuous process.

7.LPD BiH prohibits gender discrimination. The issue of GE is implicitly covered in Article 2 outlining grounds for discrimination (including gender) and Article 3 which defines direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds set out in Article 2. There is no explicit definition of discrimination against women in this law, since the subject of gender-based discrimination and GE is regulated in detail in the LGE BiH, as lex specialis.

8.Law on Changes and Amendments of the Law on Public Health of BiH from 2016 gave additional definition of harassment, victimization, incitement as a form of discrimination and more serious forms of discrimination. The role of the Ombudsman was strengthened and the Act was supplemented by the principle of urgency in all proceedings in which claims of discrimination are examined.

Women in post-conflict situations

9.Resulting from implementation of the strategic measures foreseen in the AP for implementation of the UNSCR 1325 (2013–2017) a more favourable environment was created to increase the participation of women in the military and police forces (through amendments of legislation, education, introduction of affirmative measures). This increase is most noticeable in lower positions and ranks. The MD BiH employs 38% of women (2% increase over 2013), while in the AF BiH there are 6.8% of women (only 0.2% increase compared to 2013), where 24% of women are civilians and 5.5% of women are military personnel (1% increase compared to 2013). The implementation of AP 1325 (2013–2017) increased the number of women in the police force by 0.5%. Namely, in 2013, the participation of women in the police was 7.5%, and now it is 8%. The percentage of female police officers involved in peacekeeping missions is 30% and increased by 6% compared to 2013.

10.Third AP 1325 for the period 2018–2022 was adopted in August 2018 with the aim of consistent and continuous implementation of UNSCR 1325. The new AP builds on the strategic and medium-term goals of the previous plan, and includes activities to address current security threats and challenges from gender perspective, such as natural disasters, migration, terrorism and violent extremism.

11.In 2018, at the meeting of the G7 countries, an initiative “Women, Peace and Security Partnership” was established. Each member country identified one country/partner with the purpose of “Intensifying positive change in the field”. The EU has selected BiH as a partner, which is a recognition of the positive experiences of BiH in implementing UNSCR 1325. GEA BIH coordinates the development and implementation of a Roadmap with a view of realizing the aforementioned EU-BiH partnership.

12.Victims of rape and sexual abuse are defined in the FBiH legislation as “Special category of civilian victims of war” and they were granted a special right to material compensation called the “monthly personal cash benefit” which is equal to the amount awarded to civilian war casualty of Group I (100% of physical damage). These benefits are provided on a regular basis and as a uniform amount throughout the FBiH.

13.In early 2018, the compensation for the civilian war victims was increased by 1.5% in FBiH. This increase covers 6167 women, of whom 800 (13%) are women survivors of sexual abuse and rape during the war.

14.Expert Opinion Commission to determine the status of a special category of civilian victims of war in FBiH ran a series of educational workshops inviting stakeholders who are involved in the decision-making process at all levels of government in FBiH, as well as organizations that gather or support victims of war sexual violence. An information brochure on rights and the exercise of rights was prepared for a special category of civilian victims of war, intended for the victims, and it was distributed to all social and health services in FBiH.

15.RS through the enactment of the Law on the Protection of Victims of War Torture in 2018, provided the victims of sexual violence, as a special category of victims of war torture, the following rights: the right to monthly cash benefits, the right to health insurance, the right to exemption from the costs of personal participation in the use of health care, and incentives for employment and self‑employment through employment programs within the framework of AP for Employment adopted annually by the RS Government. This law also envisages the right to rehabilitation through mental and physical health protection, the right to social protection, the right to free legal assistance provided to persons under international protection in accordance with international standards, the right to exemption from court and administrative fees when exercising the right to monthly income under this law.

16.Operational legal aid in criminal proceedings is actively provided to women victims of sexual and gender-based violence during the war by police officers of organizational units of the RS Ministry of Interior responsible for war crimes investigations and combating terrorism and extremism, as part of operational work and the collection of information about crimes.

17.Witness Support Offices of the Prosecutor’s Offices and Courts provide psychological and logistical support and assistance to witnesses and victims of sexual violence and any other form of violence in war crimes cases. According to the latest available data from 2019, 22 judicial institutions in BiH have established witness support departments, that is, psychologists have been employed to support witnesses.

18.War crimes cases have absolute priority before courts and prosecutors. For example, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton met the set goals related to reducing the number of war crimes cases, and by 2018 the number of unresolved war crimes cases, including cases involving war crimes cases related to sexual violence was reduced by 50%.

19.An institutional network with a stronghold in the Protocol, signed by representatives of the authorities and judicial institutions, has been established in the BDBIH aimed at enhancing cooperation on the provision of basic human rights of all women victims of war violence.

Access to justice

20.By enacting the Law on Free Legal Aid of BiH access was provided to free legal aid before the authorities and institutions of BiH. The law stipulates that the right to free legal assistance on the basis of status is, among other things, exercised by the victim of domestic or gender violence. Rulebook on Internal Organization of the Ministry of Justice of BiH was adopted regulating the Jobs for Legal Aid Officers in the Free Legal Aid Office.

21.Until the establishment of this office, one civil servant was appointed to provide free legal assistance, with access to technical and financial capacities of the Ministry of Justice of BiH. Also, the Rulebook on the Content and Manner of Keeping Records of the Provision of Free Legal Aid and the Rulebook on the Form and Content of Forms Required in the Process of Exercising the Right to Free Legal Aid were adopted. Decision on the tariff and reimbursement of costs of criminal proceedings is currently being prepared, the adoption of which will complete the legal and institutional framework for providing free legal aid.

22.Since the beginning of implementation of the said law, a total of 104 cases have been registered, but some cases encompass more persons, i.e., more requests (about 135 persons). Most of these requests were filed by foreign nationals who were illegally staying in BiH. Out of the total number of requests, 5 requests were filed by the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH on behalf of women victims of sexual violence in war whose identity was protected, for the purpose of representation in order to obtain a legal claim.

23.Free Legal Aid Centre of the RS was established as a republic administrative organization to provide free legal aid to all groups of beneficiaries prescribed by the Law, who meet the criteria. The Centre has five offices covering the entire territory of RS. Given that it is general service, it is not possible to extract specific information on the human, technical and financial resources involved in the legal protection of women.

