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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Northern, Southern and Western Europe


Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks 38 out of 162 countries in the Gender Inequality Index, where a high rank equals high equality. Women should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.


Bosnia and Herzegovina has a Workplace Index score of 3.5, a Marketplace Index score of 5.4 and a Community and Environment Index score of 4.2 in the Children’s Rights and Business Atlas, where countries receive scores between 0 and 10. A score closer to 0 reflects a need for basic children’s rights due diligence, while a higher score reflects a need for enhanced or heightened due diligence. Children should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though. 

Persons with Disabilities

Due to differences in data collection and definitions it is difficult to compare countries on disability prevalence rates. Persons with disabilities should always be considered as a particularly vulnerable group though.

Minorities and Indigenous Peoples

According to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, the word ‘minority’ is laden with political meaning in Bosnia and Herzegovina . The former Yugoslav and current Dayton constitutions reference ‘constituent peoples’, a concept that consciously divides society into groups who are recognized as having a stake in the country, and minority groups who presumably do not. Fear of becoming a minority, and memories of what happened to minorities during the World Wars fuelled the 1990s war, and that fear is still the driving force in the country’s polarizing political system.  All peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be considered minorities, as all face marginalization in areas where their ethnicity is not dominant. The country is made up of three ‘constituent’ peoples, Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs, along with smaller minority groups, the largest of which are the Roma. Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs are all Slavic. Mainly Muslim Bosniaks speak Bosnian, a language known before the war as Serbo-Croat, the dialects of which did not conform to ethnic categories in the former Yugoslavia. Since the early 1990s regional politicians have prompted the differentiation of the language into Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and even Montenegrin ‘languages’, leading to some conscious linguistic changes along ethnic lines. Croats speak Croatian and are mainly Roman Catholic. Serbs speak Serbian, often written in the Cyrillic script, and are mainly Christian Orthodox. Roma suffer the greatest discrimination.

Migrant Workers​

According to the ILO Global Estimates on International Migrant Workers, migrant workers as a proportion of all workers is 18.4 % in the subregion Northern, Southern and Western Europe.

Persons in Armed Conflict

Bosnia and Herzegovina ranks 77 out of 179 countries in the Fragile States Index, where a high rank equals high fragility. For monthly crisis updates, check out CrisisWatch

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