Ethnic minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina – current state, discrimination and safety issues
Bosnia and Herzegovina is an ethnically heterogeneous country. In addition to the constituent peoples, Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats, other ethnic minorities also live in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their legal status is defined by the Law on the Protection of National Minorities. However, in day-to-day life, they face numerous political, legal, economic, cultural, social, and security problems. The present paper seeks to address the position of ethnic minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It focuses on three main study questions: a) the composition of ethnic minorities and their position in society; b) the issue of discrimination; and c) the issue of safety. The present research is based on secondary data analysis, comprising legislation, state institution reports, international and non-governmental organization reports, and media reports. The research findings revealed that ethnic minorities were discriminated against on several grounds. The position of the Romani people is particularly is worrisome. In addition to various forms of discrimination, the occurrence of hate-motivated incidents is not uncommon. Law enforcement and prosecution agencies, and courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina do not take appropriate measures to identify hate motivation and treat these instances as hate crimes. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a long way ahead before it succeeds in ensuring respects for the rights of ethnic minorities and creating conditions for their equal status in society.
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