Legal Framework in the Process of Determining the Time and Place of Birth of Children Born in the Conflict Zone
Sarajevo, 15 February 2023 - The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina organized the event “Legal Framework in the Process of Determining the Time and Place of Birth of Children Born in the Conflict Zone”, which took place today in Sarajevo.
The event gathered judges of courts in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) responsible for determining the time and place of birth of children through non-contentious civil proceedings, as well as representatives of the BiH Ministry of Security, BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, the BiH Human Rights Ombudsman Institution and relevant ministries and bodies of the FBiH Government.
Participants took stock of the efforts of relevant authorities in repatriating BiH citizens from conflict zones. Discussion focused on the challenges in regulating the status and granting of citizenship to returnee children born in conflict zones, a precondition for their access to rights.
“For many children born in conflict zones, birth and citizenship registration is a matter of utmost urgency. It provides them with a legal identity, protection under the law and access to essential services such as education, health care and social welfare,” said Ambassador Brian Aggeler, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH. “I hope that the judicial authorities will find effective solutions for the timely registration of birth of these children.”
Blanche Picarello, IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina Deputy Chief of Mission stated: “Legal status and establishing citizenship for children born in the conflict zone is a critical piece in the multifaceted context of reintegration and rehabilitation of returnees. Further improvements are needed in terms of harmonized implementation of the legal framework before courts in FBiH in determining the place and time of birth of children, taking into account the principles of urgency and the best interest of the child.”
The event featured a presentation by the BiH Ministry of Security on the comprehensive Repatriation Plan and the Program of Reintegration, Rehabilitation and Resocialisation (Plan and Program).
Ivana Veselčić, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Security of BiH: “The Ministry of Security of BiH presented a comprehensive Plan and Program, which was adopted by the BiH Council of Ministers in August 2022, based on information on the situation in the territories of conflict zones and conclusions. The plan regulates procedures for a safe, humane and controlled return to Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens from conflict zones, while the Program is based on a multi-sectoral approach and activities in the process of reintegration, rehabilitation and resocialization of Bosnia and Herzegovina citizens upon returning to Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina, number: 69/22).”
The event is part of the IOM and OSCE Mission’s to BiH wider support to relevant institutions in ensuring a co-ordinated and harmonised approach in resolving status issues involving children returning from conflict zones.
For more information, please contact IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina at firstname.lastname@example.org.