ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Federation of Bosnia
and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska (the "Parties")
have agreed as follows:
CHAPTER ONE: RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
Parties shall secure to all persons within their jurisdiction
the highest level of internationally recognised human rights
and fundamental freedoms, including the rights and freedoms
provided in the European Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and its Protocols and
the other international agreements listed in the Appendix
to this Annex. These include:
- The right
- The right not to be subject to torture or to inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment.
- The right not to be held in slavery or servitude or
to perform forced or compulsory labor.
- The rights to liberty and security of person.
- The right to a fair hearing in civil and criminal matters,
and other rights relating to criminal proceedings.
- The right to private and family life, home, and correspondence.
- Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
- Freedom of expression.
- Freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association
- The right to marry and to found a family.
- The right to property.
- The right to education.
- The right to liberty of movement and residence.
enjoyment of the rights and freedoms provided for in this
Article or in the international agreements listed in the
Annex to this Constitution secured without discrimination
on any ground such as sex, race, color, language,
religion, political or other opinion, national or social
origin, association with a national minority, property,
birth or other status.
CHAPTER TWO: THE COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Part A: GENERAL
Establishment of the Commission
To assist in honouring their obligations under this Agreement,
the Parties hereby establish a Commission on Human Rights
(the "Commission"). The Commission shall consist
of two parts: the Office of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights
The Office of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Chamber
shall consider, as subsequently described:
(a) alleged or apparent violations of human rights as provided
in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms and the Protocols thereto, or
(b) alleged or apparent discrimination on any ground such
as sex, race, color, language, religion, political or other
opinion, national or social origin, association with a national
minority, property, birth or other status arising in the enjoyment
of any of the rights and freedoms provided for in the international
agreements listed in the Appendix to this Annex, where such
violation is alleged or appears to have been committed by
the Parties, including by any official or organ of the Parties,
Cantons, Municipalities, or any individual acting under the
authority of such official or organ.
The Parties recognize the right of all persons to submit to
the Commission and to other human rights bodies applications
concerning alleged violations of human rights, in accordance
with the procedures of this Annex and such bodies. The Parties
shall not undertake any punitive action directed against
persons who intend to submit, or have submitted, such
Facilities, Staff and Expenses
The Commission shall have appropriate facilities and a professionally
competent staff. There shall be an Executive Officer, appointed
jointly by the Ombudsman and the President of the Chamber,
who shall be responsible for all necessary administrative
arrangements with respect to facilities and staff. The Executive
Officer shall be subject to the direction of the Ombudsman
and the President of the Chamber insofar as concerns their
respective administrative and professional office staffs.
The salaries and expenses of the Commission and its staff
shall be determined jointly by the Parties and shall be borne
by Bosnia and Herzegovina. The salaries and expenses shall
be fully adequate to implement the Commission's mandate.
The Commission shall have its headquarters in Sarajevo,
including both the headquarters Office of the Ombudsman and
the facilities for the Chamber. The Ombudsman shall have at
least one additional office in the territory of the Federation
and the Republika Srpska and at other locations as it deems
appropriate. The Chamber may meet in other locations where
it determines that the needs of a particular case so require,
and may meet at any place it deems appropriate for the inspection
of property, documents or other items.
The Ombudsman and all members of the Chamber shall not
be held criminally or civilly liable for any acts carried
out within the scope of their duties. When the Ombudsman and
members of the Chamber are not citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
they and their families shall be accorded the same privileges
and immunities as are enjoyed by diplomatic agents and their
families under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
With full regard for the need to maintain impartiality,
the Commission may receive assistance as it deems appropriate
from any governmental, international, or non-governmental organisation.
Part B: HUMAN RIGHTS OMBUDSMAN
Human Rights Ombudsman
The Parties hereby establish the Office of the Human Rights
Ombudsman (the "Ombudsman").
The Ombudsman shall be appointed for a non-renewable term
of five years by the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), after consultation
with the Parties. He or she shall be independently responsible
for choosing his or her own staff. Until the transfer described
in Article XIV below, the Ombudsman may not be a citizen of
Bosnia and Herzegovina or of any neighboring state. The Ombudsman
appointed after that transfer shall be appointed by the Presidency
of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Members of the Office of the Ombudsman must be of recognised
high moral standing and have competence in the field of international
The Office of the Ombudsman shall be an independent agency. In
carrying out its mandate, no person or organ of the Parties
may interfere with its functions.
Jurisdiction of the Ombudsman
Allegations of violations of human rights received by the
Commission shall generally be directed to the Office of the
Ombudsman, except where an applicant specifies the Chamber.
