Seminar: “Regular and subsequent birth registration”

“Vaša prava BiH” and UNHCR organised a seminar entitled ‘Regular and Subsequent Civil Registration’ in the Hotel Blanka on Vlašić from 19 to 21/12/2010.  The objective of this seminar was to promote the collaboration between all institutions dealing with the problems faced by the Roma population.  The seminar was supported by the EU with 62 participants in attendance including the representatives of the Registry Offices, Social Welfare Centres and Police Administrations/Cantonal Ministries, BiH Municipalities, Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees FBiH, as well as the staff of the hosting Association.  The seminar was organised in several workshops and the lecturers were Ms. Džamna Duman, Family Law Senior Assistant, Ms.  Mirjana Mrkajić Miličić, the Judge of the Cantonal Court in Sarajevo, and Mr. Nedim Mehmedović of the Administration Sector of the Ministry of the Interior, Canton Sarajevo

Having analysed the specific cases, the participants reached the conclusions.

Below is the brief summary of the conclusions:

-          The applicable regulations do not provide for the solutions to eliminate and prevent the problems arising in civil registration and the practice in this area is inconsistent;

-          The conclusions reached at the seminar should be provided to the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees in order to contribute to finalisation of the recommendations by the Working Group tasked to draft the initiative for harmonization of the relevant regulations in the area of birth registration;

-          The conclusions from the seminar should be provided to the FBiH Ministry of Justice and Parliament of the BiH Federation to ensure that the Bill of Law on Registry Books is made available to the professional public, as it reflects on the rights and obligations of the wide range of individuals, and to allow the conclusions by the practitioners-participants of the seminar to affect the new legislation in this area;

-          The position of the registrars should be considered, as well as their compulsory professional training;

-          After the regulations on the register have been passed, it will be necessary to organise a professional discussion about the implementation of the regulations for the purpose of achieving a uniform practice;

-          Health care institutions should promote birth registration of the children;

-          The best interest of the child should be considered in each specific case and be a main guideline for all authorities in their practice;

-          The institute of guardian in special circumstances (Article 197 of the Family Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) should be used for the individuals without legal subjectivity, including adults, and the Family Law should be amended with the provision foreseeing the appointment of the guardian in special circumstances for all individuals without legal subjectivity;

-          The authorities should be required to verify the facts ex officio in case processing (e.g. verify the place of habitual residence with the competent office of the interior affairs);

-          The institute of expert services should be used at the request of the authority in case processing, as foreseen by the Law on Administrative Procedure and necessary funds in the budget should be allocated for this purpose at the municipal level;

-          A solution allowing the exemption from the administrative fees should be also introduced in the procedure for subsequent registration;

-          It is recommended that the acting authorities use the witness oath.