Nuhanovic Foundation

Reparations Database

Human Rights Council Follow up report on enforced disappearances A/HRC/27/49/Add.2





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The HRC reports annually on progress made by the State of BiH in response to the recommendations made by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. The Working Group (WG) produced the first of its reports in this series following upon a visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina from 14 to 21 June 2010 (A/HRC/16/48/Add.1 paragraphs 71-90).

In this report, dating August 2014, the HRC expresses concern about the non-implementation of several mechanisms related to the provision of reparations to families of victims of enforced disappearance.

In August 2014 there was as yet no State law on access to social benefits adopted, while the notions of reparations and social allowances continued to be confused. (See our 2015 report in the Bosnia/Reports section for a discussion of the blurring of reparations with social welfare provisions).

Indeed, as of Aug 2014, no national program of reparations had been established. The report underlines that reparations comprise more than just piecemeal compensation schemes. The Working Group had also recommended that 30 August be declared a State-wide day of commemoration of all missing persons in the country. Public commemoration is a highly symbolic form of reparations and the WG maintain that only a State-wide law on commemorations could avoid controversies and discrimination relating to the issue of memorials.

The WG regrets that legislative measures that would have criminalized enforced disappearance as an autonomous crime, ongoing until the location of the person has been located, had not been approved by the House of Representatives.

The Follow up report also expressed serious concern about the series of decisions rendered by the Constitutional Court, following the judgement Maktouf and Damjanovic by the European Court of Human Rights of 18 July 2013. This decision lead to reduced sentences for a number of convicted war criminals who, in addition were freed from custody pending the reconsideration of their sentences. This case can be found in our Bosnia>cases section.

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