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Committed to make human rights effective -December 10, 2013 -Human Rights Day

oday we are honoring Human Rights Day. Unusually for some, but for us in Vasa prava BiHand our beneficiaries it is just another day of legal struggle to achieve full compliance with domestic and international human rights standard. No great celebration nor conferences would be held today since there is not much to celebrate.

Where do we stand nowadays with respect of human rights and basic freedom? Last decade in BiH had shown great deterioration of human rights and freedoms.

Ever present discrimination is still a great impediment; access to basic social and economic rights to vulnerable is troubled by legislation, implementation and administrative bureaucracy apparatus posing challenges and obstacles; national minorities are in constant limbo of legal maze; children’s rights are not properly addressed nor represented; internally displaced persons suffer from protracted situation; returnees face serious discrimination in access to labor market, social  benefits and education and are excluded from communities they have returned to; there is increased violation of women’s rights and domestic violence still prevails; victims of war are not able to get proper compensation and restoration of rights; labor rights are severely jeopardizes without proper protection; access to justice by provision of comprehensive legal aid scheme in the country is still a gap that enables individuals in need to properly address their legal issues; non execution and failure to respect judicial decisions seriously undermines the rule of law; if it is to judge by the above said, we are living in distressing human right respect  environment.

There is need to act promptly and to improve human rights. We all share responsibility to do so; otherwise we face to become society in which individuals will continuously be deprived of rights and basic freedoms. This endeavor must never become fatigue.

Acting as key legal aid provider in the country for last 15 years, Association „Vasa prava BiH“with continuing support of its partners has played a key role in making human rights and freedom through facilitated access to justice to vulnerable people rights become effective.

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?  We rightfully argue 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, who in BiH include a substantial portion of the population, active involvement is hard to achieve without assistance. Vasa prava BiH provides that assistance.


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


The Universal Children’s Day takes place on November 20, 2013

 The Universal Children’s Day takes place on November 20, 2013. First proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world’s children. It was also chosen as the day to celebrate childhood and is celebrated annually.

November 20 is also the anniversary of the day when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959. The Convention on the Rights of the Child was then signed on the same day in 1989, which has since been ratified by 191 states. Universal Children’s Day is preceded by World Day for Prevention of Abuse and Violence against Children on November 19 creating a 48 hour celebration of men and children respectively during which time the positive roles men play in children’s lives are recognized.

The legal definition of “child” generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority. “Child” may also describe a relationship with a parent, such as sons and daughters of any age.