Round table "Challenges in the field of human rights and freedoms in Bosnia and Herzegovina" held

A round table on the topic "Challenges in the field of human rights and freedoms in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was held on March 3, 2020 in Sarajevo, as part of the project " Women Human Rights Defenders improving human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina", with financial support from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The project aims to improve the protection of human rights in BiH, with a focus on women's human rights and human rights defenders.

Roundtable participants were briefed by the expert adviser of the Agency for Gender Equality of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kika Babic-Svetlin, on the responses of the institutions of the system to the problems faced by human rights defenders. Although there is no legislative framework that does recognizes human rights defenders as a separate category, the Protocol on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, signed at the end of 2018, defines the obligations of the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH and human rights defenders and represents the basis for the development of cooperation between state institutions and human rights defenders. The current challenges in the field of human rights and freedoms in Bosnia and Herzegovina were presented by Adnan Kadribasic, expert on human rights. He also outlined ways to advocate for advancement in this area.
They were also introduced with the project and project objectives, which focuses on the prevention and suppression of all forms of gender discrimination. Jasmina Mujezinovic, Executive Director of the Foundation of Local Democracy, in her opening address emphasized: "the goal is to explain with joint forces what discrimination is and what instruments are available in the case of discrimination" as one of the problems that human rights defenders face.

The importance of this gathering is also reflected in "getting information from civil society organizations, especially human rights defenders who are not from major cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, about the issues they face in order to define real needs", said Selma Begic, Program Manager of the Foundation of Local Democrats, adding that "it is important to ensure that information is available outside major cities about anti-discrimination mechanisms, which is one of the activities of this project".

Participants also selected civil society representatives on the advisory committee enviseged in the November 2018 Protocol on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders.

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