Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cluster Munition Ban Policy

Last updated: 31 July 2015

Five-Year Review: State Party Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) ratified the convention on 7 September 2010. It views its ratification law as sufficient to ensure implementation of the convention’s provisions. BiH has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention and has elaborated its views on important issues relating to the interpretation and implementation of the convention.

During the 1992–1995 war, Yugoslav forces and non-state armed groups used cluster munitions. BiH has acknowledged past production of cluster munitions. In 2011 and 2012, BiH completed the destruction of a stockpile of 445 cluster munitions and 148,059 submunitions.

Policy

Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 3 December 2008, ratified on 7 September 2010, and the convention entered into force for the country on 1 March 2011.

BiH has declared its ratification law under national implementation measures for the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[1] In September 2013, it stated that, “all the necessary legislation is in place.”[2]

BiH submitted its initial Article 7 report for the Convention on Cluster Munitions on 20 August 2011 and has provided annual updated reports ever since, most recently in June 2015.[3] 

BiH actively participated throughout the Oslo Process that created the Convention on Cluster Munitions, making strong contributions based on its experience as a country affected by cluster munitions and declaring a national moratorium on cluster munition use prior to the conclusion of the process.[4]

BiH engages in the work of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It has participated in every Meeting of States Parties of the convention, including the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in San Jose, Cost Rica in September 2014, where it made statements on clearance. BiH has attended all of the convention’s intersessional meetings in Geneva. BiH has participated in regional workshops on the convention and attended a mine action symposium in Biograd, Croatia on 27–29 April 2015, which included discussion on cluster munitions.[5] BiH served as the convention’s coordinator on victim assistance in 2012–2013 together with Afghanistan.

BiH has voted in favor of UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning the use of cluster munitions in Syria, including Resolution 69/189 on 18 December 2014, which expressed “outrage” at the continued use.[6]

Interpretive issues

In July 2011, the director of the department of conventional weapons of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs elaborated the ministry’s views on a number of issues important for the interpretation and implementation of the convention. On the prohibition on assistance with prohibited acts during joint military operations or “interoperability,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “under the same Article 21, para 3, we may engage in joint military operations with non-states Parties that might engage in activities prohibited by the Convention, however our personnel or nationals should not provide assistance with activities prohibited by the Convention.”[7]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that the “transit of cluster munitions across, or foreign stockpiling of cluster munitions on, the national territory of States Parties is prohibited by the Convention.”[8] The ministry, however, noted that it does not have “access to or information on weapon types” stockpiled in European Union Force (EUFOR) military bases “on our territory.”[9] In May 2013, a Ministry of Defense official said the ministry has not inquired about the status of any foreign cluster munitions stored on EUFOR military bases in BiH.[10]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also stated that it considers “investment in the production of cluster munitions to be prohibited.”[11]

BiH is a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty. It is also party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Use, production, and transfer

Yugoslav forces and non-state armed groups used available stocks of cluster munitions during the 1992–1995 war. The various entity armies inherited cluster munitions during the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In its initial Article 7 report, BiH declared, “There are no production facilities for CM [Cluster Munitions] in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”[12]

BiH has acknowledged past production of cluster munitions and first stated in 2007 that production had ceased.[13] It produced KB-1 and KB-2 submunitions for the Orkan multi-barrel rocket system, artillery projectiles, and mortar bombs.[14] The production capacity included the ability to manufacture KB-series submunitions and integrate them into carrier munitions such as artillery projectiles and rockets.[15] According to Jane’s Information Group, the Ministry of Defense produced the 262mm M-87 Orkan rocket, each containing 288 KB-1 dual-purpose submunitions.[16] It also lists BiH armed forces as possessing KPT-150 dispensers (which deploy submunitions) for aircraft.[17]

Stockpile destruction

BiH once possessed a stockpile of 445 cluster munitions of three types and 148,059 submunitions, as listed in the following table.

Cluster munitions formerly stockpiled by BiH[18]

Quantity and type of munition

Quantity and type of submunition

56 M-93 120mm mortar bombs

1,288 KB-2 (23 per container)

56 M-87 Orkan 262mm rockets

16,128 KB-1 (288 per container)

321 BL-755 bombs

47,187 Mk-1 (147 per container)

12 M-87 Orkan 262mm rockets

75,163 KB-1

Individual submunitions

4,815 KB-1 and 3,478 KB-2

445

148,059

 

Under Article 3 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, BiH was required to destroy all stockpiled cluster munitions under its jurisdiction and control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2019.

In September 2012, BiH announced that the completion of its destruction of “all known and reported stocks of cluster munitions in 2011” and declared that it has “fulfilled all obligations relating to Article 3” of the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[19]

A total of 441 cluster munitions and 147,967 submunitions were destroyed in 2011, while 16,128 KB1 submunitions from M-87 Orkan 262mm rockets were destroyed in 2012,[20] along with four M-93 120mm mortar bombs containing 92 submunitions discovered after the 2011 stockpile destruction.[21] In 2014, the Ministry of Defense informed Landmine Survivors Initiatives that it destroyed the four bombs and their submunitions by open detonation.[22]  

In June 2015, BiH reported the destruction of 341 KB-1 submunitions on 16 April 2014 at Pretis in Vogosca.[23] It reported the discovery of the KB-1 submunitions in Pretis as well as four KB-2 submunitions in Krupa, Hadzici in the 2013 and June 2014 Article 7 reports.[24] On 17 June 2014, a cache of 114 KB-2 submunitions was found behind a house near Sarajevo.[25] According to the Federal Civil Protection the submunitions were taken to Lapov Do in Koniic municipality and destroyed the same day.[26]

Retention

BiH is not retaining any cluster munitions for research or training purposes.[27]



[1] The 2011 report cited Parliamentary Decision 514/10 of 28 May 2010 and the BiH Presidential Decision of 17 June 2010 approving ratification of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form A, 20 August 2011. Subsequent Article 7 reports have indicated no change to the national implementation measures declared in 2011.

[2] Statement by Ivica Dronjic, Minister Counsellor, Permanent Mission of BiH to the UN in Geneva, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Lusaka, 12 September 2013. Previously, officials indicated that BiH was considering national legislation to enforce the ban convention. CMC meeting with Tarik Serak, Director of Department, BiH Mine Action Center, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2013; and interview with Anesa Kundurovic, Director of Conventional Weapons Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sarajevo, 6 April 2012.

[3] The Article 7 reports submitted by BiH cover annual periods and were submitted on 20 August 2011 (for calendar year 2010), 4 May 2012 (for calendar year 2011), in November 2013 (for calendar year 2012), on 13 June 2014 (for calendar year 2013), and in June 2015 (for calendar year 2014).

[4] For details on BiH’s cluster munition policy and practice through early 2009, see Human Rights Watch and Landmine Action, Banning Cluster Munitions: Government Policy and Practice (Ottawa: Mines Action Canada, May 2009), pp. 44–45.

[5] The workshop was organized by the Regional Arms Control Verification and Implementation Assistance Centre (RACVIAC) Centre for Security Cooperation in Southeast Europe and the government of Croatia’s Office for Demining and Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC).

[6]Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic,” UNGA Resolution A/RES/69/189, 18 December 2014. BiH voted in favor of similar resolutions on 15 May and 18 December 2013.

[7] Email from Anesa Kundurovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 2011. Anesa Kundurovic noted that the views expressed to the Monitor “represent the position of MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] and may or may not differ from the interpretation of other relevant institutions, including but not limiting [sic] to the Ministry of Defence, Armed Forces, etc.”

[8] In addition, the ministry noted, “in accordance with Article 3, paragraphs 6 and 7 of the Convention transfer is allowed only in exceptional cases” such as “for the purpose of destruction or for example, for the purpose of development of cluster munition countermeasures.” Email from Anesa Kundurovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 2011.

[9] Email from Anesa Kundurovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 2011.

[10] Email to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the BiH Ministry of Defense, 17 May 2013.

[11] Email from Anesa Kundurovic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 2011.

[12] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form E, 20 August 2011.

[13] Statement of BiH, Oslo Conference on Cluster Munitions, 22 February 2007. Notes by the CMC/Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

[14] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions First Meeting of States Parties, Vientiane, 11 November 2010. Notes by the CMC.

[15] Statement of BiH, Wellington Conference on Cluster Munitions, 21 February 2008. Notes by the CMC.

[16] Leland S. Ness and Anthony G. Williams, eds., Jane’s Ammunition Handbook 2007–2008 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2007), p. 720.

[17] Robert Hewson, ed., Jane’s Air-Launched Weapons, Issue 44 (Surrey, UK: Jane’s Information Group Limited, 2004), p. 836.

[18] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form B, 20 August 2011, and 4 May 2012.

[19] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Third Meeting of States Parties, Oslo, 11 September 2012.

[20] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, 18 April 2012.

[21] Statement of BiH, Convention on Cluster Munitions Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 18 April 2012. In May 2013, the Ministry of Defense informed the CMC that the destruction was approved, but the cluster munitions had not been destroyed yet. Email to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the BiH Ministry of Defense, 17 May 2013.

[22] Letter to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the Ministry of Defense, 3 April 2014. BiH did not declare destruction of the munitions in its 2014 Article 7 report, which covers activities in calendar year 2013. See, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, dated April 2014 but submitted 13 June 2014. The Ministry of Defense subsequently confirmed that four M-93 120 mm mortar bombs were destroyed on 1 April 2014 by open detonation at the Glamoc polygon. Letter to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the Ministry of Defense, 24 July 2014.

[23] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form B, June 2015.

[24] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form B, dated April 2013 but submitted in November 2013. On 9 April 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations stated the munitions are under its jurisdiction and would be destroyed. Letter to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, 9 April 2014.

[26] Letter to Landmine Survivors Initiatives from the Federal Civil Protection, 8 April 2015

[27] It declared that the “Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina are not planning to keep in possession the cluster munitions that will be intended for the purpose of training and education.” Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Reports, Form C, 20 August 2011, and 4 May 2012. In 2013, it reported 20 KB-1 submunitions had been retained by Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) for mine detection dog training purposes. Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form C, November 2013. According to NPA, 30 inert KB1 submunitions—which have no fuzes—have been retained for training mine detection dogs. Email from NPA, 17 June 2014.

Mine Ban Policy

Last updated: 02 November 2011

Commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty

Mine Ban Treaty status

State Party

National implementation measures 

Amended criminal code in December 2004 to apply penal sanctions for treaty violations

Transparency reporting

2010


Policy

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)[1] signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997 and ratified it on 8 September 1998, becoming a State Party on 1 March 1999. On 29 December 2004, parliament approved a law amending the criminal code to apply penal sanctions for violations of the treaty.[2]

BiH submitted its annual Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report, covering calendar year 2010. It used voluntary Form J to provide additional information on casualties, mine clearance, and victim assistance. BiH submitted eleven previous Article 7 reports.[3]

BiH attended the Tenth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Geneva in November–December 2010, where it made a statement on its progress since being granted a mine clearance deadline extension and a statement on victim assistance. BiH also attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in Geneva in June 2011, making statements on victim assistance, as well as providing an update on mine clearance.

BiH is party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. BiH is party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons and its Amended Protocol II on landmines. It submitted an annual report as required by Article 13 in 2009.  BiH is also party to Protocol V on explosive remnants of war.

Production, transfer, illegal stores, and use

BiH has stated that production of antipersonnel mines ceased by 1995.[4] It has reported on the conversion of production facilities.[5] BiH is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines.

