Last edited: December 2005
Summary and Analysis
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is directly included in the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Constitution. It entered into force 6/03/92. The Bosnian Constitution states that “the rights and freedoms set forth in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols shall apply directly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These shall have priority over all other law.” Annex II to the Constitution adds other international agreements to apply directly and includes the CRC among this group.
In other recent Bosnia-Herzegovinian laws, the child has a right to express his or her opinion, and to ask for the protection of his or her rights in front of public bodies. In child protection cases, the child has a right to a special guardian in cases mentioned in this law, and that this guardian is named by the guardianship authority or the court. The guardian should consult the child in his or her care regarding any matter that the child is capable of understanding, though the law appears unclear in defining this duty. Bosnia's child protection laws are currently in development, the most recent—the Family Law 2005—being passed into effect 12/21/2005. The Law on Protection from Family Violence was also passed in 2005.
When the guardianship over a child ceases (for reasons of adulthood, marriage, etc.) the guardianship authority continues to give social and other kinds of protection to the individual.
Much of the Bosnian child protective system revolves around an organ starateljstva or “Guardianship Body,” which in Bosnia is known as the “Centre for Social Work.” It is responsible for a range of protective services, including initiation of removal and termination of parental rights. In proceedings related to custody over a child, the Centre for Social Work is required to protect the interests of the child in the proceedings, and, at the request of the court, provide all important information related to making a custody decision. The Centre for Social Work also has the power to appoint and dismiss guardians.
Sources of Law (In Order of Authority)
Ustav Bosne i Hercegovine (1995)
Članak II: Ljudska prava i temeljne slobode
2. Međunarodni standardi
U Bosni i Hercegovini izravno se primjenjuju prava i slobode garantirani Europskom konvencijom za zaštitu ljudskih prava i temeljnih sloboda kao i njezinim protokolima. Ovi akti imaju prioritet nad svim drugim zakonima.
Bosna i Hercegovina, i svi sudovi, uredi, državni organi, i tijela kojima posredno rukovode entiteti ili koja djeluju unutar entiteta, primjenjivat će i poštivati ljudska prava i temeljne slobode navedene u stavku 2.
Aneks I; Dodatni sporazumi o ljudskim pravima koji će se primjenjivati u Bosni i Hercegovini
12. Konvencija o pravima djeteta (1989)
Zakon o zastiti od nasilja u porodici
Podnošenje zahtjeva za izricanje zaštitnih mjera. Zaštitne mjere mogu se izreći na zahtjev osobe izložene nasilju, odnosno njezinog opunomoćnika, ili na zahtjev policije, tužilaštva, organa starateljstva, vladinih i nevladinih organizacija ili po službenoj dužnosti.
Prodicni Zakon: Federacije Bosne i Hercegovina
(1) Dijete ima pravo na izražanje i uvažavanje vlastitoga misljenja u skladu sa njegovim.
(2) Pravo je djeteta da traži zaštitu svojih prava pred nadležnim organom.
(3) Dijete ima pravo na posebnog straratelja u slucajevima odredenim ovim Zakanom.
Posebnog straratelja imenuje organ stratereljstva. U slucajevima u kojima je za zaštitu prava dijeta nadležan oran strareljstva, posebnog straratelja imenuje sud.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
1. States Parties shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.
For this purpose, the child shall in particular be provided the opportunity to be heard in any judicial and administrative proceedings affecting the child, either directly, or through a representative or an appropriate body, in a manner consistent with the procedural rules of national law.
The Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1995)
Article II: Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
International Standards. The rights and freedoms set forth in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols shall apply directly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These shall have priority over all other law.
Implementation. Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all courts, agencies, governmental organs, and instrumentalities operated by or within the Entities, shall apply and conform to the human rights and fundamental freedoms referred to in paragraph 2 above.
Annex I: Additional Human Rights Agreements To Be Applied In Bosnia And Herzegovina
1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child
Law on Protection from Family Violence (2/2/05)
Article 18. Submission of a demand for protective measures (regarding abuse within the family)
Protective measures may be ordered at the demand of the person exposed to violence, or their legal representative, or at the demand of the police, the prosecution, the organ of care (guardianship authority), governmental or non-governmental organizations or according to official duty.
Family Law of the Bosnian Federation (3/5/05)
Article 125. The child has a right to express its opinion, to ask for the protection of his/her rights in front of public bodies, has a right to a special guardian in cases mentioned in this law, and that this guardian is named by the organ of care (guardianship authority) or the court.
Local Contact Information
Ms. Madeleine Rees
Chief of Mission
High Commission for Human Rights of Bosnia Herzegovina
Tel: (387) 33 230 107 & 108
Fax: (387) 33 230 109
Additional Resources and Links
Bosnian Child-Related NGOs
Despite our efforts, we were unable to locate the text of Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Bosnian; it appears to be unavailable.
BiH Constitution (1995), Article II. available at http://www.ustavnisud.ba/hrv/article.php?pid=531&kat=418&pkat=400 and also as .pdf Document.
BiH Constitution (1995), Annex 1. available at: http://www.ustavnisud.ba/hrv/article.php?pid=553&kat=418&pkat=400, and also as .pdf Document.
Unofficial translation by Ratko Jovic and Nebojsa Milanovic
An unoffical translation similar to the one used below can be found at: http://www.fuhem.es/portal/areas/paz/mediterraneo/constituciones4/Bosnia-Herz.htm
Bosnia and Herzegovina Constitution Article II: (unofficial translation: Nebojsa Milanovic), available here, and also as .pdf Document, and also as Word Document; official version available at http://www.ustavnisud.ba/eng/p_stream.php?kat=518, and also as .pdf Document.
Law on Protection from Family Violence. (Unofficial Translation: Ratko Jovic).
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