Category Archives: Legal Aid

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CONFERENCE “Implementation of Anti-discrimination Standards” November 21, 2013

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JAVNE TRIBINE I PRAVNO SAVJETOVANJE RADNICIMA U SEKTORU TRGOVINE I USLUŽNIH DJELATNOSTI

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Committed to make human rights effective -World Refugee Day 2013

Acting as UNHCRs Implementing partner for over a decade, Association „Vasa prava BiH“ with UNHCRs continuing support has played a key role in making asylum seekers and refugees, as well as other vulnerable people rights become effective.

The importance of NGOs’ role in protecting refugees was recognized by the UN General Assembly when, in adopting UNHCR’s Statute, it called on the High Commissioner to establish contact with “private organizations” (now known as NGOs) dealing with refugees issues and to help coordinate the efforts of those organizations.

The international community struggles with the challenge of repairing the harms that haunt post-conflict societies, including restoring the homes, property and other kinds of well-being of traumatized populations.  The work of Vasa prava BiH that has helped heal such wounds in Bosnia-Herzegovina by providing legal services to the vulnerable and disadvantaged constitutes case lessons of success in a difficult context. Yet, so much need to be done.

Given the enduring legacy of the war and the multitude of economic, social and political challenges ahead, what difference can a relatively small legal aid NGO make?  This article argues that Vasa prava BiH is a vital, and perhaps necessary, part of the solution to the country’s problems. Particularly considering the failure of political leadership, creating a culture of rights in which all citizens are treated equally by a responsive government can only come about through active involvement by citizens themselves. For poor and marginalized people, which in BiH includes a substantial portion of the population, active involvement is hard to achieve without assistance. Vasa prava BiH provides that assistance.