The U.S. government announced today that it is providing 1.3 million KM, approximately $714,000 USD, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support ten civil society organizations advocating for the rights, empowerment, and dignity of underrepresented social groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The voices of many citizens, such as youth, women, Roma, persons with disabilities, victims of human trafficking, and members of the LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex) community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, are still not adequately heard. Often, they remain excluded from everyday social, cultural, economic, and political life.

This new funding provided by USAID Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Human Rights Activity (USAID/INSPIRE) builds on the U.S. government’s ongoing work to support civil society to advocate for human rights and strengthen government institutions to make systemic improvements to human rights protections in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Over the next 14 months, these grants will support five organizations fighting human trafficking in Bosnia and Herzegovina: KALI SARA – Romski informativni centar, Udruženje Faros, Organizacija SOS Kinderdorf International iz Sarajeva, Centar za integrativnu inkluziju Roma i Romkinja “Otaharin,” and Udruženje žena Romkinja “Bolja budućnost,” as well as five LGBTQI+ advocacy organizations: Sarajevski otvoreni centar, Udruženje Realstage, Udruženje Menssana, Udruženje za psiho-socijalnu podršku i bolju budućnost "Progres,” and Omladinski kulturni centar Abrašević.

"The supported organizations and their projects are another example of the U.S. government’s assistance in improving the protection of human rights for all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially some of the most vulnerable groups – victims and potential victims of human trafficking and the LGBTQI+ population. With this new funding, USAID/INSPIRE has supported 32 human rights civil society organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina through technical assistance, capacity building, and grants totalling 7.8 million KM ($4.5 million USD) since the beginning of the program in 2020. We will continue to support the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina in their efforts to protect human rights and promote tolerance and reconciliation. Human rights are, and must remain, the guiding star for all of us," said Courtney Chubb, USAID Bosnia and Herzegovina Mission Director.

"The most significant activities that have the strongest impact on preventing human trafficking are preventive. The most effective prevention involves direct work with the most vulnerable population but also involves systemic solutions. Within the Family Strengthening Program, we will continue to intensify direct work with families in social need and work on raising awareness of this issue in local communities in the Tuzla Canton, Gračanica, Doboj-East, Lukavac, and Srebrenik areas. We consider activities mobilizing key institutional actors at all levels, from local service providers to the House of Peoples and the House of Representatives of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to be very important in strengthening systemic support for at-risk groups. The support of USAID/INSPIRE enables us to continue working towards achieving this mission," said Denis Šiljak, representative of SOS Kinderdorf International.

"We are extremely pleased that the Sarajevo War Theater SARTR is a partner of the Realstage Association in a project within USAID/INSPIRE. Recognizing the theater space as a driver of change in society and connecting artists with the entire community through workshops and the realization of three theater projects, we are encouraged to influence the media space and be initiators of the inclusion of marginalized groups, and provide our audience with a new approach to theatrical creations through adaptations of world classics and the greatest Bosnian-Herzegovinian writers. As a public institution but also a project partner, we are convinced that through our actions, we can influence the process of strengthening public institutions and encourage the selection of topics, the promotion of artistic works, and raising awareness of LGBTQ+ issues, primarily through research-based learning and then the creative process in the realization of theater projects," said Ms. Maja Salkić Burazerović, Director of the Sarajevo War Theater SARTR.

The Government of the United States launched USAID/INSPIRE in 2020 in response to the socio-political and economic challenges facing marginalized groups in BiH. The main objectives of the program are to empower citizens and government institutions, improve the human rights protection system, and provide better opportunities for vulnerable populations throughout the country. For more information on supported projects and achievements to date, visit the website

Bosnia and Herzegovina Human Rights LGBTQI+ Human Trafficking