Human Rights Organisations Propose Amendments to Ensure Adequate Regulation of Hate Crime
As a member of the Coalition for Combat Against Hate Speech and Hate Crime, Civil Rights Defenders supports the Coalition’s proposed amendments to the Criminal Code of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which aims to ensure adequate regulation of hate crime. We also ask the House of Commons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to organize a session on the topic of adequate regulation of hate crime.
At the moment, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only part of Bosnia and Herzegovina that lacks regulation of hate crime. It is imperative to adopt these amendments in order to harmonize national legislation and the Criminal Code of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Law on Gender Equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Furthermore, it is necessary to harmonize the Criminal Code of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Criminal Codes of Republika Srpska and the Brcko District.
The lack of regulations has caused hate crimes to be inadequately prosecuted. The amendments, if adopted, would define hate crime as any crime motivated or incented by hate, prejudice or bigotry against the victim. The amendments also propose harsher punishments for perpetrators.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is a post-conflict country with high rates of crimes motivated by hatred. With these amendments we want to call on all governments of the country to protect vulnerable groups. Attacks motivated by hatred against people of different nationality, gender, sexual orientation or any other form of hatred demand higher sentences. Such legislation is even more essential in a country with a history like BiH,” said Ena Bavcic, Programme Officer for Bosnia and Herzegovina at Civil Rights Defenders.
Civil Rights Defenders asks the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s House of Commons to adopt the proposed changes and help prevent and punish hate crime and hate speech.