24.Free Legal Aid System in FBiH is regulated at the cantonal level. The legal framework consists of nine cantonal laws on the provision of free legal aid, which regulate establishment of the cantonal institutes for free legal aid. This issue is currently not regulated only in the Central Bosnia Canton in the FBiH. Non‑governmental organizations also offer free legal assistance.

25.Office for Legal Aid of BDBIH is responsible for providing legal advice and representation to BDBiH citizens of poor financial status and takes all actions before the Basic Court, Court of Appeal and the Prosecutor’s Office of the BDBiH. The Office employs a Director and attorneys of the Office. The Office’s budget for 2018 amounted to EUR 250,000, while the funds for material costs amounted to EUR 18,000.

26.Network for Coordination of Free Legal Aid Providers in BiH was established with the support of UNDP BiH, including the establishment of a database and the development of IT systems and electronic case management. Technical resources were provided in the form of necessary computer and office equipment for the day-to-day work of employees.

27.There are few requests for free legal assistance from women belonging to vulnerable groups, as well as cases related to gender based discrimination and violence. The majority of claims by women are on the basis of poor financial status, as well as cases in litigation (custody and decision-making about children, divorce, exercising the right to a pension, establishing the right to marital property, exercising rights from employment).

28.The education of the holders of judicial functions in BiH is carried out by Entity training centres for judges and prosecutors, as part of their annual initial training and professional development programs. HJPC BiH through its role of oversight and approval, ensures that appropriate training is included in the programs. Regarding the provision of appropriate training for the judiciary and the prosecution, trainings on GE were held on the following topics: “GE in the context of the European Convention”, “GE and Protection against Domestic Violence”, “GE within Judicial Institutions”, “Gender (In)Equality – Stereotypes and Prejudices”, “Implementation of LGE BiH”, “Domestic Violence and Protective Measures”, “Violence Against Women”, “Violence Against Children”, “Sexual Violence Against Children and Adults”, “Causes and Consequences of Domestic Violence”. Some of the trainings were held in cooperation with international organizations, such as Trial International, UNICEF, etc.

29.As part of the OSCE-funded project “Comprehensive Capacity Building for Effective War Crimes Processing in BiH”, the FBiH and RS Judicial and Prosecutorial Training Centres provide gender-sensitive training for judges and prosecutors on the proceedings of war crimes of rape and sexual abuse, using educational manual on “Sexual Violence”.

30.In addition to campaigns on gender-based violence, a number of other campaigns have been implemented in BiH to raise awareness on GE and women’s human rights. Within the Youth Employment Project, supported by the Swiss government and in collaboration with GEA BiH, a campaign was launched under the name “Women are the same as men – only less valuable,” which draws attention to the problem of gender stereotypes and reducing the role of women to the traditional role, with one of the most obvious results being an insufficient participation of women in the labour market.

31.BDBIH and AFBIH carry out regular campaigns and other promotional activities (e.g. Open Door days) to promote the role and participation of women in the military and peacekeeping missions. During the last job vacancy posting for of officers to the AF BiH, in September 2017 and the accompanying campaign, which has been running for 5 years, particular attention was given to promoting women’s participation and encouraging girls to apply. This included numerous promotional and media contents and materials (videos, billboards, posters) presented through all media. The celebration of the 15th anniversary of the participation of the AF BiH in international peacekeeping missions promoted the participation of 34 women in peacekeeping missions.

Note: An overview of campaigns aimed at increasing women ’ s participation in public and political life is given in the section entitled “ Participation in Public and Political Life ” .

National machinery for the advancement of women

32.In November 2018, the CoM BIH adopted the third GAP BIH for the period 2018–2022. It is a strategic document that contains goals, programs and measures for achieving gender equality in all areas of social life and work, in the public and private spheres. The GAP BiH envisages three strategic objectives within which priority areas are defined, as follows:

1)Strategic objective 1: “Development, implementation and monitoring of programs of measures for the promotion of gender equality in government institutions, by priority areas”, including priority areas: Preventing and combating gender-based violence, including domestic violence and human trafficking, Public life and decision making, Work, employment and access to economic resources, Education, science, culture and sports, Health, prevention and protection, Social protection and Gender and security.

2)Strategic Objective 2: “Building and strengthening systems, mechanisms and instruments for achieving gender equality” and includes priority areas: Implementation coordination and oversight of the implementation of the GAP BIH, Monitoring and advancing the implementation of international and domestic standards for GE, Strengthening and cooperation of institutional mechanisms for GE, Raising awareness of GE in all segments of society, Support to institutional and non‑institutional partners in the process of gender mainstreaming and Monitoring and evaluation of progress in achieving GE.

3)Strategic objective 3: “Establishing and strengthening cooperation and partnership”, with the following priority areas: Cooperation at regional and international level and Collaboration with civil society organizations, social partners and academia.

33.GAP BIH, as a comprehensive strategy for achieving GE in BiH, provides guidelines for drafting annual operational plans in which relevant institutions at the BIH and entity-level set their annual priorities. These institutions are represented in the coordination boards to monitor the implementation of GAP BiH appointed by the CoM of BiH or the Entity governments.

34.The human and material capacities of GEA BIH were in 2018 expanded by one civil servant position – advisor, so that currently there are – a director, four civil servants and one employee – working in the ARS BiH, which is still insufficient to fulfil all legally prescribed tasks effectively and completely.

35.In order to implement GAP BIH more effectively, the CoM BIH, represented by BiH MHRR, signed with the Kingdom of Sweden Special Agreement to Support the Financial Instrument Program for the Implementation of the GAP BIH-FIGAP II (2018–2021) in the amount of EUR 1,5 million. Also, the BIH CoM appointed in May 2019 the Management Board of FIGAP II, composed of the Director of GEA BiH and the Directors of GCFBiH and GCRS. FIGAP II will enable further strengthening of gender institutional mechanisms in BiH and inclusion of activities from the GAP BiH into Workplans. In this way, support will also be given to NGOs in promotion and introduction of the principle of GE in all spheres of public and private life in BiH.

36.Ombudsman encounters various problems that impede the functioning of the institution, especially in relation to material and financial resources. There is a need to adopt the proposed amendments to the Law on Human Rights Ombudsman of BiH, and take measures to strengthen the capacity of the Ombudsman to be able to fulfil the mandate, in accordance with the Paris Principles.


