As part of its Justice Sector Development Project (JSDP II), yesterday the USAID donated $260,000 to civil society organizations in the justice sector, i.e. members of the BiH Justice Network (www.mrezapravde.ba).
The aim of the grants awarded is to support greater involvement of civil society in advocating for public policies, initiating legal reforms and raising awareness of the rule of law. The grants were awarded to non-governmental organizations: Foundation for Local Democracy, Youth Initiative for Human Rights in BiH, Center for Human Rights Mostar, Association “Alternative” Kakanj, Association for Democratic Initiatives Sarajevo, Balkan Research Network in BiH (BIRN) and Bureau for Human Rights Tuzla.
The projects supported by these grants will be implemented by June 2011, and JSDP II will continue to work on building the capacity of all members of the Justice Network in cooperation with the Association of Democratic Initiatives Sarajevo, the coordinator of the Justice Network BiH.
The USAID also continues to support the development of professional and impartial media coverage of the trials through cooperation with the Balkan Research Network in BiH, as well as advocating for legal reforms relevant to EU integration through cooperation with the Human Rights Bureau Tuzla.
USAID’s $8 million five-year JSDP II project, in collaboration with the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council, the Ministry of Justice of BiH, courts and prosecutors’ offices, promotes the independence and accountability of the judiciary, fostering dialogue between the three segments of government and respecting the constitutional roles of each. JSDP II works with citizens and civil society organizations and advocates for strengthening judicial institutions and greater public participation in promoting the rule of law.
To date, the US government, through USAID, has provided nearly $1 billion of support to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s economic, democratic and social progress.