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1. "Observance of the Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina"


the Board for Observance of the 50th
Anniversary of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights

From the first, constitutive session of the Board for observance of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights held in Sarajevo on 15.12.1997 to the final ceremony of the Anniversary of the Declaration held in the National Theatre in Sarajevo on 10.12.1998, the Board, i.e. secretariat of the Board, considering the observance of the half of century of the Declaration as concrete and good occasion to change the existing state in this field, set the following, long-term strategic tasks:
Education, especially of young people, in a domain of Human Rights every citizen has. Development of awareness that a citizen-individual has the right and obligation to react if his/her own rights and freedoms are endangered, especially of members of other ethnic groups, religion, etc;
Fighting against reticence and solidarity in the name of so-called higher national goals in cases of collective and individual violations or restrictions of human rights;
Working on harmonisation of legal documents, on all the levels, according to the highest world standards, in the field of protection of rights and freedoms of a citizen;
Protection of a citizen-individual against despotism and arrogance of authorities, especially in the fields in which the state organs terrorise individuals and make impossible, through bureaucracy, simple and quick realisation of fundamental civic rights in the field of state administration, judiciary, property rights, that is, in all the contacts of a powerless individual and a state as a whole;
Making civic, democratic pressures and requests through the institutions of political system on all the levels of authorities in both entities and turning of general media and political attention to concrete events and individuals and abiding by personal accountability of every individual who has violated or reduced the level of attained rights and freedoms in BH;
Creation of pre-conditions for continuous and stable engagement of wider circle of organisations, groups of citizens and all other factor in permanent, energetic and organised approach to, protection and spreading of the reached level of rights and freedoms and their permanent improvements. Connecting of all the organisations aimed at creating uniform movement for full affirmation of human rights and concrete implementation on the ground.

The Board initiated and made the following concrete jobs, project and tasks:

  • Prepared and held the first session of the Board in Sarajevo on 15.02.1998.;
  • Made programme for the observance of the anniversary with time schedule;
  • Made contacts with executive office of the Secretary General of the United Nations, with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, High Commissioner for Human Rights, with the SRSG of the UNMBIH and other international organisations, diplomatic missions and international organisations specialised in giving support for the observance of this anniversary;
  • Made project for provision of financial assistance in the realisation of the programme for Observance of the anniversary;
  • Took part in the Project, for elementary and high schools in both entities, on concrete implementation, depending on the age of pupils, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as a preparatory programme for the subject “Introduction to Democracy” which is to commence in the next school year;
  • Co-operated and took part in the education of the lecturers and in joint actions with the Centre for Modern Teaching Technologies of Soros Centre and with the Teaching and Education Institute of the Canton of Sarajevo, that is of the Ministry of Education of RS;
  • Made and distributed posters type I and type II in 2,000 copies each in the both entities;
  • Took part in the making of three TV telop and broadcasting on local and independent TV media;
  • Completed the translation from English to Bosnian of a book of Jack Donnelly on human rights;
  • Printed and distributed pocket calendars for 1998 with citations from the Declaration;
  • Translated, subtitled and broadcast professional film of the UN on Human Rights at almost all TV stations in BH;
  • Issued and promoted commemorative PTT stamps for the anniversary of the Declaration with amblems of the UN and the Helsinki Committee in BH;
  • Issued and promoted telephone cards of 100 impulses dedicated to the Declaration;
  • Held instructive Workshops for monitors of human rights in Mostar and Zenica;
  • Held the second session of the Board in Mostar on 08.05.1998;
  • Held Workshop on human rights and freedoms within the Summer University of the University of Tuzla in August 1998;
  • Held public debate on human rights in Gorazde;
  • Printed card, size of pocket calendar, containing fundamental rights of arrested – detained person by the police, on the basis of the new penal law for the territory of the BH Federation;
  • There were many appearance of the Board members in different media on the occasion of the anniversary of the Declaration;
  • Organised printing and distribution of the book – picture – book on human rights for the youngest ones;
  • Prepared for printing of Breviary of Human Rights (terminus tehnicus) in four languages;
  • Organised, with the Cultural Centre “Andre Marloux” a good quality exhibition on human rights in the National Theatre in Sarajevo and placed its permanent exhibition in the Human Rights House of Sarajevo. There is a possibiltity to exhibit the pictures in other places, if need be;
  • Realised the final ceremony in the National Theatre in Sarajevo on 10.12.1998 and central ceremony on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in BH in which renowned from both entities and international community took part;
  • Made and adopted the Final report on the work of the Board;
  • Made filing of the complete papers on the work of the Board for observance of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in three record registry and provided conditions for their permanent keeping in the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BH.

Sarajevo, December 22nd, 1998

2. "Monitoring the state of human rights and education in the field of human rights"

Bosnia and Herzegovina went out from the three and half year long war during which almost all human rights were brought into question. Besides, BH was a part of the FRY socialist system in which human rights were not treated in adequate manner.
The country does not have tradition in democracy, civic society is in its infancy, and only as of recently, the first notions of what the human rights are, what the international standards in this field are and what the mechanism for protection of human rights are, started appearing.
In the present situation, although more than year and half passed from the end of the war, there is no progress in establishing democracy. There is a complete paralyses of the work of parliamentary assemblies, new laws have not been adopted, and all the power has been concentrated on the three ruling nationalistic parties which rule out of the institutions of the system.
Under such circumstances, the role of NGOs is to strengthen and develop awareness on democratic values, human rights and freedoms.
The Project includes establishment of the network of monitors of human rights on the entire territory of BH, making them competent for monitoring, and activities the aim of which is to educate broader circle of people, especially of pupils, in domain of human rights.

1. To establish network of the competent monitors in the field of human rights throughout BH;
2. To establish the system of education and informing in the field of human rights.

1. As for establishment of network of monitors, it is our intention to act in two fields:
to identify potential monitors in the field, especially in the regional centers such as Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Tuzla, Bihaa, Mostar, Trebinje, Zenica, Livno, Breko, etc.
to train the selected monitors as for global monitoring so as for specific monitoring, such as, the monitoring of conditions in prisons, court proceedings, behaviour of police forces, freedom of media, conditions for elections.
Several workshops were organized aimed at training the monitors.
The first workshop was organized in Zenica, in November 1997.
The representatives of the Council of Europe, the UN Commission for Human Rights, International Helsinki Federation and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in BH were lecturers and initiators of discussions.
The second workshop was held in Mostar in January, 1998. Lecturers were the representatives of the Center for Protection of Minorities from Sarajevo, and the international and domestic experts for media.
The third workshops is scheduled for May, 1998 in Bijeljina in the Republic of Srpska. The representatives of the Polish Helsinki Committee, and BH Committee in BH and in the Republic of Srpska will take part in it.
2. As for education and informing the Project includes the following elements:
organization of the cycle of four lectures in high schools. All high schools in Sarajevo which were not earlier included into such form of activities of the Helsinki Committee will be included now. Besides, the lectures will be held in Bihaa, Gora?de, Tuzla, Zenica, Breza, Livno, and in some cities in the Republic of Srpska if circumstances allow that.
to initiate pupils of primary schools to be engaged in the work on human rights on the basis of the "Album of Human Rights" which is already prepared by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, with drawings, popular explanations on fundamental human rights and short excerpts from the international documents on human rights. Tuzla-Podrinje canton and Sarajevo canton would be determined to start with, and the aim is to come to all the cantons, the RS and the areas under the control of HDZ.
publishing bi-weekly Faxletter which contains basic information on violations of human rights in BH and activities of NGOs in this field.
The media as means for informing the public on human rights and reacting against the violations of human rights would be also used.

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