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UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina: COUNTRY PROGRAMME 2015 - 2019

CHILDREN’S RIG HTS IN CHILD POVERTY Incidence of poverty using different poverty thresholds in percentage

Relative poverty line Absolute poverty line

Children are disproportionately hit by poverty and deprivation

All Individuals

All Households

All Children

2007 2011

2007 2011

2007 2011

18.2% 17.9%

18.4% 17.2%

18.8% 19.7%


10 0


20.2% 23.4% 16.3%





10 0

CHILD PROTECTION Child discipline More than a half (55%) of children aged 2-14 years had been subjected to some method of violent discipline (psychological or physical) by their parents or other adult household members during the month preceding the survey.

A 2014 Knowledge, Attitude and Practice survey revealed that 71% of respondents assessed that juvenile offense is a serious or very serious problem in their environment

55% Source: MICS

The Convention on the Rights of the Child calls on states to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation.


Juvenile justice




PRESCHOOL EDUCATION The right to a preschool upbringing and education is universally proclaimed by international standards, most notably, the Convention of the Rights of the Child. Care for the early development of every child and the provision of a good quality preschool upbringing and education are fundamental for the development of an individual and of a society as a whole. Early childhood education and care (ECEC) can lay the foundations for later success in life in terms of education, well-being, employability, and social integration, especially for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

PRESCHOOL ENROLLMENT IN SELECTED COUNTRIES BiH 13% Serbia 44% FYR of 22% Macedonia Kazakhstan 37% Ukraine 52% 88%

Belarus Source: MICS

IMMUNIZATION Immunization is a core component of the human right to health and an individual, community and government responsibility. Protected from the threat of vaccine – preventable diseases, immunized children have the opportunity to thrive and a better chance of realizing their full potential.

68%% 4

FULL IMMUNIZATION Bosnia and Herzegovina Palestine Ghana Serbia

full immunization coverage for all children

Zimbabve 60




Source: UNICEF MICS, 2012




full immunization coverage for Roma children Source: MICS

Full immunization refers to children that have received a Bacillus-Calmette-Gwen (BCG) vaccine and three doses of Diphtheria pertussis and tetonus (DPT) and the polio vaccine by 12 months of age and the Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccines by 18 months.


Achievements from 2010 to 2014 with UNICEF Support: Social protection and inclusion systems have been strengthened and 23 per cent of the country’s municipalities have established special services for the most vulnerable children and families. These include day-care services for children with disabilities and mobile outreach teams for out-of-school Roma and rural children.

A legislative framework is in place for integrated early childhood development (IECD). Services have started to expand, including home visiting to reach marginalized families, which now reaches 15 municipalities with most services for the most vulnerable families.

Juvenile offences in BiH have fallen by approximately 10 per cent overall since 2010


The decline has been larger, 16 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, in the third and fourth largest cities (Tuzla and Zenica), where the UNICEF-supported ‘Justice for Children’ programme was implemented.





6% 2006 2012



Tuzla 0



30% 20


Attendance in early childhood education more than doubled from 2006 to 2012 Through UNICEF advocacy with the Government, preschool education gained momentum, and almost half of the country’s children (46 per cent) have begun attending minimum preschool programmes prior to first grade, as required by the legislative framework.

Children received humanitarian assistance and disaster risk reduction education following devastating floods in May 2014: UNICEF established 32 child friendly spaces reaching 3,840 over a six months period and delivered furniture, didactic materials and labs to more than 90 schools across the country.


Looking ahead (2015-2019) Over the next five years UNICEF will use evidence based strategic interventions to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s effort to accelerate the universal realization of child rights by fostering greater inclusion of all children, especially of the most vulnerable, children with disabilities, children of minorities, and children living in poverty.

Key priorities include

Child rights monitoring, social protection and inclusion

Child protection and justice for children

Inclusive quality education

Young child well-being

for all children, including children with disabilities and Roma children.



The May 2014 floods acted as a stark reminder to Bosnia’s vulnerability to natural hazards (both meteorological and geological). According to the 2015 Global Disaster Risk Assessment the Multi-hazard Average Annual Loss (AAL) for Bosnia and Herzegovina is of 69.3 million USD. This underlines the necessity to implement Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies that cover vulnerabilities of children and women. Using a community based DRR approach UNICEF will work with municipalities to strengthen resilience of children to hazards.

• Government Partners

UNICEF will also ensure gender is mainstreamed across all programme areas. This will be achieved by ensuring participation of boys and girls in programme design and implementation as well as through systematic collection of gender disaggregated data.