In past years, authorities on numerous occasions found illegal stores of mines, but none have been explicitly reported since 2006.[6] In addition, nearly 40,000 mines were collected from the population under Operation Harvest until 2006.[7]

After BiH joined the treaty, the Monitor noted several cases of mine use in criminal activities, but no such incidents have been reported since 2003.[8]

Stockpile destruction and retention

BiH declared completion of its antipersonnel mine stockpile destruction program in November 1999, with a total of 460,727 mines destroyed.[9] This number has been amended annually since 2003, increasing each year to a total of 513,844 mines in BiH’s Article 7 report covering calendar year 2010.[10] No explanation has been given by BiH for these changes. Presumably, they result from newly discovered stocks, mines turned in by the population, or illegal mines seized from criminal elements.[11]

In September 2006, BiH reported that it had discovered more than 15,000 MRUD (Claymore-type) directional fragmentation mines during inspections of weapon storage sites.[12] It said that although the mines were not specifically prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty, BiH had made a decision to destroy the mines for humanitarian reasons as well as to show its commitment to the aims of the treaty.[13] BiH reported that, as of April 2007, about 5,000 mines had been destroyed, with the intention to complete destruction in May 2007, but it has not provided information on completion.[14]

Mines retained for research and training

At the end of 2010, BiH retained 1,962 antipersonnel mines for training purposes, as well as 23 MRUD.[15] BiH’s Article 7 reports submitted in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 have indicated that all of the retained antipersonnel mines are fuzeless.[16]

The total number of mines retained at the end of 2010 indicates a decrease of 268 mines and two MRUD from the number reported at the end of 2009.[17] BiH had reported increases in the number of mines retained in 2006, 2007, and 2008.[18] The number of MRUD reported as retained has decreased each year since 2006.[19] BiH has not given any explanation for the increases, decreases, or overall inconsistencies in its reporting on the number of retained mines over the last several years.

Of the 1,962 antipersonnel mines (other than MRUD) reported as retained at the end of 2010, 877 are held by demining agencies, 557 by the BiH Mine Detection Dog Center (MDDC), 330 by the BiH Mine Action Center (BHMAC), 125 by the BiH Armed Forces, three by the RS Civil Protection Agency, and 70  by the FBiH Civil Protection Agency.[20]

BiH has stated that its retained mines are used for training mine detection dogs.[21] While providing more information about its retained mines, BiH has still provided few details on the intended purposes and actual uses of these mines, and has failed to use expanded Form D on retained mines with its annual transparency reports, as agreed by States Parties in 2004.

 


[1] BiH is an independent state, but under international administration. The 1995 Dayton peace accord set up two separate entities: a Bosniak-Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), and the Bosnian Serb Republic (Republika Srpska, RS), each with its own president, government, parliament, police, and other bodies. Overarching these entities is a central government and rotating presidency. In addition, the district of Brčko is a self-governing administrative unit, established as a neutral area placed under joint Bosniak, Croat, and Serb authority.

[2] “Law on Amendments to the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Official Gazette, No. 61/04. Article 193a forbids the development, production, storage, transportation, offer for sale or purchase of antipersonnel mines. The penalty for such offenses is between one and 10 years’ imprisonment.

[3] Previous reports were submitted 10 May 2010 (for calendar year 2009) in 2009 (for calendar year 2008), 2008 (for calendar year 2007), April 2007, 30 May 2006, 6 May 2005, 17 May 2004, 1 April 2003, 20 May 2002, 1 September 2001, and 1 February 2000.

[4] Interview with members of the Demining Commission, Sarajevo, 30 January 2003. BiH inherited the mine production facilities of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Bugojno, Goražde, Konjic, and Vogošc.

[5] See, Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 193; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form E, April 2007.

[6] The Dayton peace accord allows international military forces to search for and collect illegally held weapons, including mines. For more details, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 183.

[7] Operation Harvest began as a Stabilisation Force (SFOR) initiative in 1998 to collect unregistered weapons from private holdings under amnesty conditions. From 1998 to late 2006, about 38,500 landmines were collected.  The European Force (EUFOR), which took over from SFOR in December 2004, has not conducted any Operation Harvest arms collection activities since 2006, but retains the right to do so. For more details, see, Landmine Monitor Report 2007, p. 183.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, 1 February 2000. Destruction was carried out at various locations by the two entity armies with SFOR assistance. The stockpile consisted of 19 types of mines.

[10] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form G, (undated, covers calendar year 2010). The number was amended in previous years to 460,925 for year 2003, to 461,634 for year 2004, to 462,351 for year 2005, to 463,198 for year 2006, 463,489 for year 2007, and to 463,921 for year 2008, and 464,267 for year 2009. See Form G of Article 7 reports submitted each year.

[11] In 2003, SFOR found very large additional quantities of antipersonnel mines among old munitions, after the entity armies requested assistance with downsizing military storage sites and dealing with old munitions in storage. An SFOR publication reported that several hundred thousand antipersonnel mines were awaiting destruction at these sites. By March 2004, 2,574 antipersonnel mines, 31,920 antivehicle mines, and 302,832 detonators had been destroyed. The Monitor has been unable to obtain updated information on further destruction or new discoveries at storage sites of antipersonnel mines. The BiH government has not formally reported the existence of these newly discovered stocks of antipersonnel mines, has not provided details on numbers and types of mines, and has not made known the timetable for destruction of the mines. See, Landmine Monitor Report 2006, p. 202.

[13] BiH stated that the mines are “designed to be used with an electrical initiation system,” and therefore are not considered antipersonnel mines under the Mine Ban Treaty. However, it also noted that “since they are not adapted to ensure command-detonation, MRUD mines can be technically considered as anti-personnel mines.” Statement by Amira Arifovic-Harms, Counselor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seventh Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 20 September 2006. Use of Claymore-type mines in command-detonated mode is permitted under the Mine Ban Treaty, but use in victim-activated mode (with a tripwire) is prohibited.

[14] In April 2007, BiH indicated that of the 15,269 MRUD mines, 14,701 mines would be destroyed by mid-May 2007, 396 were transferred to EUFOR for training, 20 were donated to Germany, and two were destroyed immediately. BiH intended to retain about 150 mines for training. The 14,701 mines were transported to a workshop in Doboj, and by mid-April 2007, about 5,000 had been destroyed. Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, April 2007.

[15] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2010), Form D. The 1,962 antipersonnel mines include 212 PMA-1, 675 PMA-2, 583 PMA-3, 324 PMR-2A, three PMR-2, five PMR-3, 152 PROM-1, and eight PMR-Capljinka.

[16] See Form B of Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 reports submitted in 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008. In its Article 7 report submitted in April 2007, BiH did not state that any of the retained mines were fuzeless, while its report submitted on 30 May 2006 stated that 876 retained mines were fuzeless and 1,299 were active. BiH has not explained these changes.

[17] The number of some types of mines has increased, while the number of other types has decreased. BiH did not provide an explanation for these changes. There was a decrease of 61 ROB, two PMA-1, and four PMR-2A mines, and an increase of seven PMA-2, 14 PMA-3, eight PROM-1, and three PMR-2 mines compared to the totals reported retained at the end of 2008. No PMR-2 mines were reported to be retained in 2008.

[18] The number of antipersonnel mines retained by BiH increased each year from 1,550 mines at the end of 2006, to 1,619 mines at the end of 2007, to 2,274 mines at the end of 2008.  See Form D of the Article 7 reports submitted in 2007, 2008, and 2009.  See also, Landmine Monitor Report 2009, p. 206, for comparative detail.

[19] BiH has reported a decrease in the number of MRUD retained, from 158 at the end of 2006, to 157 at the end of 2007, to 116 at the end of 2008, to 16 at the end of 2009 14 at the end of 2010. See Form D of the Article 7 reports submitted in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.

[20] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2010), Form D. A comparison of the Article 7 reports for years 2009 and 2010 indicates that antipersonnel mines, other than MRUD, held by demining operators decreased by 69 in 2010 (mines held by the Canadian International Demining Corps decreased by 38 PMA-1 mines, 12 PMA-3 mines, 28 PMR-2A mines, increased 23 PMA-2 mines and six PROM-1 mines; mines held by Norwegian People’s Aid increased by three PMA-1 mines, 18 PMA-2 mines, 17 PMA-3 mines, 21 PMR-2A mines, and decreased 10 PMR RP mines; mines held by FBiH Civil Protection Agency decreased by 10 PMA-2 and 10 PMA-3 mines and one PROM-1 mine, and increased 28 PMR-2A mines (from zero); mines held by BHMAC decreased by one PMA-1 mine, ECO-DEM held 35 antipersonnel mines (increase from zero); and the number of mines held by MDDC, RS Civil Protection Agency, and the BiH Armed Forces, Stop Mines, UXB-Balkans, Demira, Provita and BH Demining  remained unchanged. No PMR-RP mines were reported to be retained by any organization in 2010.

[21] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Annex “Review on Number of Retained Mines in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 30 May 2006.

Mine Action

Last updated: 11 December 2017

Contaminated by: landmines (massive contamination), cluster munition remnants (medium contamination), and other unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Article 5 deadline: 1 March 2019
(Not on track to meet deadline)

Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 deadline: 1 March 2021
(Unclear whether on track to meet deadline)

Summary

Landmines: As of the end of 2016, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) reported 1,091km2 of antipersonnel mine contamination, of which 23.46km2 was confirmed.[1] In 2016, BiH released 1.34km2 by clearance and 10.39km2 by technical survey. A further 46.94km2 was reportedly canceled, though this result may not be for 2016 only, but for a period of three years.

Cluster munition remnants: As of the end of 2016, BiH had 1.12km2 of confirmed hazardous area (CHA) contaminated by cluster munition remnants and a further 7.3km2 of cluster munition suspected hazardous area (SHA). This is an increase on the reported 0.85km2 of CHA and 7.3km2 of SHA at the end of 2015. During 2016, 0.86km2 of land was released (0.1km2 through clearance and 0.76km2 through technical survey) with 632 submunitions destroyed, and 0.47km2 confirmed to be contaminated.

Recommendations for action

  • The Action Plan of the Demining Commission should be approved and implemented expeditiously.
  • BiH should strengthen its resource mobilization efforts through the regular resumption of the Board of Donor meetings.
  • BiH should finalize and implement the new mine action strategy for 2018–2025.
  • BiH should complete the process of amending the mine action law within the planned timeframe.
  • BiH should complete the revisions to standards and standard operating procedures within the planned timeframe.
  • The BiH Mine Action Center (BHMAC) should ensure it reports more accurately and consistently on land release data (disaggregated by method of release), as well as on contaminated areas.
  • BiH should accelerate clearance of cluster munition remnants to fulfil its Article 4 obligations as soon as possible, as required by the Convention on Cluster Munitions.
  • The demining capabilities of the BiH armed forces and the Federal Administration of Civil Protection should be enhanced by the provision of new equipment and training, and more conducive human resources policies.

Contamination

BiH is massively contaminated with mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), including cluster munition remnants, primarily as a result of the 1992–1995 conflict related to the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[2]

Mine contamination

Most mined areas are in the zone of separation between BiH’s two main political entities—the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS). Twenty years after the end of the conflict, BiH is still the most heavily mined country in Europe.

BiH has reported inconsistent figures for its estimate of mine contamination as of the end of 2016.[3] In its latest Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 transparency report, BiH states that a total of 1,091km2 of area was suspected to contain mines across 8,636 locations, of which it estimated that 315.75km2 of area was more likely to contain mines across 4,286 “locations.”[4] BiH’s statement on Article 5 implementation at the June 2017 Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, however, only mentioned the 1,091km2 of suspected mined area (representing 2.2% of the total area of BiH), and does not reference the area within this total, which is estimated to contain mines.[5]

The BHMAC, in its “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016” and by email, reports that there are 1,091km2 of hazardous area which it reports as SHA, although it includes 23.46km2 of CHA, as presented in the table below.

Antipersonnel mine contamination by canton (as at end 2016)[6]

Canton

Hazardous Area

Area (km2)

CHAs

Area (km2)

Unsko-Sanki

587

106.33

134

2.80

Posavski

192

19.41

13

0.60

Tuzlanski

674

81.28

70

1.97

Zanicko-Dobojski

750

125.36

50

1.55

Bosansko-Podrinjski

281

50.69

22

0.95

Srednje-Bosanski

856

129.77

109

3.39

Hercegovacko-Neret

1,187

155.78

70

2.73

Zapadno-Hercegovacki

6

0.31

3

0.23

Sarajevo

290

74.25

42

1.13

Canton 10

584

88.83

35

1.0

Subtotal BiH Federation

5,407

832.01

548

16.35

Republika Srpska

3,093

242.99

325

6.89

Brčko district

138

16.23

6

0.22

Total

8,638

1,091.23

879

23.46

Note: The data reported on CHA is included within the overall hazardous area.

