Oral statement on economic, social and cultural rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Andrzej Owca, VIVAT Representative in Geneva delivered an oral statement during the 39th Session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in relation to economic, social, and cultural rights.

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Oral statement at the 39th regular session of the Human Rights Council
Item 3: General debate – promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights

Delivered by: Andrzej Owca, CSSp

September 14, 2018


Thank you, Mr. President,

VIVAT International since the 35th sessions of the Human Rights Council and now once again in the 39th session has been taking the opportunity to express its serious concern about the human rights situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, related to social, economic and cultural rights.

The efforts of the government in implementing its obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are far from satisfactory.

In the concluding observations on the second periodic report the Committee noted: The Committee notes with deep concern that…employers fail to respect their legal obligations towards their employees, namely by arbitrarily dismissing employees or failing to pay their salaries or social contribution (E/c.12/BiH/CO/2 point 18).

We have been receiving regular information from Bosnia and Herzegovina of many cases, in which, State employees, I repeat, State employees have allegedly not been paid nor their social contribution compensated for many years. We have been reporting the case of Glamoč, the municipal Kindergarten, where the state employees have not been paid and there are still up to 45 outstanding unpaid salaries for each employee. What is more, the government wants them to pay taxes on salaries that they have not yet received, with an alleged threat of sanctions if they do not comply.

In some cases, the women working in the kindergarten, are often the only breadwinners, therefore, such a situation contributes to increase the number of poor families. Moreover, reluctance of the State in fulfilling its obligation towards its employees has huge impact on children, their education and health condition.

Therefore, VIVAT International recommends that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

  • Comply with the recommendations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights especially in relation to the State employees by paying regular and fair salaries.

Thank you, Mr. President.