Monitoring and Reporting Format Re Implementation of the Federation Property and Housing Laws

Publisher UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Author OHR; CRPC; OSCE; UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Publication Date 1 August 1998
Cite as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Monitoring and Reporting Format Re Implementation of the Federation Property and Housing Laws, 1 August 1998, available at: [accessed 23 October 2018]

At the end of August 1998, the High Representative will take a decision regarding whether the 4 October 1998 deadline for filing claims for repossession of socially-owned apartments needs to be extended and if so, for how long.In order to base this recommendation on the most updated, accurate and comprehensive information available, the Sub-Committee on Property is requesting its member organisations to intensify their monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the Federation property and housing laws. The following is a list of issues that represent the key areas of malpractice in relation to these laws that have been identified to date. Based on monitoring reports received throughout the last four months, the Sub-Committee on Property has been able to intervene with the Federation authorities on some of these issues and bring about improvements in the application of the laws.

The Sub-Committee on Property now requests its member organisations to provide as much up-to-date information on the following issues as possible, based on the attached reporting format.Each report should be limited to one municipality and should indicate which of the following issues have at one time been a problem in the municipality, noting whether the situation regarding that particular issue has improved, remained constant or worsened. If there has been improvement, please give a rough indication as to when the situation began to improve and what might have been the cause of this. If extension of the deadline is recommended, then in order to determine for how long it should be extended, information as to the extent of problems faced and the length of time that certain issues prevented or discouraged people from exercising their right to file claims is extremely important.

You will note that the last sections invite general observations, as well as comments on any specific issues that are particularly relevant for the given municipality, in case the listed issues are not the only key problems.Statistical data on the number of claims filed to date, the number of decisions made and the number of claims still expected is being gathered separately and will be compared with the qualitative information furnished by this exercise. The Sub-Committee is aware that the attached is quite an extensive list and not all issues may have arisen in a given municipality. Where time constraints apply or resources are limited, please simply flag the most relevant issues for the given municipality, with an indication as to the extent of any current malpractice. For some municipalities, regular and extensive information has already been received although updates would be very much appreciated, given the importance of the recommendation that must be made and the effect this might have on the return process.

The Sub-Committee on Property appreciates that its member organisations are currently overwhelmed with a number of competing priorities, including preparation for the elections.For this reason, member organisations are invited to share this monitoring and reporting task with any international and national organisations who have been involved in property and housing issues, particularly legal aid and information centres, associations for refugees and displaced persons. The distribution of tasks should be coordinated through regional Human Rights Working Groups or Regional OHR offices.

All reports should be completed by Friday, 28 August 1998 and sent to the Human Rights Coordination Centre at the Office of the High Representative in Sarajevo, at the above address or by fax:+.387.71.447 420.

With thanks to all those who contribute to this effort.

Monitoring and Reporting Format

(Comments may be noted directly onto this Form)

Name of Municipality:

Reporting Organisation
(and phone number):

I Key Issues

Please comment on the following problems/issues, noting whether or not they arose and whether the situation has since improved (noting approximately when), remained constant or worsened:

A. Forms

1. lack of availability or access to standard claim forms


2. requirement to use only specific versions of the claim form


B. Documents

1. additional documents required


2. production of Federation ID requested


3. evidence of citizenship requested


4. application for voluntary organised return to be submitted first


5. no recognition of public documents or seals from different areas of the Federation or Republika Srpska or FRY


C. Fees

1. fees charged to file claim


2. administrative costs for processing claims charged


3. if either, have any claimants later been able to recover these costs?


D. Competency

1. the authority approached denied competency to deal with the issue and directed claimant to another body (please note whether this other body was the military authorities, the police authorities or the Municipal Information Offices or other)


2. confusion between the municipal bodies as to which body is competent


3. confusion between the Cantonal and municipal bodies as to which body is competent


4. the municipality is not-functioning, i.e. no appropriate body has been established


5. the authority denied competency on the basis that the apartment was not declared abandoned


6. the authority denied competency on the basis that the apartment is destroyed


E. Practical Access

1. no access to relevant personal documentation held by the municipality


2. no access to relevant personal documentation held by other public bodies


3. competent authority itself has no access to relevant property records


4. no arrangements for receiving inter-entity post


5. no freedom of movement to or within municipality/transport or logistical problems


6. access to office of competent authority refused


7. competent authority only has short working hours/times for receiving claims


8. competent authority does not accept forms signed by the claimant but filed by a third party


9. competent authority does not recognise formal powers of attorney


10. office of competent authority lacks staff and resources


11. staff of competent authority lack information or knowledge on how to deal with claims


F. Information

(Please comment on the situation in both the Federation and Republika Srpska. The Sub-Committee on Property will report on the information campaign centrally organised by international organisations)

1. did the authorities, Displaced Persons Associations, NGOs or media commence any local initiatives to inform people as to their rights?


2. if so, when did these commence and were they far-reaching?


3. do people frequently state that they have no access to information?


4. if so, which groups/areas are the worst affected?
(please also note whether affected persons are refugees, displaced persons or returnees)


5. was misinformation disseminated in the area?


6. was there any propaganda against filing claims?


7. did the authorities or political groups introduce any measures to discourage claimants?
(e.g. loss of other benefits)


8. has elections campaigning increased the focus on this issue (negatively or positively)?


II Related Issues

The following problems do not relate directly to the claims process but knowledge of their existence may have acted as a deterrent to others in filing their own claims.Please comment on the extent to which they have been a factor in the given municipality:

1. claimants being called for hearings by the housing authorities


2. claimants being called for hearings by the military or police authorities


3. behaviour of officials responsible for receiving claims


4. intimidation or harassment experienced by other claimants


5. decisions being referred to the Cantonal authorities


6. delays in decision-making process


7. absence of criteria for decisions in cases where new permanent occupancy rights have been granted


8. ongoing allocation of new permanent occupancy rights


9. corruption in property management (officials in others' apartments, double occupancy)


10. police refusing to enforce decisions


11. fear about returning to or visiting the municipality


III Municipality Specific Issues

Please comment on any additional issues, specific or important in the given municipality:


IV General Observations

Please add any additional comments or assessments:



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