Whichever figures are correct, this represents a decrease in overall mined area, compared to the 300km2 of CHA and 1.15km2 of SHA as of the end of 2015, as reported by BiH in its Article 7 report the previous year,[7] or the 23.04km2 of CHA and 1,149km2 of SHA reported to by BHMAC for 2015.

BiH stated in its Article 7 report that 73,483 mines and items of UXO remain to be cleared.[8]

The number of “minefield” records was reported in 2016 to total 19,283, of which 13,672 were in the Federation of BiH, 4,858 in Republika Srpska, and 753 in Brčko District. Collection of minefield records is ongoing, with BHMAC estimating that it has collected around 70% of the total.[9] It is unclear to what extent the 19,283 minefield records include areas already released through survey and clearance operations that incorrectly remain in the database as mined areas.

A 2016 national audit office report on the efficiency of the demining system in BiH concluded that:

“Twenty years after the war ended, the Mine Action Centre still does not have complete information on the locations of landmines in BiH, which is to say it does not know the total suspected hazardous area.[10] Similarly, a 2015 UNDP evaluation reported that BHMAC is aware that not all of the SHA is actually mined, but “without more efficient non-technical survey and technical survey procedures the exact extent of the problem cannot be quantified.”[11]

BiH was severely affected by the Balkan flood disaster in May 2014, which reminded the international and local community of the task of mine clearance that still remains in BiH.[12] The European Union (EU)’s 2014 Flood Recovery Needs Assessment for BiH found that there to be minimal mine migration compared to that expected, and that mines and UXO remain a risk in human, economic, and social terms and should be addressed as a priority.[13] The EU Needs Assessment recommended that BHMAC consider the possibility that landslides may have buried landmines deeper than the 10cm to 20cm currently investigated in clearance efforts.[14] The assessment identified key priorities and tasks for mine action to aid the recovery.[15]

According to BiH, mined areas are located in 129 municipalities/cities, with 1,389 communities/populated areas contaminated. Mine and ERW contamination directly impacts the safety of approximately 545,000 people, or 15% of the population of BiH, based on the last census in 2013.[16] Of the total SHA, 62% is forested, 26% agricultural land, and 12% infrastructure.[17] Much of the remaining mine contamination in BiH is comprised of individually placed mines or groups of mines, which do not follow a set pattern, and which were emplaced across a wide area, posing a challenge to the identification of the location of contamination.[18] Furthermore, physical changes to mined areas, such as in vegetation, and a lack of witnesses to the laying of the mines, pose additional challenges.[19] Mine contamination is said also to obstruct the return of refugees and the displaced, impede rehabilitation and development of utility infrastructure, and prevent free movement between communities, especially on the administrative line between the entities.[20]

The fertile agricultural belt in the Posavina region, along with the Doboj region, has the most heavily contaminated areas.[21] According to BHMAC, however, most mine incidents now occur in forested areas.[22] In 2016, two incidents occurred in areas not declared or marked as contaminated, but such incidents are unusual in BiH.[23] (For further details, see BiH’s casualty profile.)

Cluster munition contamination

As at the end of 2016, BiH reported 23 areas covering a total of 1.12km2 confirmed to contain cluster munition remnants, while a further 207 areas totaling 7.30km2 were suspected to contain cluster munition remnants (see table below).[24] This compares to reported contamination, as of the end of 2015, of 25 CHAs covering 0.85km2 and 294 SHAs totaling an estimated 7.3km2.[25]

Cluster munition contamination as of the end of 2016[26]

Canton

CHAs

CHA (km2)

SHAs

SHA (km2)

Unsko-Sanski

4

0.25

29

0.21

Tuzlanski

3

0.09

31

0.84

Zenicko-Dobojski

4

0.14

46

2.31

Srednje-Bosanski

4

0.20

35

1.78

Zapadno-Hercegovacki

0

0

11

0.22

Sarajevo

2

0.07

9

0.38

Canton 10

4

0.25

24

0.43

Subtotal Federation BiH

21

1.00

185

6.17

Republika Srpska

2

0.12

22

1.13

Total

23

1.12

207

7.30

 

The contamination figures in the table above differ slightly from those in BiH’s latest Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 transparency report, which claimed 7.31km2 was the total of all contamination. No reference is made in BiH’s Article 7 report to the 1.12km2 of confirmed area reported separately by BHMAC.[27]

Of the total suspected cluster munition contamination, 2.7km2 is the result of individually launched KB-1 submunitions fired from modified AK-47 rifles.[28] BHMAC plans to undertake a survey to more accurately delineate areas containing this contamination, and will then produce an analysis of the findings.[29]

A total of 4.3km2 of contamination, including the 2.7km2 of contamination by KB-1 submunitions fired from rifles, is in areas which also contain mines.[30]

The difference in total cluster munition contamination between the end of 2015 and the end of 2016, both in terms of the number of CHA and SHA, and the overall area of contamination, cannot be explained or reconciled by area released by technical survey and clearance or the amount of land confirmed as contaminated by cluster munition remnants. No satisfactory explanation has been provided for the disparity in data between reporting periods.

Cluster munition contamination dates back to the conflicts of 1992–1995 related to the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.[31] A survey and initial general assessment of cluster munition contamination was jointly conducted by BHMAC and Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) in 2011. Since technical survey and clearance operations began in 2012, and through the end of 2016, 5km2 of area was reduced or cleared, with 2,195 submunitions and 92 other ERW destroyed.[32]

Cluster munition contamination in BiH is a small humanitarian risk but has a greater impact on development, impeding access to natural resources and posing an obstacle to rehabilitation and building of infrastructure.[33] Sixty communities have been identified as affected with submunitions, of which 31 are also affected by mines.[34] In August 2016, a boy was injured by a KB-1 submunition while tending livestock in Sehovina, Mostar.[35] (See the Casualty profile for more details.)

Program Management

The Demining Commission, under the BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, supervises the state-wide Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) and represents BiH in its relations with the international community on mine-related issues.[36] The Demining Commission is composed of representatives from three ministries (Civil Affairs, Security, and Defense) elected from the three constituent “peoples” of BiH and representing BiH’s three majority ethnic groups (Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs).[37] Three new Demining Commission members were given a two-year mandate on 23 July 2015,[38] which expired in July 2017. A new Demining Commission was expected to be appointed in the near future, and in the interim, the current representatives will serve as an acting Demining Commission.[39] Whereas the Minister for Civil Affairs remains ultimately responsible for mine action, the Demining Commission represents the strategic body responsible for setting mine action policy, and it proposes the appointment of BHMAC senior staff, for approval by the Council of Ministers.[40]

BHMAC is responsible for regulating mine action and implementing BiH’s demining plan, including accreditation of all mine action organizations.[41] BHMAC operates from its headquarters in Sarajevo, two main offices in Sarajevo and Banja Luka, and eight regional offices (Banja Luka, Bihac, Brčko, Mostar, Pale, Sarajevo, Travnik, and Tuzla).[42]

A November 2016 national audit office report on the efficiency of the demining system in BiH concluded that: “The institutions of BiH have not undertaken all activities required to ensure efficiency of the demining system. A conclusion can be drawn that BiH is not committed to dealing seriously with the demining problem, which jeopardises the implementation of the BiH strategic goals and the fulfilment of international commitments assumed. The demining process has neither been analysed nor improved systematically in the past 15 years.”[43] However, reforms are now being implemented, under the leadership of a new acting director of BHMAC, who was appointed on 22 September 2015 by the Council of Ministers.[44] The Demining Commission has drafted an Action Plan to address the recommendations of the 2016 audit office report, but as of September 2017 the status of the Action Plan was unclear.[45]

In its 2015 revision of the National Mine Action Strategy for 2009–2019, BHMAC stated that one of its goals was to “organize regular meetings for Board of Donors in order to present the results and to ensure and increase trust and support of donors.”[46] After a 10-year hiatus, Board of Donor meetings resumed in September 2015,[47] and a second meeting took place in March 2016.[48] As the Board of Donors is one of the few platforms where international actors meet formally under law, international donors in BiH welcomed the resumption of the meetings, which provide a forum for improved coordination and communication with the national authorities.[49] As of September 2017, however, no further Board of Donor meetings had taken place since the March 2016 meeting.[50]

In October 2016, expert working groups, which used to meet until 2009, were re-established.[51] According to BHMAC, the working groups will meet as often as needed.[52]

Strategic planning

As of October 2017, BiH was working on a new National Mine Action Strategy for 2018–2025, with support from the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), which addresses all contamination, including antipersonnel mines.

The BiH Mine Action Strategy for 2009–2019, adopted by the Council of Ministers in 2008,[53] sets the target of the country becoming free of mines by 2019. BHMAC conducted the first of three planned revisions of the strategy in 2012–2013[54] (the other two were due in 2015 and 2017, respectively).[55] The 2012 revision asserted a lack of funding as one of the major reasons for BiH’s slow progress towards completion of its clearance goals.[56] The revised strategy was not formally adopted by the Council of Ministers.[57]

The second revision of the BiH Mine Action Strategy 2009–2019 was completed in 2015,[58] in consultation with the Demining Commission and the UNDP.[59] Among the strategic and operational goals in the revised strategy, was the elimination of one third of the total suspected mined area in BiH through non-technical and technical survey, by the end of 2019.[60] The operational plan in the 2015 revision also envisaged that over the next two or three years all organizations would transition to conform to the new land release methodology.[61] The revision was endorsed by the Demining Commission in BiH in March 2016, but was not adopted by the Council of Ministers.[62]

After starting the third revision process, BiH, with support from the GICHD, is now instead producing a new mine action strategy towards completing landmine and cluster munition clearance (2018–2025),[63] for which two consultative workshops were held in November 2016 and February 2017.

The new strategy will contain a plan and timeframe for the completion of mine and cluster munition clearance.[64] It will also include a section on management of residual contamination and national capacities, after clearance of all contaminated areas is completed.[65] Donors are hoping that the strategy will contain clear, realistic indicators and milestones, and incorporate up-to-date land release methodologies.[66] The Demining Commission and BHMAC will produce an action plan and financial plan for the strategy (2018–2025).[67] BHMAC has reported that it intends to factor at least two revisions into its new mine action strategy, to help monitor progress and ensure it remains valid.[68]

On 13 September 2017, the draft strategy was presented and discussed at a meeting of the BHMAC, the Demining Commission, the GICHD, and the UNDP. The draft strategy was then shared with the BiH Armed Forces, the entity Civil Protections, the UNDP, and the EU for further comment.[69] The strategy is due to be completed in October 2017, after which it will be referred to the Council of Ministers for adoption.[70]

Survey planning

In September 2017, a project proposal for a country-wide re-assessment (re-survey) was submitted to the EU for consideration.[71] The aim is to establish a more accurate baseline of mine contamination.[72] The proposed non-technical survey would include desk studies, analysis of war maps, and other materials, and would focus on finding evidence of mines, including analyzing evidence of cases in which mines have been removed by locals since the end of the conflict.[73] It is envisaged that the re-survey would take approximately two years and data obtained during the process will help inform periodic revisions to BHMAC’s completion plan.[74] The proposed re-assessment will also include components of impact assessment, as the initial survey results date back many years and there is the need to re-determine the current impact of mine contamination.[75] The re-survey would be implemented by BHMAC, NPA, and the BiH Armed Forces’ Demining Battalion.[76]

Mine action prioritization and planning in BiH is based on socio-economic impact. However, a UNDP evaluation recommended that the system be reviewed to reflect changing circumstances as well as to take account of the specific impact of particularly dangerous mines, such as the PROM-1.[77] BHMAC conducted a general assessment in 2016 to help designate high, medium, and low impact SHAs.[78]

