Bosnia and Herzegovina is made up of two Entities, the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a state of three constituent peoples – Bosniacs, Croats and Serbs – and 'Others', which includes anyone who does not identify with one of the three ethnic groups, including all minorities, people of mixed ethnicity who do not wish to identify with one group over the others, and those who simply identify as Bosnian citizens. The term 'Others' is problematic as it implies exclusion. Important rights, such as the right to stand and vote for certain offices, including the House of Peoples and the three-person Presidency, are granted on the basis of ethnic belonging and not on the basis of citizenship. In January 2007, a leader of the Bosnian Jewish Community, Jakob Finci – supported by MRG – lodged an application with the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, challenging the discriminatory curtailment of these rights. The ethnically polarized campaigning during the elections of October 2006 reinforced this situation of ethnic discrimination. The Entity governments have far-reaching powers, while the power of the state government is very limited, although central government has gradually taken additional powers. Such an arrangement sets up a society where all citizens are not equal and people are discriminated against solely on the basis of their ethnicity. A July 2000 Decision of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina states that Bosniacs, Croats and Serbs have the status of constituent peoples across the whole state, not just in the Entity where they form a numerical majority, i.e. Serbs in Republika Srpska and Bosniacs and Croats in the Federation. However, in practice there is widespread discrimination in the fields of public participation, employment, public services such as health care and pensions, and education, against minorities and constituent peoples living in areas where they are not the majority.

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