Tuesday, November 20, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 20.2007) - This week the OSCE Mission in Bosnia will mark the 18th anniversary of the U.N. Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on 20 November 1989. Bosnia ratified the Convention in 1992, which made its provisions legally-binding for the country.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child made several conclusions when considering Bosnia’s report on the implementation of UNCRC obligations. These included concerns over the administration of juvenile justice, especially the stigmatization of children in conflict with the law; the lack of alternative measures to detention; rehabilitation for such children; and inadequate access to education for persons under 18 years held in detention.

The Strategy against Juvenile Offending in Bosnia (2006-2010) and its Programme of Action, adopted by the Bosnian government in July 2006, could address many of these concerns.

The OSCE Mission thus urged the Bosnian authorities, such as the Bosnian Ministry of Security and the Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, to promptly: (1) Publish the Strategy in the Official Gazette; (2) Set up a working group to elaborate the draft law on juvenile justice; and (3) Establish the Co-ordination Body that will work with the government to implement the Strategy.

For its part, during the anniversary week, the OSCE Mission will support training events for Centres for Social Welfare staff on the rights of the child and international child protection standards in the administration of juvenile justice.

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