• United Nations Partners under the umbrellaof the delivering as one agenda

• Members of Parliament • Universities • Civil Society Organisations • Media Agencies • Donors



Bosnia and Herzegovina is facing high and constantly rising unemployment and poverty. Children are disproportionally hit by poverty and deprivation: the absolute poverty rate is 30.5% compared to 23.4% for the overall population. Furthermore, living in a household with young children (0-5) poses consistently higher risk of child deprivation than to any other age groups. Understanding the situation of children in BiH is key to achieving relevant, high impact interventions and sustainable progammes to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged. This component will support the country’s capacity to use increasing availability of information and data to reduce poverty and provide inclusive access to social protection services. Building on progress made on reform of the social protection and inclusion sector, the programme will seek to reduce poverty and address equity gaps. This will be achieved through: 1. Advocacy and technical assistance for legislation and policies, evidence-based budget reallocations, knowledge exchange and inclusive social protection systems. This would result in cantons of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina having a harmonized approach to equitable minimum social benefits.


2. Promotion and expansion of the Social Protection and Inclusion (SPI) model through system change and increased coverage at local level. This will be achieved through multisectoral commissions; vulnerability needs assessments; systematic participation of children, families and civil society; referral protocols; municipal action plans; and provision of services to the most vulnerable children. Key results will be i) vulnerable children have access to enhanced inclusive services (such as day-care centres for children with disabilities) in 50 per cent of municipalities; and ii) an increased percentage of people support inclusion of children with disabilities.


In Bosnia 57.6% of children experience some form of violent discipline. This programme component focuses on strengthening child protection systems contributing to realizing children’s right to be free from violence, neglect and abuse, including the right to live in a family environment, as well as children’s access to justice. Interventions will focus in the following areas: 1. Acting as a convening role in promoting comprehensive child protection referral mechanisms and violence prevention programmes in at least 40 per cent of all municipalities. 2. Professional development programmes and targeted behavioural change campaigns will contribute to (a) reducing by at least 40 per cent the number of children in institutions; (b) reducing from 68 per cent to 40 per cent the proportion of children with disabilities in residential care; and (c) increasing the percentage of municipalities implementing the guidelines on the response system in cases of violence against children. 3. Building on previous achievements in juvenile justice, the programme will strengthen children’s access to justice. This will contribute to an increase in (a) the number of prosecutors’ offices and municipal courts applying child-friendly procedures and (b) the percentage of children in conflict with the law benefiting from diversion and alternative measures.


The critical issue in terms of delivering inclusive quality education are persistent equity gaps. In preschool while overall enrolment has reached, 12% that proportion falls to 1.5 per cent among Roma children and 2 per cent among children from the poorest quintile. In primary and secondary education, while attendance is high, at 98 per cent in primary and 92 per cent in secondary, for Roma children these figures drop to 69 per cent and 23 per cent respectively. The rate is 27 per cent for Roma boys and 18 per cent for Roma girls (secondary education). Furthermore, access to education remains limited for children with disabilities, and ethnic division persists. The programme will support efforts to ensure the progressive realization of every child’s right to inclusive learning through advocacy, capacity development, and technical assistance. Interventions will focus in the following areas: 1. Inclusive early learning, the programme will support the continued expansion of preschool education programmes. The objective of this area is to increase preschool attendance to 30% for BiH ensuring at least 10% of Roma children enrolment. 2. Support the realization of children’s right to inclusive quality primary and secondary education, the programme will address data gaps and identify invisible and excluded children. The main expected result will be increased attendance in primary and secondary education by Roma boys and girls (90 per cent primary and 50 per cent secondary,) and children with disabilities.


In BiH challenges persist with early detection of developmental delays and adequate interventions. Immunization levels remain low, at 68 per cent overall and a dismal 4 per cent for Roma children. Equity gaps persist among children under 5 and in infant mortality and malnutrition. Bottlenecks include insufficient resources, low awareness of services among hard-to-reach population groups and a limited number of qualified staff. Interventions will focus in the following areas: 1. Implementation of sustainable quality inclusive early childhood development services, particularly for vulnerable and excluded families with young children, such as Roma, and families with children with developmental difficulties. UNICEF will reach at least 35,000 children up to age 5 and their families to receive quality inclusive services, including home visiting. The model will be expanded through system changes with Government authorities. 2. Support the country in achieving European immunization targets particularly to reduce the risk of wild polio virus, by closing equity gaps and advocating for targeted immunization programmes, especially for Roma children, and communicating for social change to address the anti-vaccine sentiment and restore trust in immunization.


UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina Zmaja od Bosne b.b.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

phone: +387 33 293 600


UNICEF in BiH 2015 - 2019  

UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina: Country Programme summary 2015 - 2019

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