37.A comprehensive strategy with sustainable and proactive measures to overcome stereotypical views on the roles and responsibilities of women and men in BiH has not been adopted. In GAP BiH, as a national strategy for GE, combating gender stereotypes has been included as one of the measures. Legislative and executive bodies at the state and entity levels, Brcko District authorities, cantons and municipalities commit themselves to carry out promotional activities and information campaigns in order to change the existing stereotypical attitudes and behaviours regarding the roles of women and men.

38.FMES gives ongoing financial support to programs of vocational training and lifelong learning for educators, realized through support to preschools, primary and secondary schools, institutes, associations of educators, pedagogical institutes and NGOs.

39.In July 2018, GEA BIH gave to FMES a Recommendation that textbooks used by primary and secondary schools in the Sarajevo Canton and the FBiH, containing gender stereotypes, falsehoods, outdated and discriminatory information, be replaced with textbooks that do not include such content. The recommendation was issued on the basis of a request from an NGO to investigate violations of the BiH LGE, which was submitted after a comprehensive gender-analysis of the textbooks. FMES has forwarded the Recommendation of the GEA BIH to the Cantonal Ministries and Publishing Houses and informed the GEA BIH that they would monitor the implementation of the recommendation and report to the GEA BiH. Some progress has been made in this field, given the fact that a public competition for the procurement of textbooks and other teaching aids for secondary schools was published, in order to allow the approval of as many textbooks and other teaching aids as possible for secondary schools.

40.BiH Public Broadcasting Service in programming content of BHR1 and BHT1 thematises the problems faced by vulnerable and marginalized groups in BiH. The website promotes SOS telephone numbers to support victims of violence, and within the BHR1 program scheme the problems of vulnerable and marginalized groups in BiH are presented, as well as the issue of position, rights, prejudices, equality, discrimination against women in general, and certain groups of women in BH society. Over the past five years, more than 40 shows on women’s rights have been broadcast, covering areas of violence against women, political and public life, participation in the labour market, women’s health and other relevant fields. There have also been cases of affirmative media coverage of fathers using parental leave.

41.Communications Regulatory Agency independently and through cooperation with the Press Council of BiH and the Association “BH Journalists”, regularly participates in seminars or conferences intended for public officials, judicial and police authorities, media, students, and others, on topics such as hate speech, discrimination, etc. In 2017 the BHR1 information program held a training for its employees on reporting on gender-based violence in collaboration with UN Women.

Gender-based violence against women

42.Efforts to align the laws with regard to standards of service for victims of violence have continued through projects “Strengthening the capacity of institutions to address gender-based violence”, conducted by the GEA BiH with the financial support of USAID; and “Standards and engagement for the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, conducted by UN WOMEN.

43.BiH MHRR provided budgetary resources totalling EUR 50,000 for grants to NGOs to support the work of safe houses in BiH, with the aim of making this a regular financing system in the future.

44.In the FBiH activities are carried out for the adoption of the new Domestic Violence Protection Act with a view to fully align with the Istanbul Convention and in particular with regard to the new solutions for standardization of services for victims of violence, including the proposal for a solution to the status of safe houses, in line with the solution currently in force in RS. The draft law has been finalized and should be submitted to the FBiH Government for adoption.

45.RS Government has determined Proposal of a Law on Amendments to the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence, which provides that victims of violence will receive more adequate and timely assistance and support, further enhanced by established international standards. Among other things, domestic violence is now treated solely as a crime which is an improvement in line with international standards, as well as a solution that is aligned with the law in the FBiH.

46.A significant step towards establishing a uniform legal framework in BiH for the protection against domestic violence is also the adoption of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence in the BDBiH in March 2018. The Law is harmonized with the EU acquis and provides for the care of the victim of violence in safe houses, while the funds for temporary care and accommodation of victims of domestic violence in safe houses are provided from the budget of the BDBIH. Since no safe houses were established in the BDBIH area, so far, victims have been housed in safe houses located in the Entities.

Note: Updated data on the number of protective measures, safe houses and psycho ‑social treatment are presented in Annex I

47.Within the Budget of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Policy there is a budget line for the implementation of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence which is used to finance the costs of housing victims of domestic violence, which is a transitional solution until the adoption of the Rules on the criteria and standards for the establishment and operation of safe houses in the FBiH. Of the six safe houses in the FBiH, the safe houses in the Sarajevo Canton and in the Zenica-Doboj Canton have partially resolved funding through securing funds from the budget of the cantonal institutions.

48.The Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Policy passed the Rulebook on the Content and Manner of Keeping Records of the Protective Measures Imposed in the FBiH as well as a Rulebook on the manner and place of implementation of the protective measures of mandatory psycho-social treatment of perpetrators of domestic violence. The Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs has adopted the Rulebook on the implementation of protection measures within the jurisdiction of the police, and the Federal Ministry of Health the Rulebook on the manner and place of implementation of the protective measures of mandatory treatment for alcohol, substance abuse or other psychotropic substances of perpetrators of domestic violence.

49.According to the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence of RS and Rulebook on the method of implementation of the protective measure – mandatory psycho-social treatment, RS health care institutions are in charge of implementing these protective measures. The perpetrator of domestic violence, to whom the court imposed the protective measure “Mandatory addiction treatment or compulsory psycho-social treatment”, is obliged to participate in the implementation of this measure. The health institutions in which these measures are implemented keep a record of the persons referred to them, in course of implementation and the results of the measures.

50.Training on the legal framework for preventing and combating gender-based violence and its implementation is an integral part of the curriculum for trainees of Entity police academies, and the program of initial training of judges and prosecutors which the newly appointed judicial office holders are required to commence within six months of taking up office and which is implemented each year by the Entity training centres for judges and prosecutors. HJPC BiH supervises the training of judges and prosecutors.

51.With a view to developing a unique mechanism for collecting data on gender-based violence against women GEA BIH, under the aforementioned USAID funded project, conducted the Analysis to establish a system for collecting and analysing data on gender-based violence which also includes proposals for measures and methodologies for comprehensive data collection on gender-based violence, violence against women and domestic violence in BiH. Analysis of the collection of administrative data on violence against women and domestic violence in BiH, according to the standards of the Istanbul Convention was also realized with the support of the Council of Europe.

52.HJPC BiH has cooperated with the GEA BiH with regard to the possibility of improving the Automatic Case Management System in courts and prosecutors’ offices, and related activities will be undertaken in the forthcoming period.

