Children’s Relief Bosnia and Herzegovina MISSION STATEMENT
Children’s Relief-Hilfe fuer Kinder in Not e.V. was established to create and enable environment for healthy and prosperous life for children in extreme settings, in conflict, post conflict and developing countries. CR is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children – victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation and those with disabilities. Children’s Relief is non-governmental, non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, CR supports adolescents and youth, single parents particularly young mothers and most disadvantaged children have priority.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – NATIONAL CONTEXT
Annex VII-Return Strategy
The Revised Strategy for the implementation of Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement continues to be the overarching framework for achieving durable solutions for the remaining 103,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in BiH, including over 8,600 persons living in Collective Centers (CCs) and over 15,000 in temporary “alternative accommodation”. The Strategy also addresses the sustainability of return for nearly 470,000 minority returnees, many of whom have been unable to reintegrate and remain vulnerable. Today there are around 3,000 households in 107 municipalities throughout BiH where pre-war inhabitants had returned to their homes at least five years ago but have been living deprived of electric power ever since or water supply in cases of collective centers.
61% of the BiH population lives in rural municipalities, putting it in fourth place behind Montenegro, Ireland and Finland. Half of rural households have little or no involvement with agriculture, at most keeping a vegetable garden. 36% of rural households operate “smallholdings”, producing a significant share of their own food requirements, but generating very little cash income. The 2007 Household Budget Survey showed that 20% of rural people live in poverty compared to 18% in urban areas, and that their poverty is 9% deeper, but the distribution is very different: rural poverty is spread out amongst a large number of small households (e.g. many pensioners) whilst urban poverty is concentrated on a smaller number of large households (e.g. families with children).
Access to Justice
Over 800,000 people do not have access to legal aid and assistance. The most affected groups in BiH include poor and persons with low income; children without parental care; victims of domestic and gender-based violence; asylum seekers; minorities and stateless people, and victims of human trafficking; persons with disabilities.
Sexual and Gender Based Violence
Limited progress in judicial reform processes has been made in terms of development of draft national strategies and action plans. Nonetheless, the challenges and needs for victims of the war have not been addressed entirely and are governed by different laws and policies at different layers of the government. Over 46% of women in BiH have been exposed to and are victims of violence. The highest percentage of 36% is among adolescent girls and young women of age 15-34. Over 50% are victims of psychological and emotional violence, while 26% are victims of physical and sexual violence. The number of reported cases is decreasing due to provisions of laws that are regulating protective measures, fines and processing of cases. The average time for processing of these cases is between 18 months to 3 years.
Most of the young people want to leave BiH: only one in ten would not leave BiH for an extended period or permanently. In relation to other vulnerable groups, the Roma youth are the most willing to leave BiH for temporary employment, marriage or permanent residence in a foreign country. Only one in six of the young people were interested in politics and most of them believe that they hold no influence over decision-making outside of their circle of family and friends. Therefore, it is not surprising to learn that many of the young people did not vote.