Bosnia and Herzegovina adopts measures on a daily basis to combat the Corona virus pandemic. We support measures that will contribute to the reduction of the number of patients and save the lives of citizens in BiH, but when creating them, it is necessary to keep in mind international standards, especially when it comes to measures that disproportionately affect vulnerable categories of society.
It should be noted that the measures already adopted significantly exacerbate the already poor position of persons on the move who do not have adequate access to accommodation, hygiene and food and which further stigmatize them. It should be emphasized that even before the pandemic, Bosnia and Herzegovina did not allow the guaranteed rights to persons on the move within its territory. Such treatment is further exacerbated by measures that completely restrict access to, and exit from, existing camps.
We emphasize that it is urgent and extremely important to protect the health and safety of all persons on the move who are on the territory of BiH, because that is one of the preconditions for protecting the health of all citizens in BiH. It is necessary that the BiH authorities, as well as international organizations working with this group of people, ensure more humane and adequate conditions for their accommodation. In addition, they must provide adequate space for all those who need accommodation, a regular meal, running water, hygiene supplies and access to health services. In doing so, it is also necessary to address the vulnerable categories of people on the move, such as women, children, people with disabilities, LGBT + people, as well as anyone else who for some reason is in a state of particular vulnerability.
Persecution, violence and hate speech against people on the move can only worsen the current situation. We therefore urge the authorities to provide dignified treatment to all persons belonging to vulnerable categories, and especially to those in move because of war, political or economic situation in their countries.
Members of the Coalition for the Fight against Hate Speech and Hate Crimes:
Association BH Journalists
Association for Democratic Initiatives
Civil Rights Defenders
Foundation Mediacentar Sarajevo
Network for Building Peace
Press Council of BiH
Sarajevo Open Centre
Tuzla Open Centre
Youth Center KVART
Youth Initiative for Human Rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Youth Newspaper Association in BiH (ONA)