53.GEA BiH has launched an initiative to establish the Monitoring and Reporting Committee under the Istanbul Convention and the Femicide in BiH, which will be in charge of assessing the implementation of the Istanbul Convention and analysing data on cases of femicide, and recommending further action. The Committee is a multisectoral body made up of representatives of seven institutions at the BiH level, as well as representatives of the FBiH Government, the Government of the BDBIH and the NGO “Safe Network”. Decision on the establishment of the Committee was adopted by the CoM of BiH in August 2019.

54.In 2018, ARS BiH awarded grant of 8000 Euro to the Association of Roma Women for the project “Let’s raise our voice against violence” to raise public awareness of unacceptability of all forms of violence against women. Activities included: trainings for women, students, civil servants, street actions, round tables, recording and broadcasting of radio shows, and production and distribution of leaflets.

Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution

55.Anti-Trafficking AP 2016–2019 is in its final year of implementation. Of the 80 AP activities planned for 2018, 63 were fully implemented, 12 were partially implemented and 5 were not implemented. Indicators for identifying victims of trafficking are designed and focused on the forms of exploitation that are most commonly repeated and detected in the country, and include trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced begging and coercion.

56.In October 2016, the Minister of Security of BiH issued a Decision to appoint a Monitoring Team for conducting a continuous process of monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the AP, consisting of one representative from the BiH MHRR, the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH, the Ministry of Justice of BiH, the HJPC, the Government of the RS, the Government of the FBiH, the Government of the BDBIH, a representative of civil society and two representatives of the MS BiH.

57.AP prescribes the activity “Strengthen mechanisms for early identification and referral of victims of trafficking, with particular focus on Roma women and internally displaced persons”. Within this measure, several types of support have been implemented for women and girls victims of trafficking, in cooperation with the non‑governmental sector in cases of need for the accommodation in safe houses. Through the conversation, the consequences of the unlawful conduct were explained to each victim, and the victims were referred to institutions that could provide them with adequate assistance in obtaining material compensation for the damage they suffered. There are ongoing activities of raising awareness and educating professionals working on trafficking issues.

58.BiH MHRR provides regular budgetary funding for NGO grants in a total of EUR 30,600 for direct support to victims of trafficking through the rehabilitation and reintegration of women and girls victims of trafficking in the local community.

59.The courts have ruled in 2018 for acts of trafficking 48 convictions, half of which are prison sentences. The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH did not have an investigation into the criminal offense of International Trafficking in Human Beings and International Enticing for Prostitution. The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina has pronounced two convictions against two persons (imprisonment) for the criminal offense of International Enticing for Prostitution.

60.Guidelines for the treatment of victims of trafficking by mental health centres were issued, in cooperation with Association “XY” and MS BiH. A multisectoral cooperation was established between the five mental health centres, governmental and non-governmental sectors at the entity and state levels, in accordance with regulations in this area.

61.The criminal laws in BiH do not contain the crime of prostitution (they recognize the act of “Enticing for Prostitution”), and there is no need to decriminalize women in prostitution or to remove sentences. Namely, in the criminal laws of BiH, entities and BDBIH, a provision was introduced decriminalizing a victim of trafficking in human beings for the commission of another act, if such treatment was a consequence of his status as a victim of trafficking in human beings.

62.Prostitution Exit Programs for women who want this are implemented in the framework of the fight against trafficking in human beings and implemented in partnership with NGOs.

63.The Prosecution of the Una-Sana Canton, which is among the most affected by the problem of illegal migrants, is actively participating in the implementation of protection measures for women victims, categories of migrant women and women seeking asylum. The prosecution participated in the drafting of Standard operating procedures of the Una Sana Canton for the prevention and protection against gender based violence in emergencies and crises and disasters. In addition, the Prosecutor’s Office of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton has organized meetings with police structures and other agencies regarding the increasing presence of migrants in the area of this canton, and has designated a prosecutor who is specifically responsible for coordinating with relevant authorities cases related to the migrant population.

Participation in political and public life

64.GEA BiH, NGO Sarajevo Open Centre and the Gender Equality Commission of the HoR of the PA BiH submitted in 2016 an initiative for the amendment of the BiH Election Law to increase the gender quota to 50% on candidate lists, as well as initiative to amend the Law on the CoM BiH with the introduction of a 40% quota for the underrepresented gender within the CoM BIH. These initiatives have not yet been adopted, and advocacy towards their adoption is a priority.

65.After the 2018 General Elections the GEA BiH sent a Recommendation for equal representation of both genders in the CoM BiH to the political parties that won seats in the BiH Parliament, to the Collegium of the HoR of the PA BiH and the Commission for the preparation of the elections of the CoM BiH. With this Recommendation, GEA BiH reminded of domestic and international standards for GE and urged for taking into account the equal representation of both genders when deciding on the members of the CoM BiH.

66.For the 2016 Local Elections, Central Election Commission BiH conducted an information campaign aimed at increasing the participation of women in public and political life. The campaign was conducted in ten major cities, four TV spots broadcasted on 18 public TV stations and 30 private stations, and a radio jingle broadcast on 64 public and 78 private radio stations.

67.In cooperation with the Council of Europe, GEA BiH conducted a media campaign “We present the candidates – you elect” with the aim of increasing the visibility of the candidates of all political subjects at 2018 General Election and influencing public opinion to change perceptions about women politicians and the role of women in the society. Twenty six women candidates for positions at state and entity levels were presented, with six winning the mandates (23% of the total number of candidates presented). Sixty five candidates for the cantonal level of government in the FBiH were also presented, and 22 (34%) were given the mandate. The fact that women candidates presented on the campaign had more success on average than the overall average female candidates in the elections indicates a relatively positive effect of the campaign.

68.A campaign named “Choose Equally” is being conducted every two years in the RS including special promotional activities, promotional materials distributed throughout the RS through media and social networks, as well as special trainings, seminars and other forms of gathering women from all political parties. Forum “Woman and Power: What is the Real Impact of Women in Public and Political Life” was organized, as well as workshops on teamwork, leadership, presentation skills and public speaking to encourage and empower them to participate more actively in public and political life.


69.Through Citizenship Laws in BiH it is possible to grant BiH citizenship to any child born or found in the territory of BiH and whose parents are either unknown or of unknown nationality, or without citizenship, or if the child is stateless.

70.In the case of the birth of a child whose parents have recognized refugee status, Asylum Sector of the MS BiH, upon receipt of the application for refugee status for the child with the submission of evidence (birth certificate), decides on granting the refugee status to the child, based on the previously recognized refugee status of the parents in BiH.

