Child Labor and Forced Labor Reports

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina
2020 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor:

Moderate Advancement

In 2020, Bosnia and Herzegovina made moderate advancement in efforts to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. The Council of Ministers adopted the 2020–2023 National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons as well as the National Action Plan to combat trafficking. The Republika Srpska entity has adopted an anti-trafficking action plan, and cantonal governments have adopted several local action plans. The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina improved victim access to social services by merging resources for domestic and foreign victims of human trafficking into one fund. The Republika Srpska entity amended the chapter on crimes against citizens’ rights and freedoms in the Criminal Code by introducing forced begging, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation as forms of trafficking to make trafficking prosecutions easier. It also strengthened sentences, which now mandate 3 to 20 years of imprisonment. However, children in Bosnia and Herzegovina are subjected to the worst forms of child labor, including in forced begging, sometimes as a result of human trafficking. Border police officers and social workers failed to properly identify unaccompanied migrant and refugee children as potential victims of human trafficking due to a lack of proper protocols. Furthermore, laws on the minimum age for work do not meet international standards because they do not apply to children who are self-employed or working outside of formal employment relationships.

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