Legislation

Since 2008, efforts have been made to adopt new mine action legislation in BiH with a view to creating a stable platform for mine action funding by the government and local authorities. A new draft demining law, which was first submitted to parliament in 2010, had still to be approved as of September 2017 by the Council of Ministers,[79] after which it must be sent for parliamentary approval. The last attempt to amend the law took place in the second half of 2015 and the draft Bill failed to attract the support of the Council of Ministers, which concluded that instead of adopting a new law, the existing law on demining should be amended.[80]

BiH demining authorities are following the recommendation to amend the existing law, but as such is restricted in the number of changes it can include, as amendments are not permitted to exceed 40% of an original act, otherwise a new law is needed.[81] In August 2016, the 68th session of the Council of Ministers of BiH issued a “Decision of the establishment of working group for the design of changes on the Demining law in BH.”[82] The working group, which consisted of representatives from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Demining Commission, BHMAC, the Armed Forces, and the entity Civil Protections, created the first draft of the amended demining law.[83] In December 2016, the Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH opened a short 16-day public consultation process on Draft of Law on Amendments to the Law on Demining in BiH in accordance with the rules for consultations in drafting legal regulations in institutions of BiH.[84] As of June 2017, the draft law had been sent, via the Ministry of Civil Affairs, to the Council of Ministers for adoption.[85]

The UNDP has highlighted the need for the existing draft to be amended to ensure a strategic management body exists for mine action, that BiH national standards on land release are referenced, and that no technical issues impede land release.[86]

A BHMAC official acknowledged that the lack of a new legal framework has contributed to BiH’s repeated failure to meet its funding targets under its own mine action strategy.[87] Nevertheless, the UNDP’s 2015 evaluation stated that though a more robust legal framework for mine action in BiH would be welcome, the current demining law is adequate to enable mine action activities to be implemented effectively.[88]

Standards

In 2016, the Demining Commission formally adopted the three chapters of the national mine action standards (NMAS) on land release, non-technical survey, and technical survey.[89] They were drafted in cooperation with EU technical assistance through the Land Release pilot project, the UNDP, and the GICHD.[90] The Demining Commission adopted temporary guidelines for quality assurance (QA)/quality control (QC) for land release tasks in July 2017.[91]

In 2016, BHMAC also adopted a new standing operating procedure (SOP) for non-technical survey of areas suspected to contain cluster munition remnants, based on NPA’s own SOPs.[92] The Demining Commission subsequently adopted new standards for cluster munition remnants at the beginning of 2017.[93]

In 2016, in collaboration with the GICHD and the UNDP, BHMAC held a workshop on “standards and SOP revisions.”[94] BHMAC created four expert working groups in 2016, to work on amendments and additional to all the chapters of the national mine action standards and SOPs.[95] The working groups expected to complete their work by the end of September 2017, after which recommendations were to be sent to the demining commission for adoption.[96] NPA piloted SOPs for technical survey with targeted investigation.[97]

Operators

At the end of 2016, 26 organizations were accredited for mine action in BiH: four government organizations (Armed Forces of BiH, Federal Administration of Civil Protection, Civil Protection Administration of Republic of Srpska, and Brčko District Civil Protection), the Red Cross Society of BiH, nine commercial companies (eight national and one international), and 12 NGOs (10 national and two international).[98] Overall demining capacity totaled 1,200 persons in accredited organizations, comprising 900 deminers and 300 others (including team leaders, site leader, operational officers, QA officers, and dog trainers).[99]

During 2016, technical survey and/or clearance of antipersonnel mines was conducted by the BiH Armed Forces, the Federal Administration of Civil Protection, the Civil Protection Administration of Republic of Srpska, and 13 other clearance organizations, comprising nine NGOs (DEMIRA, Dok-ing deminiranje N.H.O., Eko Dem, Centre of Mine Detection Dogs (MDDC), NPA, Pazi Mine, Pro Vita, Stop Mines, and Association UEM) and four commercial organizations (Detektor, N&N Ivsa, Point, and UEM).[100]

The governmental operators—Civil Protection teams and the BiH Armed Forces’ Demining Battalion—constitute about 60% of the available operational capacity in BiH, though their total output in terms of land released by clearance and technical survey is proportionately much less.[101] The general view is that the BiH Armed Forces and Civil Protection are both good partners, and have effective capacities, but have suffered from logistical challenges and equipment deficits, which prevent them from working at full capacity.[102]

The BiH Armed Forces survey and clearance operations are fully engaged from March to November, and with reduced activity, predominantly in southern BiH, from December to February.[103] The BiH Armed Forces deploys machinery and explosive detection dogs during its survey and clearance operations.[104] They require ongoing support from external partners since the army’s own complex procurement system often cannot deliver such items in sufficient time.[105] Since 2010, NPA has increasingly focused on building the capacity of the Demining Battalion.[106] This involves transfer of knowledge through operational planning of clearance and technical survey operations; direct operational support; and provision of mine detection dogs (MDDs) and equipment, among other things.[107]

Furthermore, both the BiH Armed Forces and Civil Protection entities suffer recruitment challenges, but of a differing nature. Deminers in the BiH Armed Forces are forced to stop demining at the age of 38 (this upper limit, until recently, had been 35). This results in experienced deminers being forced to retire and, as a consequence, a high turnover of deminers.[108] The Federal Administration of Civil Protection on the other hand, is unable to employ new staff, including deminers, as this is a federal government decision. Therefore, the capacity of the Federal Administration of Civil Protection has been reduced as pensioned deminers or those absent due to sickness have not been replaced.[109]

Both machines and dogs are integrated into NPA demining operations in BiH. Machines are used for mechanical ground preparation, but much of the remaining mined area is in hilly or mountainous terrain, which restricts the use of machinery. MDD and special detection dogs (SDDs) are used for clearance and technical survey tasks, including targeted technical survey.[110] NPA also supports BHMAC with non-technical survey, and has one non-technical survey team seconded to BHMAC.[111] NPA further conducts mine clearance in the Srebrenica region in support of the activities of the International Commission for Missing Persons.[112]

Mines Advisory Group (MAG) received operational accreditation in April 2017, and began technical survey and clearance operations in May 2017.[113]

During 2016, four organizations conducted cluster munition technical survey and/or clearance: the BiH Armed Forces, the Federal Administration of Civil Protection, and NGOs NPA and Pro Vita.[114] In total, they comprised 174 operational staff and 61 searchers. In addition, BHMAC conducted non-technical survey with the support of one NPA team seconded to BHMAC.[115] This represented a similar overall capacity to 2015.[116] Four of the 34 BiH Armed Forces’ 10-strong demining teams (eight deminers, plus a team leader and a medic) are specialized for cluster munition clearance. However, as of May 2017, only two were deployed, due to a shortage of metal detectors for cluster munition detection.[117]

With the exception of MAG and NPA, clearance operators in BiH typically compete for international tenders in order to secure their funding. The UNDP evaluation suggested that this left much capacity underused and recommended alternative contracting models more appropriate for land release (either by having longer term contracts or being contracted for the clearance of larger areas), which could be more attractive to the demining organizations in terms of security and could also make best use of capacity in the long run.[118] National demining NGOs, such as STOP Mines or Pro Vita, which are registered in a similar way to companies, potentially have capacity to quickly mobilize additional resources and up-scale operations.[119]

Quality management

BHMAC’S two main offices in Banja Luka and Sarajevo coordinate the activities of regional offices in planning, survey, and QA/QC. QA inspectors are based in the regional offices.[120]

The 2015 UNDP evaluation found that BHMAC’s QA of demining activities functions well, but recommended that BHMAC develop effective quality management mechanisms for the whole organization to make processes more efficient and transparent.[121] However, the 2016 national audit office report found that the quality control of demining carried out by BHMAC is not efficient and that a systematic improvement of the QC process has never been done. In addition, the report states that: “Despite several levels of control in the demining system, accidents and irregularities occur in the areas the BiH Mine Action Centre declared safe.”[122] In the report, “accidents” refer to blasts during demining activities and in areas that have been cleared and released; and “incidents” refer to mines and items of UXO detected in cleared areas after the completion of works and after the QC certificates had been issued by BHMAC. According to the audit office report, 23 irregularities and 32 accidents occurred between 2005 and 2016. Of the 32 accidents, 29 occurred during demining while the remainder involved civilians after demining had been completed.[123] The director of BHMAC, however, reported in May 2017 that no irregularities or accidents on cleared/released land have occurred in the last two years.[124]

Five decisions requiring repetitions of technical survey operations were issued during clearance and technical survey operations in 2016, in addition to six withdrawals of authorization, and one resolution on prohibition of further work.[125]

Land Release (mines)

In 2016, BiH cleared 1.34km2 and reduced 10.39km2 through technical survey.[126] While clearance output dropped slightly compared to the 1.64km2 cleared in 2015, the amount of land reduced by technical survey in 2016 rose significantly, compared to the 8.39km2 reduced in 2015.[127] The BHMAC reported that 46.94km2 was canceled through non-technical survey.[128] However, the 2016 survey output was inflated as the area reported as released by survey and clearance, including as canceled by non-technical survey, includes the results of the EU pilot project over three and a half years, and not just in 2016.[129]

BHMAC reported that land release activities under the pilot project had been fully conducted on a total of six SHAs in BiH in 2016, with an estimated total area of 25.5km2. BHMAC conducted non-technical survey, while accredited organizations conducted technical survey and mine clearance. Technical survey reduced 2km2, clearance released 0.4km2 (and destroyed 215 mines and 84 items of ERW), and 22.3km2 was canceled through non-technical survey. After the verification process, 24.7km2 was released to the final users. As per the data provided by BHMAC, less than 10% of the SHA was treated by technical methods.[130]

NPA implemented its pilot project of targeted technical survey over suspected mined areas, in coordination with BHMAC, in the municipality of Travnik, in the Middle Bosnia Canton. This included development of SOPs, and application and testing of new techniques, processes, and procedures for targeted technical survey.[131] It was hoped that this would limit the need for full clearance. NPA reported that the results were positive, and that they planned to expand the use of technical survey with targeted investigation to the municipality of Ravno.[132] For SHAs with incorrect minefield records, traditional systematic technical survey typically required 20–30% of the resources needed for full clearance, whereas targeted technical survey only required 1–3%, based on the results of NPA’s relatively limited pilot project.[133]

Survey in 2016 (mines)

In 2016, BiH reported that 10.39km2 was reduced by technical survey across 183 tasks and 46.94km2 was canceled by non-technical survey (see table below).[134] The figure of 46.94km2 reported as canceled by non-technical survey, however, included the results of the full three and a half year EU pilot project, rather than the annual cancelation output for 2016.[135] This was likely due to a delay in sign off of the results of the EU pilot project, and subsequent delay in entry into the database, due to QC considerations.

In addition, 75 SHAs totaling 1.3km2 were confirmed as mined.[136]

Technical survey was conducted by the BiH Armed Forces, the Federal Administration of Civil Protection, the Civil Protection Administration of Republika Srpska, and 13 other clearance organizations (see the Operators section above).[137]

Only BHMAC, with the assistance of an NPA non-technical survey team seconded to it, canceled SHAs and confirmed areas as mined in 2016.[138]

Survey of mined area in 2016[139]

Canton

Area canceled (m2)

Area reduced (m2)

Unsko-sanki

4,914,108

740,803

Posavski

389,460

527,159

Tuzlanski

4,004,922

1,401,296

Zeničko-dobojski

439,791

1,344,235

Bosansko-podrinjski

90,110

112,325

Srednje-bosanski

14,491,633

1,515,606

Hercegovačko-neret

7,759,750

416,783

Zapadno-hercegovački

0

0

Sarajevo

2,151,640

834,725

Canton 10

3,068,847

45,838

Total Federation BiH

37,310,261

6,938,770

Total Republika Srpska

7,952,808

2,863,266

Total District Brčko

1,680,751

588,965

Sum total

46,943,820

10,391,001

 

Clearance in 2016 (mines)

In 2016, mine clearance operations in BiH were conducted by the Armed Forces, the Civil Protection of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Civil Protection of Republika Srpska, and 13 other clearance organizations (see the Operators section above).[140] More than 60% of the organizations engaged in small tasks each cleared a total of less than 100,000m2 during the year.[141]

Overall, a total of almost 1.34km2 was cleared in 2016, across 84 tasks, during which 1,313 antipersonnel mines, 63 antivehicle mines, and 1,192 items of ERW were destroyed (see table below).[142] This is less than the 1.64km2 cleared in 2015,[143] and well below the 2009–2019 mine action strategy target of 9.27km2.

Mine clearance in 2016[144]

Canton

Area cleared (m2)

AP mines destroyed

AV mines destroyed

ERW destroyed

Unsko-sanki

75,089

69

6

57

Posavski

43,381

14

10

118

Tuzlanski

133,782

146

1

112

Zeničko-dobojski

85,974

332

11

167

Bosansko-podrinjski

27,565

3

0

10

Srednje-bosanski

302,761

151

13

72

Hercegovačko-neret

103,467

65

9

33

Zapadno-hercegovački

0

0

0

0

Sarajevo

133,635

200

0

224

Canton 10

15,315

36

4

6

Total Federation BiH

920,969

1,016

54

799

Total Republic Srpska

403,926

283

8

366

Total District Brčko

10,284

14

1

27

Sum total

1,335,179

1,313

63

1,192

Note: AP = antipersonnel; AV = antivehicle.

Land Release (cluster munition remnants)

In 2017, a total of 0.1km2 of cluster-contaminated area was released by clearance while 0.76km2 was reduced by technical survey. No area was reported by BHMAC as canceled by non-technical survey.[145] This represents a decrease compared to 2015, when 0.23km2 was fully cleared, 0.76km2 was reduced by technical survey, and 0.47km2 was canceled by non-technical survey.[146] 0.47km2 was confirmed to be contaminated.

Survey in 2016 (cluster munition remnants)

In 2016, non-technical survey of areas suspected to contain cluster munition remnants was conducted by BHMAC and an NPA team seconded to BHMAC regional offices. In addition, BHMAC, the BiH Armed Forces, and NGOs NPA and Pro Vita, all conducted technical survey.[147]

During survey operations 0.76km2 was reduced by technical survey, all within the Federation BiH.[148] Sixteen SHAs were confirmed as contaminated, totaling 0.47km2 (see table below).[149]

Cluster munition remnants survey in 2016[150]

Operator

Areas confirmed

Confirmed area (m2)

Area reduced by TS (m2)

BHMAC*

16

470,000

0

BiH Armed Forces

0

0

192,604

NPA

0

0

520,728

Pro Vita

0

0

48,931

Total

16

470,000

762,263

Note: * Includes survey support from NPA; TS = technical survey.

Clearance in 2016 (cluster munition remnants)

In 2016, four operators cleared a total of 0.1km2 containing cluster munition remnants, destroying 632 submunitions and 26 other items of UXO, all in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (see table below).[151]

Clearance of cluster munition-contaminated area in 2016[152]

Operator

Areas cleared

Area cleared (m2)

Submunitions destroyed

Other UXO destroyed

Armed Forces BiH

6

51,126

333

5

Federal Administration of Civil Protection

4

7,618

150

18

NPA

4

N/R

149

3

Pro Vita

1

42,059

0

0

Total

15

100,803

632

26

Note: N/R = not reported.

Deminer safety

In 2016, there were two demining accidents, both involving antipersonnel PROM-1 mines. The first was in March 2016, during clearance operations in the municipality of Usora, during which a team leader was killed. The second, also in March, was during technical survey operations of the NGO Eko-Dem in the municipality of Osmaci, during which one deminer was killed, and two people injured.[153]

Mine Ban Treaty Article 5 Compliance

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty (and in accordance with the 10-year extension request granted by States Parties in 2008), BiH is required to destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2019. BiH is not on track to meet this deadline, and is planning to prepare and submit an Article 5 extension request in 2018.[154]

BiH has reported that its Article 5 extension request will coincide with its anticipated national mine action strategy for 2018–2025, and will be in accordance with the Maputo Declaration, adopted in 2014.[155] The new strategy will also highlight the importance of full implementation of the land release concept.[156]

Mine clearance in 2012–2016[157]

Year

Area cleared (km²)

2016

1.34

2015

1.64

2014

1.85

2013

1.89

2012

1.30

Total

8.02

 

In 2016, as in all years since it was granted the 10-year extension to its initial Article 5 deadline, BiH fell far short of its land release targets.[158]

In May 2016, BHMAC reported that analysis of the Mine Action Strategy 2009–2019, showed that BiH is currently 3.5 years behind in fulfilling its Article 5 obligations, due to a lack of funding.[159] BHMAC reported that more detailed information about completion of clearance would be available at the end of 2017, after it had conducted the third revision of the mine action strategy,[160] which is now intended to be produced as a new Mine Action Strategy for 2018–2025.

In March 2016, the UNDP reported that the results of the pilot project to date show that continued application of a land release approach will greatly accelerate reduction and cancelation of SHA in BiH, and reduce costs.[161] As of May 2017, BHMAC reported that new evidence-focused land release methodology was improving the mine action process and that it planned to greatly expand the application of technical survey with targeted investigation and of systematic technical survey in BiH.[162] According to BiH, “Results gained so far through the realisation of these projects in the period 2014–16 allow for optimism that the application of this concept in the next period will greatly speed up the process of releasing the suspect hazardous areas, which will become more cost effective and cheaper.”[163]

Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 4 Compliance

Under Article 4 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, BiH is required to destroy all cluster munition remnants in areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but not later than 1 March 2021. It is unclear whether BiH is on track to meet this deadline.

The 2012 Mine Action Strategy Revision had expected that BiH would “completely eliminate” all cluster munition-contaminated areas by 2015.[164] In the second Mine Action Strategy Revision, conducted in 2015 and adopted by the Demining Commission in March 2016, this target was pushed back to the end of 2017.[165] However, based on the status of current cluster munition survey and clearance operations, BiH no longer expects to meet its Article 4 obligations by the end of 2017, as it had previously stated at the Convention on Cluster Munitions First Review Conference in September 2015 and forecast in its second Mine Action Strategy Review.[166]

While BHMAC has stated that it does not expect any obstacles in meeting its Article 4 deadline of 1 March 2021,[167] the fact that less than 1km2 of cluster munition-contaminated land has been cleared in the last five years (see table below), is cause for concern. It is now not certain that BiH will indeed meet its Article 4 deadline.

(See the Support to Mine Action profile for details of funding to mine action in BiH.)

Five-year summary of cluster munition clearance[168]

Year

Area cleared (km2)

2016

0.10

2015

0.23

2014

0.26

2013

0.24

2012

0.16

Total

0.99

 

 

The Monitor acknowledges the contributions of the Mine Action Review (www.mineactionreview.org), which has conducted the mine action research in 2017, including on survey and clearance, and shared all its resulting landmine and cluster munition reports with the Monitor. The Monitor is responsible for the findings presented online and in its print publications.



[1] The BiH Mine Action Center (BHMAC) reported 23.46km2 of confirmed hazardous area (CHA), whereas the Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report reported an estimated 315.75km2 of CHA. (See Contamination section for further details.)

[2] Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Protocol V Article 10 Report (for 2016), Form A.

[3] Email from Goran Zdrale, Senior Officer for Analysis and Reporting, BHMAC, 17 May 2017; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C.

[4] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C; and email from Tarik Serak, Head of Operations, BHMAC, 13 November 2017. However, BiH’s CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for 2016), Form A, reports suspected mined area of 1.118km2 across 8,796 “micro locations.”

[5] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[6] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017; and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 5.

[7] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form C.

[8] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C. This compares to an estimated 82,000 mines and UXO reported as of the end of 2015, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form C. BiH’s CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for 2016), Form A, estimates approximately 79,000 mines and UXO.

[9] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C.

[10] Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 4 November 2016, p. 5.

[11] UNDP, “Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 13 May 2015, p. 17.

[12] Email from Lillian Palmbach, UNDP, 29 May 2015.

[14] Ibid., pp. 118.

[15] Ibid., pp. 241–243.

[16] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[17] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[18] BHMAC, “Analysis of implementation of mine action strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009–2019) and draft amendments,” adopted by the Demining Commission on 28 March 2016, p. 3.

[19] Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 4 November 2016, p. 26.

[20] Email from Darvin Lisica, NPA, 5 May 2016.

[21] Mine Ban Treaty Revised Article 5 deadline Extension Request, 27 June 2008, p. 4; BHMAC, “Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Annual Report 2014,” May 2015, p. 5; and email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 27 May 2015.

[22] Interview with Tarik Serak, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 20 March 2015.

[23] BHMAC, “The accident in the Municipality of Bugojno,” 5 September 2016; and Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C; BHMAC, “Mine accident in the municipality Pelagićevo,” 8 November 2016; Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C; and email from David Rowe, Advisor, GICHD, 14 September 2017.

[24] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[25] Email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 26 May 2016. BiH’s Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015) reported the 7.3km2 of suspected contamination, but not the 0.85km2 of confirmed contamination BHMAC has reported to Mine Action Review.

[26] Emails from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May and 6 June 2017.

[27] Ibid.; and Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form F.

[28] Interview with Braco Pandurevic, Head of Operations, NPA BiH, Sarajevo, 9 May 2017; and BHMAC, “Analysis of implementation of mine action strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009–2019) and draft amendments,” adopted by the Demining Commission on 28 March 2016, p. 9.

[29] Interview with Saša Obradovic, Director, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[30] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 6 June 2017. There is a discrepancy with the 3.44km2 (2.7km2 of improvised submunition contamination, plus an additional 0.74km2 of conventional cluster munition contamination) in areas that also contain mine contamination, as reported in BHMAC, “Analysis of implementation of mine action strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009–2019) and draft amendments,” adopted by the Demining Commission on 28 March 2016, p. 9.

[32] BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 15.

[33] Email from Darvin Lisica, NPA BiH, 5 May 2016.

[34] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[35] Ibid.; Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J; and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 6.

[36] BHMAC, “Organisational chart,” undated.

[37] UNDP, Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for BiH, 13 May 2015, p. 22; and email from Suad Baljak, UNDP, 15 June 2017.

[38] BHMAC, “The appointment of new members of Demining Commission in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” News Item, 24 July 2015; and “Official Gazette of BH,” No. 67/15 – Decision of establishment of demining commission of BH by Counsel of Ministers of BH, 30 July 2015.

[39] Email from Suad Baljak, UNDP, 15 September 2017.

[40] UNDP, “Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for BiH,” 13 May 2015, p. 22.

[41] Bosnia and Herzegovina Official Gazette, Sarajevo, 17 March 2002.

[42] BHMAC, “Organisational chart,” undated.

[43] Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 4 November 2016.

[44] Council of Ministers of BiH, “The conclusions of the 24th session of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 22 September 2015.

[45] Interview with Saša Obradovic, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017; and email from David Rowe, GICHD, 14 September 2017.

[46] BHMAC, “Analysis of implementation of mine action strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009–2019) and draft amendments,” adopted by the Demining Commission on 28 March 2016, p. 17.

[47] Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 4 November 2016, pp. 24 and 31.

[48] Interview with Tarik Serak, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017; and emails from Fotini Antonopoulou, EU, 19 June 2017; and from Suad Baljak, UNDP, 15 June 2017; and UNDP BiH, “Mine Action Board of Donors Meeting,” 31 March 2016.

[49] Interviews with Haris Lokvancic, Advisor on Political Affairs, Programme Officer – Human Security/Justice, Swiss Embassy, Sarajevo, 9 May 2017; with Fotini Antonopoulou, EU, in Sarajevo, 10 May 2017; and with Lt.-Col. Martin Herrmann, Defence Attaché to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo, German Embassy, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[50] Emails from David Rowe, GICHD, 14 September 2017; and from Josephine Dresner, Programme Manager, MAG, 24 September 2017.