71.Children of asylum seekers in BiH are registered in the birth registers with the assistance of attorneys who provide them with free legal aid, while the Asylum Sector of MS BiH, upon receipt of birth certificates, joins the new-born child to the asylum-seeker parents and issues a new asylum seeker card to the new-born child on the basis of which the child may exercise rights as an asylum seeker, as prescribed by the Asylum Act.

72.As a result of the large influx of migrants to BiH, activities are being undertaken to facilitate the registration of children born in BiH whose parents do not hold documents (asylum seekers and migrants). All competent authorities in BiH are constantly working to improve the legislation regulating the issue of birth registers and citizenship registration, especially when it comes to the entry and registration of each child.

73.Progress has been recorded regarding the registration of Roma children in the registry-books. Law on Registers in FBiH stipulates that the municipality is obliged to organize the provision of free professional assistance for the registration in the birth and death registries to persons who have the status of socially disadvantaged person or national minority and create conditions for all such persons to be entered in the birth and death registries.


74.GEA BiH, Entity gender centres and the non-governmental sector mark every year the international “Girls in ICT Day”, to encourage the interest of girls, girls and women, to increase their visibility, interest and participation in education, as well as professional careers in innovation, technical, technological and ICT fields. Results of the Study on Gender Equality in the IT Sector in BiH indicate that women accounted for a total of 25% of the IT workforce in 2015, and that 90% of companies surveyed believe that they foster a culture of GE. In 50% of companies men occupy leading positions, in 40% of cases men and women equally occupy the highest positions in the company, and in 10% of companies women prevail in the highest positions.

75.For the past seven years. GCRS has been devoting a whole week in April to marking the International Girls in ICT Day (ICTD) GCRS has made a close partnership with an IT Company LANACO Banja Luka, which provides support through various certified courses for girls after which trainees have the opportunity to enter the IT job market. This campaign has been recognized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), because every year activities are listed on a worldwide calendar to commemorate this day through the GIRLS IN ICT DAY portal. This model of cooperation has proven to be of multiple use and importance not only in the form of promotional activities, but also of concrete actions for the advancement of women in this field, as well as the direct inclusion of women in the labour market.

76.In 2016, FMES approved funds in the amount of EUR 8,680 for co-financing projects called “Support programs that allow adults to graduate from primary school with a focus on the female population.” Also, FMES Work Plan for 2017 allocated financial support to vocational and secondary technical schools, institutions, institutions and organizations that carry out and implement programs of retraining and additional training in the amount of EUR 7,500, in order to provide easier access to the labour market for adults, and especially for women in need of retraining and additional qualifications.

77.In 2016 GCRS a “Special Report on Research Findings and Recommendations on Socio-Economic Gender Inequalities in RS”, which contains recommendations for eliminating perceived gender inequalities in the field of education. Among other things, a program was recommended to encourage girls to opt for scientific fields, such as IT, engineering, technical and mathematical fields.

78.In FBiH, an MoU on establishing a policy partnership for lifelong entrepreneurial learning in the FBiH was signed followed by the adoption of the AP for the Development of Lifelong Entrepreneurial Learning in the FBiH, which envisages the measure “Entrepreneurship as a (self)employment opportunity with a focus on the female population”.

79.FMES participated in the development of Strategy for the Advancement of the Rights and Status of Persons with Disabilities in the FBiH (2016–2021) which through the specific objective “Strengthen employment and self-employment of persons with disabilities” includes the activity of encouraging women’s entrepreneurship, with special emphasis on women with disabilities. Strategy also foresees specific objective “Raising public awareness of disability issues in order to remove prejudices, cultural and psychological barriers”.

80.In order to eradicate the phenomenon known as “two schools under one roof”, FMES, together with Coordination board of FBiH Ministers of Education and Science, created the document “Recommendations for the Elimination of Segregated and Divided Structures in Educational Institutions in the FBiH” which were distributed to all Cantonal Ministries of Education with the aim of providing assistance and making concrete proposals to overcome this practice.

81.A program has been implemented in BiH “Support for education of Roma children, other national minorities and socially disadvantaged categories” with the aim of encouraging the schools that have Roma children in their area of enrolment to hire Roma mediators, who would perform mediation work in Roma communities, establishing initial contacts with Roma families whose children were not enrolled in school, and conducting preventive activities in order to attend school regularly and master school responsibilities. Mediators are working with the relevant authorities and the non-governmental sector to prevent Roma girls from leaving school, as well as to increase the number of Roma girls enrolling and graduating from high schools.

82.One-off cash prizes are used as one of the incentive measures for Roma students, including Roma girls to show dedication, as well as motivation to complete primary education and enrol in high school.

83.In the FBiH funds (EUR 3,212,324.00 in the last five years) are being earmarked for improving working conditions, with an emphasis on improving educational work with children with disabilities. Free textbooks are also provided for children in social need (EUR 1,228,376.00 earmarked in the last three years).

84.Some cantons in the FBiH have made significant advances in promoting the rights of Roma children, children with disabilities and socially vulnerable categories. So for example, ME of Bosnia-Podrinje Canton, in collaboration with Association “XY” and UNFPA systematically introduced youth health topics into primary education (grades VI through IX) which are addressed during classroom hours.

85.A positive example comes from ME of Sarajevo Canton who prepared an AP on the Educational Needs of Roma in Sarajevo Canton 2019–2022. The aim of this action plan is to build systemic solutions and preconditions for equality in the right of access to quality education, as well as to increase the number of Roma children enrolled in pre-school education.

86.Employment of an official for Roma issues in the BDBIH Department of Education is one of the measures to stimulate and change the awareness of Roma students and their parents about the importance of education. In 2018, a Local Action Plan for Roma in the BDBiH 2017–2020 was adopted which foresees activities to raise awareness of the Roma population about the importance of education.

87.The Mayor of the BDBiH appointed the Intersectoral Working Group to implement the program “Promoting good governance and empowerment of the Roma community at the local level” to gain the support through partnerships with local institutions and participate in solving the problems of the Roma community, including education.


