AI: In BiH discrimination of Roma people and LGBT community continues

Besides the adoption of advanced anti-discrimination legal framework, the vulnerable groups/minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina are still the target of discrimination, according to the latest Amnesty International’s annual report.

In its annual report on the state of human rights globally, Amnesty International named the main issues that our country still faces, even though it adopted good quality laws that enable the fight against discrimination.

The BiH Council of Ministers, in April 2016, adopted the first action plan to prevent discrimination, and in June the Parliamentary Assembly adopted the amendments to the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, according to Amnesty International. The new provsions in the Law specify the grounds on which discrimination can be done, so the Law now includes sexual orientation, and extends the previously existing categories – race, religion and nationality as the only grounds for discrimination. The Parliament of Federation BiH also amended its Criminal Code that now recognizes hate crime as a criminal offense, too.

However, the social exclusion and discrimination, especially of the Roma population and LGBT community, are still wide spread in the country.

„Even though the number of Roma persons without ID has lowered and there has been a slight improvement in their housing, Roma persons are still exposed to systematic barriers in their access to education, health care and employment“, according to the report.

Activists in BiH have documented cases of verbal and physical attacks on the LGBT community, but most of those cases have not been thoroughly tested. In the report it is stated that the judgement of the European Court for Human Rights in the case Sejdić-Finci has not been implemented yet.

The full report in English is available here.