On October 06, 2021, the third workshop for the development of advocacy plan within the project “Contribution of the Academic Community to the Protection of Human Rights in BiH – CAHR” was held in the premises of the Faculty of Law, University of Tuzla, with the support of the European Union.
During the workshop, members of the CAHR network from Tuzla, Bijeljina, Gračanica and Zenica had the opportunity to get more information about the project and advocacy goals, as well as upcoming project activities. Additionally, members of the network had the opportunity to talk to Prof. Dr. Aleksandar R. Ivanović, author of the “Study on Mapping Institutional Violations of Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina” on the conclusions and recommendations provided in the Study, which can be downloaded here.
After the presentation of the project, advocacy activities and conclusions of the Study, there was a discussion about the current challenges and obstacles that network members face every day in their work and activities, with a focus on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of movement. The focus of the discussion was on the obstacles that the members faced when organizing protests, festivals and similar activities, as well as on non-compliance with laws and setting additional conditions for protests/festivals. One of the conclusions of the discussion is that the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina should find a balance between the need to protect public peace and order and the rights of citizens to express their opinions.
In the second part of the discussion, the members pointed out that it is necessary to work on strengthening the capacity of local communities in their activities and protection of human rights of citizens. Local communities are central places where citizens should seek their rights, i.e., ask for change. Observing the current situation, the members of the CAHR network concluded that local communities are not drivers of change, and that the work of the network, in part, should focus on local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the last part of the workshop, members of the CAHR network who attended the workshop in Tuzla had a discussion on the lack of information of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina about their rights, as well as their unwillingness to report human rights violations. Through its work, the CAHR network should work on informing citizens on their rights, as well as to encourage citizens to report human rights violations to which they are exposed to on a daily basis.
The project “Contribution of the Academic Community to the Protection of Human Rights in BiH” is implemented by the University of Business Engineering and Management and the Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI).