Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Bosnia-Herzegovina

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 5 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Bosnia-Herzegovina, 5 June 2002, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Bosnia-Herzegovina (Tier 3)

Bosnia is a destination country for women and girls trafficked into sexual exploitation mostly from Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, and to a lesser extent, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

The national government of Bosnia and the entity governments of the Federation and the Republika of Srpska are not fully complying with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and are not making significant efforts. Despite political, social, and economic troubles, Bosnian authorities have established a national action plan, are cooperating with international organizations and NGOs, and taking preliminary steps toward combating the problem. Meanwhile, the international organizations and NGOs present in Bosnia lead most of the anti-trafficking efforts. Neither the entities nor the cantons have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking; however, prosecutors can use existing laws against pimping, pandering, false imprisonment, abduction, assault, and slavery. Although some of these laws have been invoked in trafficking cases, there have been few convictions, much less significant penalties. The state and entity governments are preparing a new law under the national action plan. With international assistance, an anti-trafficking strike force has recently been established at the state level, with involvement from the State Border Service, RS Tax Administration, Federal Financial Police and prosecutors, and police ministries from both entities and the Brcko district, to investigate and prosecute trafficking and organized crime groups. The Joint Entity Task Force, which coordinates police actions and raids, in March coordinated, with international community assistance, simultaneous raids on 38 nightclubs believed to hold trafficking victims. Local police have made 359 raids on suspected establishments. Police complicity at the local level is a serious problem, made worse by pay lapses, intimidation by traffickers, and the frequency with which local courts dismiss cases and release accused traffickers. With respect to protection of victims, the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees has, for the first time, a budget for shelters for victims of trafficking. In addition, the Brcko District has a witness protection program, which reportedly is functioning well. Police refer victims to international organizations and NGOs, and provide security for the shelters. Until recently, victims could be jailed, fined, or deported for crimes. Now, largely at the initiative of the international community, victims are not charged unless clearly involved. The government does not conduct prevention programs. NGOs and the international community have sponsored media campaigns and workshops.

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