LJUBLJANA, February 27, 2020 - Directors of the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) Assist. Prof. Dr. Zijad Bećirović and Bakhatyar Aljaf, together with Prof. Dr. Ernest Petrič, received today Dr. Jasminka Džumhur, Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Photo: Bakhatyar Aljaf (left), Ernest Petrič, Jasminka Džumhur and Zijad Bećirović
The directors of the Institute presented the Ombudsman of BiH Dr. Džumhur the Institute's activities in the Balkans and the Middle-East, with an emphasis on Bosnia and Herzegovina and on the implementation and protection of human rights. Particular attention was paid to projects related to systematical discrimination and the international commitments of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Appropriate legislative and legal frameworks need to be created for effective prosecution of perpetrators and to assist and protect victims and witnesses. There is no country-wide law on victims of torture in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UN resolutions on victims' rights, including compensation, have not been implemented. The laws are not enacted because of political obstruction, the victims are thus divided according to national, territorial and entity criteria, as well as the fact that the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina is economically too weak to provide a system of compensation. It would be precisely through the adoption of a state law at the level of BiH that not only the protection of victims would be guaranteed, but also the financial independence of victims from political elites.
BiH Ombudsman Dr. Džumhur outlined the main priorities of the institution of Ombudsman in BiH, in particular the harmonization and functioning in line with EU standards and the modern practice of the most developed countries in the field of human rights.
At the end, IFIMES Advisory Board Vice-President Prof. Dr. Ernest Petrič, member of the International Law Commission (ILC UN) and former president of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, emphasized the importance of human rights legislation and its implementation, as well as the respect of each country's international obligations in the field of human rights and civil liberties. This is especially important for a country like BiH, which has survived the war and wants to become a full member of the EU, and respect for human rights is a test of its democracy.
Photo: Ernest Petrič (left) and Jasminka Džumhur
The directors of the institute presented Dr. Džumhur the possibility of organizing a regional human rights and civil liberties event to present human rights experiences and perspectives in the countries of the region and their comparability with the highest international standards and experience.
Ljubljana, 27 February 2020