Members of the Coalition for Combating against Hate Speech and Hate Crimes are sending an appeal to the authorities of Una-Sana Canton (USC), the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the meeting and decisions of the Operational Group for Coordination of Supervision of the Migrant Crisis in the USC held on August 19, 2020. We emphasize that the conclusions and decisions made during the meeting violate the basic human rights of persons on the move, and we ask the authorities to abolish them.
Emphasizing the public health and safety of USC citizens, and the protests of citizens against people on the move, the Operational Group supported the decision of the Crisis Headquarters of the Ministries of Health from March 2020, and adopted a number of measures contrary to the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, protection of human rights, and the existing legislation in BiH that deals with issues of persons on the move.
By prohibiting the entry of people on the move into the territory of the USC, prohibiting the transport of people on the move by all means of transport, i.e. preventing their free movement, prohibiting movement and persons moving in public areas, freedom of movement is prevented, which is contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 5, Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Annex 4 of the Dayton Peace Agreement, Article 8 of the Law on Foreigners and Article 10 of the Law on Asylum.
The decisions are also in conflict with Article 3 of the Law on Foreigners, which clearly defines state competence and bodies that are responsible for foreigners, and it cannot be transferred from the state level to local levels of government. The complete lack of coordination between the state and entity levels, untimely response to the challenges brought by the so-called “migrant crisis”, related to adequate care and protection of people on the move in BiH has led that the USC, for three years, has been solving part by themselves part of the problems concerning people on the move. We note that the severity of the challenges faced by the authorities and citizens in the USC when it comes to the number of people on the move must not be an excuse for adopting illegal and discriminatory measures.
Persecutions, violence and hate speech against people on the move can only exacerbate the existing situation, and inadequate care for their health can open up new potential foci of infection. We, therefore, urge the authorities to provide dignified treatment to all persons of vulnerable categories, and especially those who are on the move due to war, political or economic situation in their countries.
Members of the Coalition for Combating Against Hate Speech and Hate Crimes:
Association for Democratic Initiatives
Youth Center KVART
Civil Rights Defenders
Network for Building Peace
Sarajevo Open Centre
Tuzla Open Centre
 According to Art. 5. EC, any restriction on freedom of movement must be in accordance with the substantive and procedural rules of the nation-states imposing such a measure or international law where appropriate.