88.In 2016 total of 42,670 women in the FBiH were deleted from the unemployment records because of finding a job. Within active employment policy programs of the Federal Employment Bureau for 2018, women are recognized as the target group of all individual co-financing programs for employment, self‑employment and job preparation. An active policy for the employment of the least employable categories of unemployed persons, including victims of domestic violence, is regularly implemented through the Program of co-financing, employment, self-employment and preparation for work. The Federal Employment Service, together with the BiH Chamber of Commerce, the Institute for Education (ECOS) and the Foundation for Social Inclusion, funded and implemented the project “Social, Entrepreneurial and E-Inclusion of Women 40+”.

89.FBiH Government adopted in July 2018 the FBiH Employment Strategy for the period 2018–2021. The main objective of the Strategy is to increase formal employment in the private sector and to provide opportunities for decent jobs for all women and men, especially if they are disadvantaged. The strategy is in the parliamentary adoption procedure, but the Federal Employment Service is already using it as a guide in its work, since it is already in line with other development documents and projects.

90.The Strategy for Strengthening the Mediation Function in Public Employment Services in the FBiH was adopted with first strategic goal the development of a public employment mediation function in the FBiH, and the rapid and concrete exercise of the rights arising from unemployment status.

91.The FBiH government adopted in 2018 Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Action Plan 2018–2020, which operationalises the first principle of the EU-SME Act “Creating a stimulating environment for entrepreneurship development”, in the related sub-dimension related to women’s entrepreneurship.

92.Employment strategies in RS for the period (2011–2015 and 2016–2020) had a positive impact on achieving GE. Unemployed women in different statuses are the target categories in both strategies. Through the 2014–2018 employment programs, through direct monetary incentives, 13,853 unemployed persons were employed, of which 6,408 were women, or 46.26%, which was the result of active employment measures for women as target categories. The number of women who used the funds and who were employed through targeted projects increased from year to year in the observed period, so that for all projects in 2014 the number of employed women was 846, while in 2018 this number was 2.575. Employment Action Plans in RS, which are implemented every year, include women from rural areas and women victims of violence as a specific target group.

93.Significant measures and activities have been taken by the RS Ministry of Education and Culture and the Bureau of Adult Education in order to harmonize the vocational education and training system with the requirements of the labour market. These include the realization of legal and institutional preconditions for the establishment of adult education and training system, the introduction of entrepreneurial education programs into educational programs, as well as the establishment of a system of cross-sectoral cooperation of social partners in education.

94.Through the World Bank project for employment support implemented in the FBiH since 2017, it is anticipated that 15,000 least employable persons, including women, will be employed by 2020. Based on preliminary results of the implementation of the measures in 2017, it was found that 3,085 employers and 6,934 persons participated in the various programs, of which 2,863 were women with an average age of 26 to 48 years.

95.The project Local Development Strategies, funded by EU Instruments for Pre‑Accession Assistance (IPA II), focused, among other things, on addressing unequal opportunities in the labour market for women and men and on supporting women and young entrepreneurs, including the launch of targeted training and advisory services. The project was implemented from 2016 to March 2019 in 15 municipalities in BiH.

96.HJPC BiH has undertaken activities to adequately monitor discrimination cases with respect to information on various grounds of discrimination, and has upgraded Automatic Case Management System (CMS) Code Book by adding the legal basis of discrimination, the type of discrimination, the basis of discrimination and the form of discrimination. Data entry by the competent courts is ongoing, in all cases currently pending before the courts. In the coming period, it will be possible to obtain adequate information on the cases before the courts, given the different forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sex and gender, and sexual harassment.

97.Within Decent Work Program for BiH 2012–2015 in cooperation with the International Labour Organization, workshops were organized, reports were prepared and a campaign launched for raising awareness on the informal economy, in which women are more involved. In 2017, a joint session of entity governments was held where the common measures to combat the informal economy were adopted.

98.In the FBIH a new FBiH Labour Law was adopted which contains provisions that should help solve the problem of undeclared work, such as employment issues, records obligations for employers, fines for employers, as well as for a person who works without a contract. FBiH government AP to fight the grey economy is prepared which identified priority short- and medium-term activities aimed at reducing the grey economy in the FBiH, especially in the construction, tourism and hospitality and trade sectors (including internet commerce). The AP is in the process of being approved by the government.

99.All inspectors of Republic Inspection Administration, inspectors of Tax Administration and inspectors of RS Lottery Authority were granted the authority to control the registration of workers (regardless of gender) into a Unified system of registration, control and collection of contributions. In this way, more favourable conditions for employment were created, i.e., the transfer from the informal sector to the formal sector and the creation of conditions for access to pension and health insurance. According to the information available, there were no specific measures or other activities to strengthen labour inspections, especially regarding the protection of women’s rights at work and in relation to work.

100.Work Inspection of the BDBiH supervises the implementation of the adopted regulations, the Labour Law and others within its competence, as well as the supervision related to work in the informal sector. The Labour Inspectorate also controls maternity protection through inspection.

101.In response to the problem of uneven maternity benefits, in 2019 the House of Representatives of the FBiH Parliament adopted a Proposal of the Law on Support to Families with Children in FBiH thus marking a significant leap towards equalizing the rights exercised by unemployed new mothers. The new law, which is in line with international standards, will harmonize the conditions for exercising of the right – compensation for unemployed mothers. This is regulated as “Financial Assistance for Unemployed New Mothers” in the amount of 30% of the average salary in the FBiH over 12 months, taking into account the current financial capacities of the cantons and the FBiH.

102.To reduce poverty and improve access to social protection for women and girls in the RS, the RS Law on Child Protection prescribes the right to maternity allowance the protection of women/unemployed mothers. The right to the maternity allowance is set at EUR 207 per month and is exercised by the unemployed mother for a period of 12 months, and for twins and every third and subsequent child, for a period of 18 months. The right to a maternity allowance for a third and fourth child may be exercised by the mother regardless of the material status of the family and the place of birth of the child in a lump sum of EUR 300 for the third child and EUR 230 for the fourth child.

103.Small Business Development Incentives Act is in force in FBIH in which there are no specific provisions on women entrepreneurs. However, the FBiH Government adopted the Women Entrepreneurship Development AP 2018–2020, which relies on the measure “Empowering women entrepreneurs” from the strategy paper “Development of SMEs in FBiH 2009–2018”. Within the regular budget, FBiH Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts allocates a grant for the development of women’s entrepreneurship in the amount of EUR 434,500 per year.

