Bosnia & Herzegovina

Country at a glance
Policy framework
General situation across all policy areas
Social policy specific situation

Country at a glance (2016)

Population (mio) 3,802
Geographical size (sq km) 51,209
Capital city Sarajevo
EU relation Potential candidate country – since June 2003

Source: UNdata, European Neighbourhood Policy And Enlargement Negotiations

Policy Framework

Reform agenda for Bosnia and Herzegovina for period from 2015 to 2018

Work program of Government of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina for 2017

Laws on labour (Labour law, Law on strike, Employee council law, Safety at work law), laws on employment (Law on mediation in employment and social security of unemployed persons, Law on the employment of foreigners), laws on pension and disability insurance (Law on pension and disability insurance, Law on organization of pension and disability insurance in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Law on the registry of insured persons, payers of contributions and users of pension and disability insurance rights), laws on social protection (Law on basics of social protection, protection of civilian war victims and protection of families with children, Law on the takeover of the rights and obligations of the founders of social protection institutions in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Foster care law, Law on establishment of the health condition medical examination institute, Law on professional rehabilitation, enabling and employment of persons with disabilities, Law on Unified register of non-contributing cash benefit users)

Strategy on reform of the pension system in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Strategy for advancement of rights and status of people with disabilities in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (2016-2021)

General situation across all policy areas

An urgent need to initiate a process of rehabilitating and modernising the economy in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is recognized, with a view to: fostering sustainable, efficient, socially just and steady economic growth; creating new jobs; increasing and more-appropriately targeting social assistance; and creating a favourable and just social environment.

Main characteristics of the system, which the Government is trying to improve, are high unemployment rate, especially among young people and women; outdated laws in segment of pension insurance and safety at work; existing discrimination between welfare users based on their location; and discrimination towards persons with disabilities based on the cause of disability (veteran and non-veteran).

Main challenges across all policy areas

  • split jurisdiction between Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and cantons
  • outdated structures which have strong connections to the past socialist system
  • resistance to change
  • lack of social consensus on important issues

Main approaches to address challenges across all policy areas

  • coordination with official representatives from cantonal governments throughout the entire process of drafting a new law
  • raising awareness on necessity of reform and unsustainability of current system
  • focusing on transparency throughout the process of drafting a law, so that public can be well informed
  • working with different NGOs and collaborating with them on lobbying for adopting laws

Social policy specific situation

Split jurisdiction between Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and cantons

Significant social trends

  • Large numbers of people listed as unemployed, but not actively seeking employment
  • Increasing number of users of pension and disability insurance
  • Migrations

Key challenges specific to social policy

  • Creating new jobs
  • Strengthening of social dialogue
  • Modernizing segment of safety at work
  • Decreasing poverty of elderly people through increased retirement income adequacy
  • Equalizing the social protection rights on the territory of the entire Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Main approaches to address social policy challenges

  • Current work on developing Strategy on employment 2017-2020
  • Continuous negotiation with social partners and adopting new Law on strike
  • Reform of safety at work segment
  • Reform of pension and disability insurance system
  • Adopting and implementing policies on social services, social work, social protection, financial support for families with children

Target groups

  • Workers and unemployed persons
  • beneficiaries of pension and disability insurance
  • children without parental care, neglected children
  • elderly people without family care
  • people in conflict with the law
  • persons with disability

Contact

Ms Sanela Čičić
ADVISOR TO THE MINISTER
Sanela.Cicic@fmrsp.gov.ba

Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Policy
Marka Marulića 2, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina