The Non-Constituents: Rights Deprivation of Roma in Post-Genocide Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Non-Constituents: Rights Deprivation of Roma in Post-Genocide Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only country in Europe in which Roma are barred by law from holding high political offices, including the Presidency. As members of a second class "non-constituent" people, Romani children in Bosnia and Herzegovina today can only aspire in vain to one day becoming president of their country.

European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) monitoring of the situation of Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina has established that Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina are regularly exposed to abuses of their civil, political, economic and social rights as a result of their official second-class status in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also because entrenched anti-Romani sentiment in Bosnia and Herzegovina gives rise to endemic racial discrimination and other human rights violations against Roma. In addition to being legally barred from holding high political office, many Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina are denied basic franchise and cannot vote because they lack one or more personal documents and/or may even be stateless. Lack of personal documents also results in the denial of a number of services crucial for the realisation of a range of fundamental rights, including schooling, public housing, health care and social support services. Many Roma have not been able to repossess their pre-war properties, and, as such, live in very precarious situations, often in informal settlements with substandard conditions in various parts of the country. In addition, instances of violence against Roma by state agents, as well as by their non-Romani neighbours, have been reported. Incidents of violence against Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina appeared to be on the rise as this report went to press.

The full text of "The Non-Constituents: Rights Deprivation of Roma in Post-Genocide Bosnia and Herzegovina" is available on the ERRC Internet website at:

donate now

Challenge discrimination, promote equality

be informed

Receive our public announcements Receive our Roma Rights Journal

news portal

The latest Roma Rights news and content online

join us

Become a part of the ERRC's activist network in Europe