[51] Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” November 2016, p. 28.

[52] Interview with Tarik Serak, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[53] CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for 2015), Form B.

[54] Statement of BiH, 13th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2013, p. 2.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Ibid., pp. 2–3.

[57] UNDP, “Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 13 May 2015, p. 17.

[58] Statement of BiH, 14th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 18 December 2015; and email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 26 May 2016.

[59] Email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 26 May 2016.

[60] BHMAC, “Analysis of implementation of mine action strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009–2019) and draft amendments,” adopted by the Demining Commission on 28 March 2016, p. 14.

[61] BHMAC, “Analysis of implementation of mine action strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009–2019) and draft amendments,” adopted by the Demining Commission on 28 March 2016, p. 6; and statement of BiH, 14th Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 1 December 2015.

[62] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017; and Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 4 November 2016, p. 25.

[63] Interview with Åsa Massleberg, Advisor, Strategic Management, GICHD, Geneva, 9 March 2017; and email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[64] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017; and interview with Saša Obradovic, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[65] Interviews with Åsa Massleberg, GICHD, Geneva, 9 March 2017; and with Saša Obradovic, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[66] Interview with Haris Lokvancic, Swiss Embassy, Sarajevo, 9 May 2017.

[67] Email from Suad Baljak, UNDP, 15 September 2017.

[68] Interview with Saša Obradovic, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[69] Email from Suad Baljak, UNDP, 15 September 2017.

[70] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[71] Email from Suad Baljak, Mine Action Officer, UNDP, 15 September 2017.

[72] Interviews with Darvin Lisica, NPA, Sarajevo, 8 May 2017; with Fotini Antonopoulou, EU, in Sarajevo, 8 May 2017; and with Saša Obradovic and Tarik Serak, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[73] Interviews with Darvin Lisica, NPA, Sarajevo, 8 May 2017; and with Saša Obradovic, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[74] Interview with Darvin Lisica, NPA, in Sarajevo, 8 May 2017.

[75] Ibid.

[76] Email from Darvin Lisica, NPA, 31 August 2017.

[77] UNDP, “Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for BiH,” 13 May 2015, p. 25.

[78] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[79] UNDP, “Mine Action Board of Donors Meeting,” 31 March 2016; and email from Amela Balic, NPA, 17 June 2016.

[80] Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 4 November 2016, p. 23.

[81] Interview with Zdravko Jonjić, Assistant Director for Operations, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[82] Email from Suad Baljak, UNDP, 15 June 2017; and see, Council of Ministers of BiH, “Decision of the establishment of working group for the design of changes on the Demining law in BH,” August 2016, p. 8.

[83] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[85] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[86] UNDP, “Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for BiH,” 13 May 2015, pp. 23 and 24.

[87] Interview with Tarik Serak, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 20 March 2015.

[88] UNDP, “Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for BiH,” 13 May 2015, p. 23.

[89] BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 18; and Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” No. 01-02-03-10-16-1-1101/16, November 2016, p. 26.

[90] BHMAC, “Adoption of three new chapters of Mine Action Standard for land release, the new approach for solving the mine problem,” 28 January 2016; and email from Fotini Antonopoulou, EU, 18 September 2017.

[91] Email from Suad Baljak, UNDP, 15 September 2017, and BHMAC, “Temporary Guidelines,” July 2017.

[92] Emails from Darvin Lisica, NPA, 11 August 2015; and from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 26 May 2016; and statement of BiH, First Convention on Cluster Munitions Review Conference, Dubrovnik, 9 September 2015.

[93] Interview with Saša Obradovic, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[94] BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 20.

[95] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017; and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, pp. 18 and 24.

[96] Emails from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017; and from Suad Baljak, UNDP, 15 September 2017; and statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[97] Email from Amela Balic, NPA, 20 October 2016. This application of targeted investigation was part of the original EU Land Release pilot project, and the concept was subsequently trialled and adopted more widely in BiH. Technical survey with targeted investigation was piloted by NPA in 2015, and has subsequently been expanded and implemented by other operators and state bodies, including the BiH Armed Forces and civil protection entities. The process consists of first applying elements of non-technical survey, including desk studies and collection of evidence of contamination. Field-based targeted investigations are then conducted, and the outputs analysed to assess any CHA identified. As part of this process, BHMAC and NPA identified new sources of information for inclusion, including from former soldiers and commanders, and members of the local population who provided valuable data on mine contamination. Several methodologies can then be applied as part of the technical survey to locate the target contamination, including the use of manual clearance lane(s) towards a specific target, the use of detection dogs to search for a specific target, or the use of drones to help identify a specific target. Selection of techniques for each target is guided by several factors, including analysis of the characteristics of indirect evidence examined and environmental conditions (including the type of terrain and density of vegetation). Interview with Darvin Lisica, NPA, in Sarajevo, 8 May 2017.

[98] BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 20.

[99] Ibid., pp. 20–21; and CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report (for 2016), Form A.

[100] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017; and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 12.

[101] UNDP, “Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for BiH,” 13 May 2015, p. 29.

[102] Ibid.; and interviews with Darvin Lisica, NPA, in Sarajevo, 8 May 2017; with Haris Lokvancic, Swiss Embassy, Sarajevo, 9 May 2017; and with Tarik Serak, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[103] Interview with Lt.-Col. Dzevad Zenunovic, Demining Battalion of the Armed Forces of BiH, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[104] Ibid.

[105] Ibid.

[106] Email from Amela Balic, NPA Bosnia, 15 April 2015.

[107] Emails from Darvin Lisica, NPA, 5 May 2016; and from Goran Sehić, Deputy Programme Manager, NPA BiH, 10 July 2017.

[108] Interview with Lt.-Col. Zenunovic, Demining Battalion of the Armed Forces of BiH, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[109] Interview with Muamer Husilović and Ahmet Dulović, Federal Civil Protection of BiH, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017; and interview with Tarik Serak, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[110] Email from Goran Sehić, NPA, 10 July 2017; and interview with Darvin Lisica, NPA, Sarajevo, 8 May 2017.

[111] Email from Goran Sehić, NPA, 10 July 2017.

[112] Interview with Darvin Lisica, NPA, in Sarajevo, 8 May 2017.

[113] Interview with Josephine Dresner, MAG, in Sarajevo, 9 May 2017.

[114] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[115] Ibid.

[116] Ibid.

[117] Interview with Blažen Kovač, Ministry of Defense, Chair of the Demining Commission, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[118] UNDP, “Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for BiH,” p. 35.

[119] Email from Fotini Antonopoulou, EU, 18 September 2017.

[120] BHMAC, “Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Annual Report 2011,” adopted by the Demining Commission, May 2012, p. 22; and email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 6 May 2014.

[121] UNDP, “Draft Mine Action Governance and Management Assessment for BiH,” 13 May 2015, pp. 6, 27.

[122] Audit Office of the Institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Performance Audit Report. Efficiency of the Demining System in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 4 November 2016, pp. 5 and 9.

[123] Ibid., pp. 27–28.

[124] Interview with Saša Obradovic, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[125] BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 18.

[126] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[127] Email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 26 May 2016.

[128] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[129] Email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 24 October 2017.

[130] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 June 2017; BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 19; and emails from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May and 10 July 2017.

[131] Email from Darvin Lisica, NPA, 5 May 2016.

[132] Email from Goran Sehić, NPA, 10 July 2017.

[133] Email from Darvin Lisica, NPA, 5 May 2016.

[134] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C; and email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[135] Email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 24 October 2017.

[136] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[137] Ibid.

[138] Ibid.; and email from Goran Sehić, NPA, 10 July 2017.

[139] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C; and email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[140] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017; and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 11.

[141] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[142] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C; and email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[143] Email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 26 May 2016.

[144] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C; BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 11; and email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017. There was a discrepancy between clearance data provided by BHMAS for NPA, and that provided by NPA for its 2016 operations. NPA reported that it had cleared 19 mined areas, totalling 0.13km2, with the destruction of 503 antipersonnel mines, eight antivehicle mines, and 161 items of UXO. Email from Goran Sehić, NPA, 10 July 2017.

[145] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[146] Email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 26 May 2016.

[147] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[148] Ibid.; and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 14.

[149] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[150] Ibid.; Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form F (however, the land reduced by technical survey was not disaggregated from the land released through clearance, in the reporting form); and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 14. In addition, NPA also reported supporting BHMAC to cancel 32 SHAs totaling just over 1.7km2 and to confirm 29 areas covering just over 0.8km2, in addition to reducing just over 0.2km2 through technical survey.

[151] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017; and BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 14.

[152] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form F (however, the land reduced by technical survey was not disaggregated from the land released through clearance, in the reporting form); and email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017. Whereas BHMAC did not record the area cleared by NPA, NPA reported that it cleared had 258,126m2. Furthermore, the 7,618m2 reported to have been cleared by the Federal Administration of Civil Protection, only includes the area of the one task that was completed in 2016. However, the Federal Administration of Civil Protection reported that it had cleared an additional 275,916m2 in 2016, in clearance tasks which had not yet been completed as at the end of 2016. Email from Muamer Husilović, Federal Civil Protection of BiH, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[153] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form C; BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in BiH for 2016,” February 2017, p. 6.; and emails from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May and 19 October 2017.

[154] Interview with Saša Obradovic, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 10 May 2017.

[155] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[156] Ibid., 8 June 2017.

[157] See Mine Action Review and Landmine Monitor reports on clearance in BiH covering 2012–2015.

[158] BHMAC, “Analysis of implementation of mine action strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009–2019) and draft amendments,” adopted by the Demining Commission on 28 March 2016, p. 19.

[159] Email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 26 May 2016.

[160] Ibid.; and from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[161] UNDP, “Mine Action Board of Donors Meeting,” Press Release, 31 March 2016.

[162] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[163] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Intersessional Meetings, Geneva, 8 June 2017.

[164] BHMAC, “Revision of Mine Action Strategy in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2009–2019 (First Revision 2012),” 14 March 2013, p. 13; and email from Darvin Lisica, NPA, 5 May 2016.

[165] BHMAC, “Analysis of implementation of mine action strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2009–2019) and draft amendments,” adopted by the Demining Commission on 28 March 2016, p. 17.

[166] Email from Tarik Serak, BHMAC, 26 May 2016; and from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[167] Email from Goran Zdrale, BHMAC, 17 May 2017.

[168] See Cluster Munition Monitor and Mine Action Review reports on clearance in BiH covering 2012–2016.

Support for Mine Action

Last updated: 12 November 2017

In 2016, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) contributed BAM19 million (US$10.7 million) to mine action, a 19% decrease compared to 2015.[1] Since 2012, BiH has contributed half of its total mine action budget.

In 2016, international contributions for mine action in BiH totaled $7.4 million, a decrease of 44% from 2015. The largest contribution was from the United States (US) ($2.8 million), with two additional countries—Germany and Norway—providing more than $1 million each.[2]

Four donors—Czech Republic, Germany, Japan, and South Korea—contributed a total of $1.8 million via the ITF Enhancing Human Security. This represents one-quarter of all international support to mine action in BiH.

International contributions: 2016[3]

Donor

Sector

Amount (national currency)

Amount (US$)

US

Various

$2,750,000

2,750,000

Germany

Clearance and victim assistance

€1,709,075

1,892,288

Norway

Clearance

NOK12,000,000

1,429,661

Switzerland

Clearance

CHF591,940

601,076

Japan

Clearance

¥39,050,339

359,381

Italy

Clearance

€259,785

287,634

South Korea

Various

N/A

50,000

Czech Republic

Clearance

€8,684

9,615

Total

   

7,379,655

 

Since 2012, international assistance to BiH has fluctuated greatly, reaching a high of $23.1 million in 2013 and a low of $7.4 million in 2016, while national contributions have been relatively steadier.