The Ombudsman may investigate, either on his or her own
initiative or in response to an allegation by any Party or
person, non-governmental organization, or group of individuals
claiming to be the victim of a violation by any Party or acting
on behalf of alleged victims who are deceased or missing,
alleged or apparent violations of human rights within the
scope of paragraph 2 of Article II. The Parties undertake
not to hinder in any way the effective exercise of this right.
The Ombudsman shall determine which allegations warrant
investigation and in what priority, giving particular priority
to allegations of especially severe or systematic violations
and those founded on alleged discrimination on prohibited
The Ombudsman shall issue findings and conclusions promptly
after concluding an investigation. A Party identified as violating
human rights shall, within a specified period, explain in
writing how it will comply with the conclusions.
Where an allegation is received which is within the jurisdiction
of the Human Rights Chamber, the Ombudsman may refer the allegation
to the Chamber at any stage.
The Ombudsman may also present special reports at any time
to any competent government organ or official. Those receiving
such reports shall reply within a time limit specified by
the Ombudsman, including specific responses to any conclusions
offered by the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman shall publish a report, which, in the event
that a person or entity does not comply with his or her conclusions
and recommendations, will be forwarded to the High Representative
described in Annex 10 to the General Framework Agreement while
such office exists, as well as referred for further action
to the Presidency of the appropriate Party. The Ombudsman
may also initiate proceedings before the Human Rights Chamber
based on such Report. The Ombudsman may also intervene in
any proceedings before the Chamber.
The Ombudsman shall have access to and may examine all official
documents, including classified ones, as well as judicial
and administrative files, and can require any person, including
a government official, to cooperate by providing relevant
information, documents and files. The Ombudsman may attend
administrative hearings and meetings of other organs and may
enter and inspect any place where persons deprived of their
liberty are confined or work.
The Ombudsman and staff are required to maintain the confidentiality
of all confidential information obtained, except where required
by order of the Chamber, and shall treat all documents and
files in accordance with applicable rules.
Part C: HUMAN RIGHTS CHAMBER
Human Rights Chamber
The Human Rights Chamber shall be composed of fourteen members.
Within 90 days after this Agreement enters into force,
the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina shall appoint four
members and the Republika Srpska shall appoint two members.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, pursuant
to its resolution (93)6, after consultation with the Parties,
shall appoint the remaining members, who shall not be citizens
of Bosnia and Herzegovina or any neighboring state, and shall
designate one such member as the President of the Chamber.
All members of the Chamber shall possess the qualifications
required for appointment to high judicial office or be jurists
of recognized competence. The members of the Chamber shall
be appointed for a term of five years and may be reappointed.
Members appointed after the transfer described in Article XIV
below shall be appointed by the Presidency of Bosnia and
Jurisdiction of the Chamber
The Chamber shall receive by referral from the Ombudsman on
behalf of an applicant, or directly from any Party or person,
non-governmental organisation, or group of individuals claiming
to be the victim of a violation by any Party or acting on
behalf of alleged victims who are deceased or missing, for
resolution or decision applications concerning alleged or
apparent violations of human rights within the scope of paragraph
2 of Article II.
The Chamber shall decide which applications to accept and
in what priority to address them. In so doing, the Chamber
shall take into account the following criteria:
(a) Whether effective remedies exist, and the applicant has
demonstrated that they have been exhausted and that the application
filed with the Commission within six months from such date
on which the final decision was taken.
(b) The Chamber shall not address any application which is
substantially the same as a matter which has already been
examined by the
Chamber or has already been submitted to another procedure
of international investigation or settlement.
(c) The Chamber shall also dismiss any application which it
considers incompatible with this Agreement, manifestly ill-founded,
abuse of the right of petition.
(d) The Chamber may reject or defer further consideration
if the application concerns a matter currently pending before
international human rights body responsible for the adjudication
of applications or the decision of cases, or any other Commission
established by the Annexes to the General Framework Agreement.
(e) In principle, the Chamber shall endeavor to accept and
to give particular priority to allegations of especially severe
violations and those founded on alleged discrimination on
(f) Applications which entail requests for provisional measures
shall be reviewed as a matter of priority in order to determine
they should be accepted and, if so (2) whether high priority
for the scheduling of proceedings on the provisional measures
The Chamber may decide at any point in its proceedings to
suspend consideration of, reject or strike out, an application
on the ground that (a) the applicant does not intend to pursue
his application; (b) the matter has been resolved; or (c) for
any other reason established by the Chamber, it is no longer
justified to continue the examination of the application;
provided that such result is consistent with the objective of
respect for human rights.
At the outset of a case or at any stage during the proceedings,
the Chamber may attempt to facilitate an amicable resolution
of the matter on the basis of respect for the rights and freedoms
referred to in this Agreement.