104.In February 2019 Strategy for Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship of RS (2018–2022) was adopted, based on the RS SME development strategy (2016–2020). Funding for the implementation of this strategy amounts to a total of EUR 2.3 million, most of which relates to the credit support of the RS Investment Bank, while other funds refer to funds from the Republic and local budgets, as well as funds from international projects and programs. In addition to the provision of financial resources, there are trainings for women entrepreneurs, support for the promotion of women entrepreneurs, as well as support for the association of women entrepreneurs and strengthening the role of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Council at the RS Chamber of Commerce.

105.The Agency for the Development of SME of RS, undertakes activities to encourage women to start their own businesses or to improve their businesses. By gaining membership in the European Enterprise Network, numerous opportunities have been opened to support women’s entrepreneurship in RS. Business planning trainings have been organized for women who want to start their own business as well as for existing women entrepreneurs. At the end of 2016 the Entrepreneurial portal RS was launched as a unique on-line platform in this region, which brings together all the relevant information for starting, growing and developing a business. In addition to all information on SME development, the portal also contains information on women’s entrepreneurship.

106.A new RS Labour Law was adopted in the reporting period, which stipulates in Article 120 (2) that workers shall be guaranteed equal pay for the same work or work of the same value which they obtain from the employer.


107.GEA BIH within the scope of the USAID funded project (see para #43) conducted several sectoral studies, including analysis of the health sector in BiH. One of the key findings is the absence of crisis centres for raped women and victims of sexual violence, as required by the Istanbul Convention. The Project Revision requested from the donor to approve funding for the establishment of crisis centres. GEA BiH plans, in cooperation with other institutions, to work on defining the legal framework for the establishment of centres during 2020, and the opening of a pilot centre would follow in 2021.

108.An analysis of the implementation of the measures was carried out from the Strategy for the Advancement of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the FBiH 2010–2019, based on a questionnaire circulated in 2016 to all stakeholders relevant to the implementation of the Strategy. The analysis served for the revision of the said Strategy.

109.FMH in collaboration with UNFPA in 2015 produced a comprehensive Resource Package “Strengthening the Response of the FBiH Health System to Gender-Based Violence”. Trainings under this Resource Package are being conducted on a continuous basis in health centres in the FBiH, which is constantly increasing the coverage of health workers and associates who are further equipped to treat victims of gender-based violence.

110.Cooperation between the education and health sectors was established through design and implementation of the curriculum for the “Healthy Lifestyle” course, which includes education on sexual and reproductive health issues, and related Teacher’s Manual. The documents were produced in cooperation with representatives of FMES, FMH, Cantonal Ministries, Pedagogical Institutes, Parents Council of Canton Sarajevo and Association XY. From 2010 to 2015 “XY” educated 200 teachers who will teach “Healthy Lifestyle” classes.

111.Amendments of the RS Law on Health Care envisage that women’s health care is provided at the level of the health centres and at the level of family medicine dispensaries, which are distributed throughout the RS, so that the primary level of care is accessible to all, especially women. In order to improve health care the Strategy for the Advancement of Sexual and Reproductive Health in RS (2019–2029) is in the process of being adopted.

112.The RS Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has drafted in the previous period a Strategy for the development of mental health in RS, currently in the adoption process, that defines, among other things, the need to develop and evaluate programs in different contexts (women and children victims of domestic violence, psychological support for the LGBT population) and to identify factors that affect their implementation. The RS Law on Mental Health Protection is also being prepared.

113.Health services provided to women in BDBiH are, as a rule, equally accessible, both in urban and rural areas. However, the fact is that a number of women in the rural areas are still not exercising their right to health insurance. There are no specific measures to promote the use of modern methods of contraception. All modern contraceptives are available to citizens, but none of these contraceptives are available through an essential list of medicines, and they can be purchased at pharmacies at market prices.

114.The Public Health Institution in the BDBiH is implementing a breast cancer prevention program, but the limiting factors are the insufficient number of trained staff and equipment. Related to cervical cancer, a so-called “opportunistic screening” is performed, since no program for the prevention of cervical cancer was adopted at the national level.

115.UNFPA and NGO Public Health Partnership in co-operation with the competent ministries of health drafted the Family Planning Coach Training Guide. Four modules have been created covering contraception, legislation, counselling and adult education techniques for family physicians and nurses. In November 2015, 20 future coaches were trained to educate family medicine physicians on the topic of family planning. Also, a brochure for patients on the topic of contraception was prepared, and physicians who have received the training are required to provide promotional and educational material to patients.

116.Within the program of the Global Fund Brochures “Love & Safe Sex”, “Condoms and Lubricants” and “Be Smart, Protect Yourself” were produced. In the period 2010–2015, the Association “XY” implemented youth trainings and peer education presentations and educated 328 peer educators. Peer education encompasses 7,003 people in school settings and 11,154 people in extracurricular settings.

Rural women

117.Some of the key measures envisaged in GAP BiH focus on the exercise and promotion of the rights of vulnerable groups of women, including women in rural areas. Through various action plans and programs in BiH, measures have been planned that enable the introduction of specific programs in the rural entrepreneurship segment, as well as financial incentives and incentives for introducing young people to agriculture, stimulating additional activities in rural areas and promoting women.

118.In February 2018, the PA BiH adopted the Bosnia and Herzegovina Rural Development Strategic Plan (2018–2021) – Framework document, which in its section on GE, recognizes the efforts by gender-based institutional mechanisms to improve the status of women, and envisages a measure “Supporting Gender Equality” with the aim of improving GE and highlighting the importance of the active role of women in the agricultural sector. The support is designed in such a way that when applying for a grant advantage is given to women, and support is also provided through targeted measures, easier and more favourable access to rural loans, easier land acquisition (or transfer of ownership to agricultural producers), favourable access to the implementation of various measures for investing in agricultural holdings, etc.

119.Geodetic and property authorities in BIH implement a number of projects, including raising awareness of equality between women and men in property registration, as well as introducing the public to the international standards in this area. For example, as a result of these efforts there is increasing trend in percentage of women owners or co-owners of real estate in FBIH (24.7% in 2003, 26.8% in 2013 and 28.4% in 2017).

120.Each year the MAFRS adopts the Rulebook on the conditions and manner of obtaining financial incentives for capital investments in agricultural production laying down criteria that allow additional points (5 points) if the holder of the household is a woman. Decree on entry in the register of agricultural holdings allows the holder to not own the property but to be the holder with the consent of the household members. One of the concrete results of this measure is the increased proportion of women holding agricultural holdings, from 12.5% in 2011 (the first year of implementation of the AP for the Advancement of Rural Women), over 14% in 2015 (at the end of the AP’s implementation), to 22.7% in 2017.