Summary of contributions: 2012–2016[4]

Year

National contribution (US$)

International contribution (US$)

Total contribution (US$)

2016

10,732,869

7,379,655

18,112,524

2015

13,245,146

13,129,176

26,374,322

2014

14,572,368

8,563,424

23,135,792

2013

11,353,572

23,082,693

34,436,265

2012

11,097,002

9,194,170

20,291,172

Total

61,000,957

61,349,118

122,350,075

 



[1] BiH Mine Action Center (BHMAC), “Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Annual Report 2016,” February 2017, p. 23. Average exchange rate for 2016: US$1=BAM1.7680, Oanda.com, Historical Exchange Rates.

[2] ITF Enhancing Human Security, “Annual Report 2016,” April 2017, p. 25; Germany, CCW Amended Protocol II Annual Report, Form E, and Annex, 31 March 2017; Italy, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 20 April 2017; Japan, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, Form J, 30 April 2017; email from Ingrid Schoyen, Senior Adviser, Section for Humanitarian Affairs, Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 31 May 2017; South Korea, CCW Amended Protocol II Annual Report, Form B, 26 April 2017; Switzerland, Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form I, 28 April 2017; and email from Steve Costner, Deputy Office Director, Weapons Removal and Abatement, US Department of State, 30 October 2017.

[3] Average exchange rate for 2016: CHF0.9848=US$1; €1=US$1.1072; NOK8.3936=US$1; ¥108.66=US$1. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 4 January 2017.

[4] See previous Monitor reports. Totals for international support in 2015 and 2014 have been rectified as a result of revised US funding data. Total for 2012 has also been rectified as a result of database clean-up.

Casualties

Last updated: 16 June 2017

Casualties Overview[1]

All known casualties by end 2016

8,371 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties since beginning of 1992

1,751 mine/ERW casualties, including 610 people killed, since beginning of 1996

Casualties occurring in 2016

12 (2015: 2)

2016 casualties by survival outcome

6 killed; 6 injured (2015: 1 killed; 1 injured)

2016 casualties by device type

10 antipersonnel landmines; 1 unexploded submunition and 1 ERW

 

Details and trends

In 2016 in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), 12 casualties resulted from five civilian mine/ERW incidents and two demining accidents. All casualties were male.

Of the total, eight casualties (four people were killed and four injured) were civilians. Seven were adults and one was a child.

Due to the demining accidents, two clearance personnel were killed and two injured. One accident was caused by an antipersonnel mine and one by anERW.[2]

The 2016 casualty total represents a significant increase from the two casualties reported by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center (BHMAC) for 2015. In 2015, two male casualties were reported as a result of one incident with an antipersonnel mine. One adult was killed, and one civilian, of unknown age, was injured.[3]

For the period 1992–2016, BHMAC recorded a total of 8,379 mine/ERW casualties. Of these, 6,354 casualties occurred from incidents during the war period, 1992–1995. In the post-war period, the number of casualties was 1,751, out of which 612 were killed. For 274 casualties, the year of incident is not known.[4] The total number of demining casualties was reported to be 127, of which 51 were killed.[5]

Cluster munition casualties

One casualty as the result of an unexploded cluster submunition of the KB-1 type was reported in 2016.[6] No new cluster munition casualties were reported in 2015.

For 2016 BiH reported having identified 232 cluster munition casualties, of which 43 were killed.[7]  BiH also reported 226 cluster munition casualties, of which 45 were killed and 181 injured for 2016. BiH reported that information on these casualties was not complete, but noted that five were deminers.[8] In each case it was not reported how many of these casualties were included in the general BHMAC mine/ERW casualty database  nor was it specified if these casualties included casualties from attacks.[9] At least 86 casualties during cluster munition strikes in 1995 were identified in BiH.[10] These 86 casualties have been subtracted from the higher 232-total, pending clarification on how many casualties occurred due to cluster munition attacks in contrast to unexploded submunitions.



[1] Unless otherwise noted, data is from Monitor analysis of casualty data provided by email from BHMAC, 23 March 2017; and BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, BHMAC, “Report on Mine Acton in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” p. 6. According to the 2016 annual report, four civilian casualties were caused by antipersonnel mines, one by a submunition, and three by an unknown device. This differed from data provided by BHMAC, which recorded seven civilian casualties caused by antipersonnel mines and one by an unexploded submunition. The Monitor included the data provided directly by BHMAC in its global casualty data for 2016.

[2] Interview with Tarik Serak, Head, Department for Mine Action Management, BHMAC, and Saša Obradovič, Acting Director, BHMAC, Geneva, 9 February 2017; and email from BHMAC, 23 March 2017.

[3] Email from BHMAC, 23 March 2017. This is an update of information provided in 2016, where only one casualty was reported.

[4] “Report on Mine Acton in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, BHMAC, p. 6.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Interview with Tarik Serak, BHMAC, and Saša Obradovič, BHMAC, Geneva, 9 February 2017; email from BHMAC, 23 March 2017; and “Report on Mine Acton in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, BHMAC, p. 6.

[7] “Report on Mine Acton in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, BHMAC, p. 6.

[8] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report, Form H (for calendar year 2016).

[9] “Report on Mine Acton in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” BiH Ministry of Civil Affairs, BiH Demining Commission, BHMAC, p. 6.

[10] Handicap International (HI), Circle of Impact: The Fatal Footprint of Cluster Munitions on People and Communities (Brussels: HI, May 2007), p. 60. Some 60 more casualties were reported during an aerial strike in which cluster munitions were used along with other weapons.

Victim Assistance

Last updated: 13 July 2017

Action points based on findings

  • Improve the quality and sustainability of services for survivors and other persons with disabilities, including by upgrading community-based rehabilitation (CBR) centers.
  • Simplify the process of applying for new prosthetic devices, including by allowing for electronic applications.
  • Set minimum standards of social welfare payments for persons with disabilities.
  • Make greater efforts towards realizing the economic inclusion of mine/ERW survivors and their families.
  • Address persistent discrimination based on the category of disability and make adequate assistance available to civilians with disabilities on an equal basis with others.
  • Identify sustainable national resources for assistance and international funding opportunities for victims’ representative organizations.

Victim assistance commitments

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is responsible for significant numbers of landmine survivors, cluster munition victims, and survivors of other explosive remnants of war (ERW) who are in need. BiH has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty and Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Protocol V, and has victim assistance obligations under the Convention on Cluster Munitions.

BiH ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on 12 March 2010.

Victim Assistance

Since 1992 there were more than 6,000 mine/ERW survivors in BiH. [1]

Victim assistance since 2015

A sharp decrease in the number of victim assistance projects and services provided by NGOs, mainly linked with the ongoing decline in international funding, left service providers with well-established capacity lacking the resources to implement much-needed programs. The largest survivor representative organization (operating since 1997) closed, another indication of the extreme lack of national and international funding where it is most needed for direct assistance to victims. Some other formerly active NGOs were no longer readily contactable.

Victim assistance coordination stalled, and efforts to reestablish a coordination body again resulted in a meeting of key actors under a new title in 2017.[2] Indicative of the sharply decreasing number and reach of projects, there were 20-times fewer recorded beneficiaries of victim assistance in BiH in 2016 compared to 2015.[3]

No specific funding was allocated to victim assistance at the national level, as a result, there was no clear and concrete support for mine victims and their representative organizations.[4]

Assessing victim assistance needs

The BiH Mine Action Center (BHAMC) reported that its casualty database was regularly updated with information on registered mine/ERW incidents, clearance accidents, and assistance projects.[5]

Victim assistance coordination[6]

Government coordinating body/focal point

Not clearly defined (since 2014)

Coordinating mechanism

A BHMAC-based working group

Plan

Victim Assistance Sub-Strategy 2009–2019 (revised 2012)

 

Since 2014, BiH has reported that until the process of reforming an independent working group appropriate for all action encompassed by assistance for cluster munition victims is completed, BHMAC will be the body temporarily documenting information about the Convention on Cluster Munitions.[7] BHMAC is not authorized to monitor government activities in regard to the implementation of relevant legislation.[8] In 2016, BHMAC adopted the Decision on Forming the Coordination Group for mine/ERW victim assistance.[9] An initial meeting of the multi-stakeholder coordination group was held in April 2017 involving the following bodies and organizations:

  • Amputee Organization (Organizacija Amputiraca Republike Srpske, UDAS)
  • Red Cross/ Crescent-Federation of BIH; Red Cross-Republika Srpska; Red Cross/Crescent of BiH
  • ECO Sport Group
  • Hope 87
  • Posavina Without Mines
  • STOP Mines
  • Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB)
  • Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Disabled People in Republika Srpska
  • Vocational Rehab Fund and employment of persons with disabilities in the federation
  • Council for Persons with Disabilities of BiH

 

The coordination group requires approval by the BiH Council of Ministers in order to be formalized.[10] However an informal coordination working group could still provide some effective measures for cooperation and planning between key actors.[11] Previous coordination through the Landmine Victim Assistance (LMVA) Working Group, hosted by BHMAC, had primarily consisted of information sharing by victim assistance actors.[12]

As of 2016, the problem of BiH defining a body responsible for the coordination of victim assistance issues had persisted for more than a decade.[13]

The Victim Assistance Sub-Strategy 2009–2019 was revised in 2012 as the Victim Assistance Sub-Strategy 2014–2019.[14] There is no institution or body with a mandate to monitor the implementation of the sub-strategy. As of March 2017, the mine action strategy was being revised in cooperation with the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). The revised strategy was reported to include a chapter on victim assistance.[15]

BiH did not make a statement on victim assistance at the Sixth Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster munitions in September 2016 or the Mine Ban Treaty Fifteenth Meeting of States Parties in December 2016. BiH provided information on victim assistance in its Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 reporting for calendar year 2016 and in its reporting for the CCW Amended Protocol II.[16] However it did not complete the specific victim assistance form (Form E a) on steps to implement the relevant provisions of Article 8(2) taken by States Parties to the CCW Protocol V that have ERW victims.[17]

Participation and inclusion in victim assistance

Mine/ERW survivors and their representative organizations were included in the newly established “Working Group for Mine Victims Assistance and CCM”[18] and survivors were included in the implementation of services through NGOs. However, support to victims’ representative organizations led by survivors was not sufficient. As a result, the level of participation of survivors in mine action activities remained low.[19]

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republika Srpska employed a mine survivor as the national coordinator to improving the healthcare of persons with disabilities for the entity. They also worked closely with disabled persons’ organizations within the framework of a cross-sectoral working group coordinated by the ministry. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare supports(UDAS) activities through a three-year agreement, from 2017 to 2019.[20]

Service accessibility and effectiveness

Victim assistance activities[21]

Name of organization

Type of organization

Type of activity

Ministry of Health, Federation of BiH

Government

Public health services; CBR

Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Republika Srpska

Government

Public health services; CBR

Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, Republika Srpska

Government

Employment and training

Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, Federation of BiH

Government

Employment and training

Interdepartmental Body of the Government of the Republika Srpska for the Persons with Disabilities

Government and national NGOs

Improving the living conditions of persons with disabilities

Amputee Organization Republika Srpska (Organizacija amputiraca Republike Srpske, UDAS)

National NGO

Social and economic inclusion, information services, peer support, and legal advice

Center for Development and Support (Centar za razvoj i podrsku, CRP)

National NGO

Socio-economic reintegration

Eco Sport Group (Eko sport grupa)

National NGO

Water sports, psychological/physical rehabilitation, social integration

Posavina With No Mines (Posavina Bez Mina)

National NGO

Economic inclusion

STOP Mines, Pale

National NGO

Economic inclusion

Hope 87

International NGO

Social inclusion; education and training

Miracles Center for Prosthesis and Care, Mostar

International NGO

Prosthetics and rehabilitation

 

In 2016 through 2017, UDAS and other local survivors’ organizations continued to provide some of the assistance previously coordinated by the NGO Landmine Survivors Initiatives (LSI). After more than 18 years of continuous operation, LSI closed in May 2016, citing that it was “Unable to carry on with a demanding and comprehensive approach to empowerment of mine victims and other persons with disabilities.” Since starting in 1997 as a branch office of the US-based Landmine Survivors Network (later rebranded Survivor Corps), the operation in BiH had supported more than 3,100 mine survivors and families through income-generation activities, rehabilitation access, and other services including peer support.[22]

