FACT SHEET: Implementation of the Strategy to Fight Trafficking in Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Snapshot

Total Funding:  $409,630* 

Project Duration:  September 2013 – December 2015

Implementing Partner: 

  BiH Ministry of Security and Office of the State Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings

*USAID $300,000, BiH Ministry of Security $109,630

The Challenge

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a source, destination and transit country for men, women and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Many of these women and children can be seen daily on the streets of Sarajevo and throughout the country. BiH took an important step toward addressing this human rights abuse by establishing an Office of the State Coordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings within the Ministry of Security to coordinate all anti-trafficking activities in the country. BiH was subsequently ranked as a top-tier country in the U.S. State Department’s annual rating of countries for their efforts to fight trafficking in persons (TIP). 

In 2013, BiH adopted the Strategy to Fight Trafficking in Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2013-2015, and placed the Ministry in charge of implementing the plan. But the Ministry and relevant institutions lack the financial resources to implement even the most critical aspects of the strategy. There is also a lack of political support for anti-trafficking activities. As a result, the BiH Government has not met the minimum standards for eliminating TIP, and the country lost its Tier 1 ranking by the U.S. State Department.

Our Program

The fight against human trafficking in BiH is a priority for the U.S. Government. To assist BiH efforts to combat trafficking, USAID signed a government-to-government agreement – the first ever with BiH – to provide $300,000 in direct funding to help the Ministry implement certain segments of the strategy. The Ministry will use the assistance, and $109,930 of its own funds, to strengthen its specialized anti-trafficking unit, and increase the ability of stakeholders to investigate TIP and help victims of this crime.

At the outset, the Ministry will conduct criminological research to better understand the nature of the TIP problem in BiH. It will then educate judges, prosecutors and the media to raise awareness about this important issue. These activities will strengthen the capacities of anti-TIP institutions and organizations to prevent and prosecute TIP, and help BiH regain its top-tier ranking as a country that is fighting this human rights crime.

Contact Information

Contact at USAID/BiH: Jasna Kilalic, Deputy Director, Democracy Office — jkilalic@usaid.gov.

Last updated: October 15, 2014

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