121.Although measures for rural women were initially temporary, they became part of the MAFRS’s regular annual work plan, ensuring their sustainability in the future. The Strategic Plan for Development of Agriculture and Rural Areas of RS 2016–2020 has gender mainstreaming integrated. This includes measures that include the needs, priorities and contributions of women, alignment of all regulations with GE standards, with particular emphasis on laws governing property issues, property ownership and access to economic resources.

122.Instruction on Organizing and Conducting Elections for Members for the Local Community Councils of RS is harmonized with the provisions of the BiH LGE and, among other things, prescribes an obligation of equal gender representation, which has led to an increased participation of women in the Local Community Councils.

Disadvantaged groups of women

123.The BIH Asylum Act treats women as a vulnerable category but does not prescribe measures and procedures that give special importance to the protection of women asylum seekers in BiH. The law prescribes guarantees that are, during the asylum application process, provided to all asylum seekers in BiH, without specifying gender. It is defined that the asylum seeker will be provided with information on the conditions and procedure for granting refugee or subsidiary protection status, rights and obligations, consequences of non-compliance, and other.

124.Upon application for asylum, the reception and accommodation of the asylum seeker is provided at asylum centre in Delijaš, a specialized institution, designated by the CoM BIH and equipped to accommodate asylum seekers in BiH. All beneficiaries of the asylum centre are provided with accommodation, hygiene supplies, food, primary health care, as well as some financial assistance. Vulnerable categories of asylum seekers are provided certain additional services and facilities needed during their stay in the centre.

125.Rulebook on employment records prescribes the Book of records of aliens, asylum seekers and persons under international protection who are employed or seeking employment in the FBiH, which means that persons belonging to this category have, under statutory conditions, secured access to the FBiH labour market and can exercise unemployment rights.

126.For the implementation of the Revised AP to address Roma employment, housing and healthcare issues (2013–2016) BiH has allocated around EUR 6 million. EUR 970,000 was earmarked for Roma employment through the employment and self-employment projects, which included 305 users.

127.According to data obtained from the employment bureaus, there are 2,645 unemployed Roma registered who will be covered in the next strategic period by employment and self-employment programs

128.BiH MHRR signs MOUs with the Federal Employment Service, RS Employment Service and BDBiH Employment Service, with aim of employing Roma. In the period 2013–2018, a total of 468 persons from this target group were employed in the FBiH, of whom 141 are Roma (30%). Of these, 93 women are employed and 48 have started their own businesses.

129.During implementation of the Revised AP (2013–2016) for the improvement of the living conditions of the Roma, about 3.5 million EUR has been earmarked to build or reconstruct 223 housing units, and 724 Roma families were beneficiaries of those infrastructure programs.

130.For the Roma health care in the period 2013–2016 a total of EUR 380,000 was allocated on the basis of concluded MoUs between the BiH MHRR and the FBiH Institute of Public Health, the RS Institute of Public Health and the BDBIH Department of Health.

131.Progress has been made on the introduction of Roma families into the FBiH health care system where out of the total number of about 4,000 uninsured persons registered, 934 were introduced into the system. Progress has also been made in the education of Roma population on how to exercise their rights to health care, in raising awareness, immunization of children, reproductive health and maternity, as well as in implementing preventive programs – screening for specific diseases (cervical cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer) in Roma communities. In the next start-up period, an additional 3,141 Roma should be included in these programs and activities, and about 3,700 Roma families were identified who need some intervention in this area.

132.Improved access by minority groups to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, regardless of marital status and age, including access to contraception, is the subject of all policies and strategies in this field, as well as relevant documents relating the Decade of Roma integration. A Guide to Health Care and Access to Roma Health Insurance in FBiH, was prepared with a particular focus on approach of Roma women to health care, including sexual and reproductive health rights. Educations were also held in this regard, and topics included the impact of child marriages on girls’ health. Pointing out the importance of health promotion and disease prevention is a continuous activity of the Public Health Institute in relation to the Roma population.

133.Through the Project “Raising awareness of Roma population in the field of health” – Phase IV in FBiH in 2016 included also examinations of specific diseases (cervical cancer and breast cancer). The activity was carried out in cooperation with the FBiH Institute of Public Health, FMH, health institutions and Roma NGOs and with coordinators in Roma communities. In this way, a total of 355 Roma women were screened, and those with certain health problems were monitored through a regular health care system under doctors’ supervision and had access to necessary health services.

134.In BDBiH there are issues of pregnant Roma women coming from countries in the region (mainly from the Republic of Serbia) that have not been reported in the BDBiH area. They report to the maternity ward of the hospital for completion of childbirth without any documentation and health insurance, because they know that health care will be provided.

135.According to the data from the Departments for Displaced Persons, Refugees and Housing Issues of the BDBiH 49 individual housing units have been renovated through the Roma housing project so far, and 7 buildings are in the reconstruction phase, as is an apartment building with 18 housing units accommodating the Roma.

Marriage and family relationships

136.Ombudsman Institution has so far had one case dealing with the issue of combating the practice of early marriage in the Roma population. The institution points out that the competent authorities have shown an enviable level of coordination, police officers’ skills and cooperation with centres for social work.

137.The Prosecutor of the Una-Sana Canton undertakes measures to reduce the number of child marriages among the Roma. The Prosecutor held a workshop for Roma women on the topic “Crimes against sexual freedom and moral in the context of Roma marriages”. Also, a lecture was held at the school that has the highest number of reports of violence, as well as minor marriages, with the aim of sensitizing teachers about the occurrence of underage marriages and the obligation to report violence.

138.Association of Roma Women “Better Future” from Tuzla has done a survey on underage marriages in Roma communities. It was found that the number of such marriages could not be determined with certainty. Some progress has been made in the field of education of the Roma, but not enough for full implementation of the AP for Roma Educational Needs in BiH. Rapid social change significantly impedes the processes of growing up and indicates the need for preventative programs and promotion of healthy lifestyles, starting from children, adolescents, to parent support programs.

139.Cooperation with representatives of the Roma and NGO “Roma in action” is established in BDBIH aimed at raising awareness on harmful effects of child marriage in Roma communities. There was only one case of a 15-year-old Roma pregnant woman at the hospital ward of Brčko Hospital who gave birth in an institution and the Centre for Social Work of BDBIH informed of this case.