Medical care and rehabilitation

As of April 2017, BiH had 63 community centers for mental and physical rehabilitation. The centers continued to provide services to mine/ERW survivors.[23] In addition to these 63 CBR centers, some additional local rehabilitation centers also provide services to mine/ERW survivors, such as making and fitting prostheses.[24] Health insurance covers the costs of basic prosthetic devices, but more needed to be done to address persisting differences in coverage of other rehabilitative costs, based on the origins and category of disability.[25] Mine/ERW survivors are entitled to new prosthetic devices every four years.[26]

The International Trust Fund: Enhancing Human Security (ITF) ran a rehabilitation project for mine/ERW survivors from October 2016 to January 2017 and provided prosthetic devices to 24 landmine survivors.[27]

Hope 87 conducted a nine-month capacity-building project, training more than 170 health professionals in occupational therapy.[28]

While provision of orthopedic and other devices and assistive technology is mandated by law, the extent to which these entitlements can be accessed was severely limited, because the associated regulations were not enforced and services for persons with disabilities are often treated as dispensable in times of economic hardship. Bureaucratic obstacles often prevented survivors from accessing prostheses that they were entitled to. Even in the case that they had medical documentation proving their requirements, applications for new prostheses were frequently rejected. The burdensome process for gathering the required paperwork—considered by many to be excessive especially in the absence of a centralized system—was another significant obstacle to accessing rehabilitation services. Survivors’ organizations, including UDAS, assisted their members in these processes.[29]

Economic and social inclusion

In 2016, BHMAC reported that four victim assistance projects were implemented, which benefitted 44 survivors.[30] This marks a sharp decrease from the 899 survivors who received such assistance in 2015 through eight projects.[31] The four projects were carried out by UDAS and Stop Mines.[32]

In 2016, 40,000 BAM were allocated in support of organizations of persons with disabilities. The same amount will be allocated in 2017.[33]

From 2013 to 2015, ASB provided socio-economic opportunities for mine/ERW survivors through a business and empowerment project funded through the European Union’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).[34]

Laws and policies

BiH ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in 2010, but NGOs have complained about the lack of effective implementation of laws and programs to help persons with disabilities.[35] NGOs also reported that in the period since BiH ratified the CRPD in 2010, “the state has yet to make concrete steps towards eliminating the discrimination against persons with disabilities.” Such discrimination still exists in both entities of the country, the Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska. Laws concerning the rights of persons with disabilities, including legislation regulating rights to healthcare and rehabilitation, labor and employment, social protection, and education, lack the legal mechanisms necessary for their implementation, which impeded their execution.[36] With regard to victim assistance, BiH reported that disability rights were relatively well regulated by legislation but was not actually implemented in practice.[37]

In 2016, the rights of many persons with disabilitieswere still not effectively protected, making this section of the population very vulnerable. The existing status-based approach to disability continued to result in significant financial inequalities among different categories and detracted from the financial sustainability of social protection.[38]

There was clear discrimination between different categories of persons with disabilities and entitlement to rights and benefits for persons with disabilities is still based on status, instead of on needs. The European Commission (EC) reported that as a result, persons with some categories of disabilities did not receive adequate benefits.[39] In 2016, no steps were taken to change the entitlement system to base it on needs.[40] In particular, persons with disabilities resulting from military service during the 1992–1995 conflict were given a privileged status above civilian war victims and persons who were born with disabilities or acquired impairments by other means.[41] The distinction between war veterans with disabilities, civilian victims of the war, and between those groups and other persons with disabilities was made at all levels and in all areas of BiH social protection structures.[42]

BiH has reported that “Bosnia and Herzegovina with its entities implements standard procedures related to care on persons with disabilities. In these government programs, cluster munitions victims are equal with other disabled people and they receive help that is regulated by legal acts of governmental institutions for this field. Discrimination in this matter does not exist.”[43]

Although legislation at all levels prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, in practice there was discrimination against persons with disabilities in all the areas of employment, education, access to healthcare, transportation, and the provision of other state services.[44]

Discrimination on the basis of disability was explicitly forbidden by the previous labor and employment laws in both entities, but new laws passed in 2015 no longer contain such provisions.[45]

In August 2016, amendments to the law on prohibition of discrimination were adopted to include disability (and age, sexual orientation, and gender identity) as grounds for discrimination.[46] Nevertheless, discrimination based on disability continued. The EC previously stated that persons with disabilities “are not adequately protected,” by anti-discrimination regulations at state, entity, or cantonal levels, or in the Brčko District.[47]

There is generally poor awareness of the necessity of applying accessibility standards throughout the whole system of designing, building, and supervising construction resulting in inaccessible buildings, with only partial access to some of the facilities. There were physical obstacles to access most institutions of primary healthcare in both urban and rural environments.[48] Architectural barriers remain a major problem in exercising any rights of persons with disabilities.[49]

BiH has legislation to ensure physical access to persons with disabilities, but it was rarely enforced. Human rights NGOs continued to report that many new public buildings continued to be built without being made accessible for persons with disabilities.[50]

In December 2016, the Federation of BiH adopted a strategy for persons with disabilities for the period 2016–2021,[51] while in April 2017 the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska adopted a 2017–2026 strategy to improve the social position of persons with disabilities.[52] At the national level, the national strategy for the inclusion of persons with disabilities 2016–2020 was before the National Assembly as of March 2017.[53] The legislative framework on social protection needs better implementation in both the Federation and Republika Srpska.[54]



 [1] Monitor analyses of data in BHMAC, “Annual Report 2011,” (“Izvještaj o protivminskom djelovanju u Bosni i Hercegovini za 2011. Godinu”), Sarajevo, 2012 p. 6; and email from Esher Sadagic, BHMAC, 15 August 2011.

 [2] Monitor research mission notes, Sarajevo and Banja Luka, 30 and 31 March 2017.

 [3] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form H; and BiH Mine Action Center (BHMAC), “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” Sarajevo, February 2017, p. 17.

 [4] Email from Zoran Jesic, Amputee Organization (Organizacija Amputiraca, UDAS), 30 June 2017.

 [5] BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” Sarajevo, February 2017, p. 17.

 [6] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form H; and CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form B, 31 March 2016.

 [7] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

 [8] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Esher Sadagic, BHMAC, 27 May 2013.

 [9] BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” Sarajevo, February 2017, p. 17.

 [10] Interview with Saša Obradović, Acting Director, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 30 March 2017.

 [11] Monitor research mission notes, Sarajevo and Banja Luka, 30 and 31 March 2017.

 [12] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J; and statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013.

 [13] See the BiH country profile of 2015 available on the Monitor website.

 [14] Statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013.

 [15] Interview with Saša Obradović, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 30 March 2017.

 [16] Convention and Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H; and CCW Amended Protocol II Article 13 Report, Form B, 31 March 2017.

 [17] CCW Protocol V Article 10 Report, Form E a, 31 March 2017.

 [18] Convention and Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

 [19] Email from Zoran Jesic, UDAS, 30 June 2017.

 [20] Interview with Andreja Subotić Popović, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republika Srpska, Banja Luka, 31 March 2017.

 [21] Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J; and Convention and Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form H; BHMAC, “Izvještaj o Protivminskom Djelovanju u Bosni i Hercegovini za 2015. Godinu” (“Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2015”), Sarajevo, 2016, p. 17; International Trust Fund: Enhancing Human Security (ITF), “Annual Report 2015,” Ljubljana, 2016, p. 49; and see Eco Sport Group’s Facebook page; UDAS, “Projects,” undated; interview with Zeljko Volas, President and Operations Manager, UDAS, Banja Luka, 31 March 2017; interview with Zana Karkin, Hope 87, Sarajevo, 4 February 2015; and Miracles, “Annual Review 2016,” undated.

 [22] LSI, “The closure of Association ‘Landmine Survivors Initiatives,’” 31 May 2016; and see also, Amir Mujanovic, “Providing Integrated Peer-support Assistance to Landmine Survivors,” The Journal of ERW and Mine Action, Issue 19.3, December 2015.

 [23] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

 [24] Interview with Amir Mujkić, President, Association of Veterans with Disabilities Zavidovići, Orthopedic Workshop, Zavidovići, 30 March 2017.

 [25] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

 [26] Interviews with Saša Obradović, BHMAC, Sarajevo, 30 March 2017; and with Zeljko Volas, UDAS, Banja Luka, 31 March 2017.

[27] ITF, “Annual Report 2016,” Ljubljana, 16 March 2017, p. 46.

[28] “Pokrajina Upper Austria podržala rehabilitaciju osoba sa invaliditetom u BiH” (“The province of Upper Austria supported the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina”), Oslobodenje, 27 January 2017; and interview with Andreja Subotić Popović, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republika Srpska, Banja Luka, 31 March 2017.

[29] Interviews with Zeljko Volas, UDAS, Banja Luka, 31 March 2017; and with Milorad Jovic, Secretary, Udruzenje Amputiraca Bijeljina (RUAB), Bijeljina, 28 March 2017.

[30] BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” Sarajevo, February 2017, p. 17.

[31] Convention on Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form H.

[32] BHMAC, “Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2016,” Sarajevo, February 2017, p. 17.

[33] The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, “Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities considers initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 28 March 2017.

[34] BHMAC, “Izvještaj o Protivminskom Djelovanju u Bosni i Hercegovini za 2015. Godinu” (“Report on Mine Action in Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2015”), Sarajevo, 2016, p. 17; Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2015), Form J; and ASB, “ASB south-east Europe: Two challenging years,” Belgrade, 2016, p. 39.

[35] United States (US) Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Washington, DC, March 2017.

[36] Report submission to the Universal Periodic Review of BiH by the Human Rights Council in 2014. The following organizations worked on the report: Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rights for All, Landmine Survivors Initiative, Sarajevo Open Centre, Country of Children, ICVA, MyRight–Empowers People with Disabilities, Association of Roma Women for a Better Future, Human Rights House Sarajevo, Renaissance, SGV-PR, Women for Women, ELSA, Impakt, HAC Woman of Trnovo, Ceterum Censeo, and CIPP. “Report for the Universal Periodic Review Bosnia and Herzegovina Informal Coalition of Non-governmental Organisations for Reporting on Human Rights,” undated, p. 5.

[37] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Esher Sadagic, BHMAC, 27 May 2013; and statement of BiH, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 3 December 2013.

[38] European Commission (EC), “Bosnia and Herzegovina Progress Report 2016,” 9 November 2016, p. 26; and the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, “Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities considers initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 28 March 2017.

[40] EC, “Bosnia and Herzegovina Progress Report 2016,” 9 November 2016, p. 26.

[41] US Department of State, “2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Washington, DC, 24 May 2012.

[42] Light for the World/MyRight, “Report for the Universal Periodic Review–second cycle Bosnia and Herzegovina,” March 2014, p. 3

[43] Convention and Cluster Munitions Article 7 Report (for calendar year 2016), Form H.

[44] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Washington, DC, March 2017.

[46] EC, “Bosnia and Herzegovina Progress Report 2016,” 9 November 2016, p. 25.

[48] Light for the World/MyRight, “Report for the Universal Periodic Review–second cycle Bosnia and Herzegovina,” March 2014, p. 8.

[49] Ibid., p. 5; and interview with Zeljko Volas, UDAS, Banja Luka, 31 March 2017.

[50] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2016: Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Washington, DC, March 2017.

[51] The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, “Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities considers initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 28 March 2017.

[52] Email from Zoran Jesic, UDAS, 30 June 2017.

[53] The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, “Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities considers initial report of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” 28 March 2017.

[54] EC, “Bosnia and Herzegovina 2016 Report,” (extract from the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions “2016 Communication on EU Enlargement Policy,” COM(2016) 715 final) Brussels, 9 November 2016, p. 50.