If the Chamber succeeds in effecting such a resolution
it shall publish a Report and forward it to the High Representative
described in Annex 10 to the General Framework Agreement while
such office exists, the OSCE and the Secretary General of
the Council of Europe. Such a Report shall include a brief
statement of the facts and the resolution reached. The report
of a resolution in a given case may, however, be confidential
in whole or in part where necessary for the protection of
human rights or with the agreement of the Chamber and the
Proceedings before the Chamber
The Chamber shall develop fair and effective procedures for
the adjudication of applications. Such procedures shall provide
for appropriate written pleadings and, on the decision of
the Chamber, a hearing for oral argument or the presentation
of evidence. The Chamber shall have the power to order provisional
measures, to appoint experts, and to compel the production
of witnesses and evidence.
The Chamber shall normally sit in panels of seven, composed
of two members from the Federation, one from the Republika
Srpska, and four who are not citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina
or any neighboring state. When an application is decided by
a panel, the full Chamber may decide, upon motion of a party
to the case or the Ombudsman, to review the decision; such
review may include the taking of additional evidence where
the Chamber so decides. References in this Annex to the Chamber
shall include, as appropriate, the Panel, except that the
power to develop general rules, regulations and procedures
is vested in the Chamber as a whole.
Except in exceptional circumstances in accordance with
its rules, hearings of the Chamber shall be held in public.
Applicants may be represented in proceedings by attorneys
or other representatives of their choice, but shall also be
personally present unless excused by the Chamber on account
of hardship, impossibility, or other good cause.
The Parties undertake to provide all relevant information to,
and to cooperate fully with, the Chamber.
Following the conclusion of the proceedings, the Chamber shall
promptly issue a decision, which shall address:
(a) Whether the facts found indicate a breach by the Party
concerned of its obligations under this Agreement; and if
(b) what steps shall be taken by the Party to remedy such
breach, including orders to cease and desist, monetary relief
(including pecuniary and non-pecuniary injuries), and provisional
The Chamber shall make its decisions by a majority of members.
In the event a decision by the full Chamber results in a tie,
the President of the Chamber shall cast the deciding vote.
Subject to review as provided in paragraph 2 of Article
X, the decisions of the Chamber shall be final and binding.
Any member shall be entitled to issue a separate opinion
on any case.
The Chamber shall issue reasons for its decisions. Its
decisions shall be published and forwarded to the parties
concerned, the High Representative described in Annex 10 to
the General Framework Agreement while such office exists,
the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the OSCE.
The Parties shall implement fully decisions of the Chamber.
Rules and Regulations
Chamber shall promulgate such rules and regulations, consistent
with this Agreement, as may be necessary to carry out its
functions, including provisions for preliminary hearings,
expedited decisions on provisional measures, decisions by
panels of the Chamber, and review of decisions made by any
CHAPTER THREE: GENERAL PROVISIONS
Organizations Concerned with Human Rights
The Parties shall promote and encourage the activities of
non-governmental and international organizations for the protection
and promotion of human rights.
The Parties join in inviting the United Nations Commission
on Human Rights, the OSCE, the United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights, and other intergovernmental or regional
human rights missions or organizations to monitor closely
the human rights situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including
through the establishment of local offices and the assignment
of observers, rapporteurs, or other relevant persons on a
permanent or mission-by-mission basis and to provide them
with full and effective facilitation, assistance and access.
The Parties shall allow full and effective access to non-governmental
organizations for purposes of investigating and monitoring
human rights conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and shall
refrain from hindering or impeding them in the exercise of
All competent authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina shall
cooperate with and provide unrestricted access to the organizations
established in this Agreement; any international human rights
monitoring mechanisms established for Bosnia and Herzegovina;
the supervisory bodies established by any of the international
agreements listed in the Appendix to this Annex; the International
Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; and any other organization authorised by the UN Security Council with a mandate concerning
human rights or humanitarian law.
years after this Agreement enters into force, the responsibility
for the continued operation of the Commission shall transfer
from the Parties to the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
unless the Parties otherwise agree. In the latter case, the
Commission shall continue to operate as provided above.
Parties shall give effective notice of the terms of this Agreement
throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Entry into Force
Agreement shall enter into force upon signature.
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Geneva Conventions I-IV on the Protection of the Victims of
War and the 1977 Geneva Protocols I-II thereto
European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms and the Protocols thereto
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1966
Convention on the Nationality of Married Women
Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the
1966 and 1989 Optional Protocols thereto
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment
European Convention on the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant
Workers and Members of Their Families
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities