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Coalition “Equality” on proposed amendments to the Constitution of Canton Sarajevo


Coalition against the constitutional discrimination “Equality”, which is so far joined by 12 civil society organizations, welcomes the proposed amendments to the Constitution of Canton Sarajevo, submitted by the Canton Sarajevo Government in order to harmonize the Constitution of the Canton Sarajevo with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. We invite delegates in the Canton Sarajevo Assembly, to vote for these amendments and demonstrate readiness for elimination of discrimination of those who do not identify themselves as members of constituent peoples and for the first time in BiH create a benchmark in terms of equal rights of “Others” with the rights of the constituent peoples.

Coalition against the constitutional discrimination “Equality” was created at the end of 2012 out of the need to carry out implementation of constitutional and legislation amendments, on all government levels, aimed to abolish discrimination against citizens of BiH on ethnic grounds. Request of the Coalition against Discrimination of citizens of BiH is that these changes can be made in only one way, and that is a completely equal rights of citizens of BiH who do not identify themselves as members constituent peoples with the rights enjoyed by representatives of constituent peoples.

The aforementioned proposed amendments to the Constitution of Canton Sarajevo fully euqalizes these rights in the domain of the matter regulated by the Constitution of Canton Sarajevo. Therefore, we want to voice our satisfaction with the proposal of the Government of Canton Sarajevo, and congratulate to all who were involved in the process of making amendments.

We hope that delegates in the Canton Sarajevo Assembly understand the significance of this change, and that the Canton Sarajevo will be the leader of changes which are the only way for BiH to join truly democratic societies. All of those who would possibly be against this decision would send a message to citizens of BiH that the institutionalized discrimination is acceptable as a model of the functioning of society. If these amendments are accepted however, we call on all authorities to start with the full implementation of all adopted amendments, as soon as possible.

Coalition against constitutional discrimination “Jednakost” (Coalition for Equality) was founded in December 2012 with the goal of gathering civil society organizations, formal and informal groups, as well as individuals who are dedicated to ending all levels of constitutional discrimination in BiH based on ethnicity.

Current trends in BiH reveal an increasing  population which doesn’t identify with the current discriminatory  system based on exclusive ethnic rights and domination of constituent peoples which is based upon the current constitution. Coalition for Equality was founded in order to give a voice to all citizens who do not belong to one of the constituent ethnic groups, which will advocate change, especially in the context of the upcoming population census in BiH as a catalyst for the first campaign of the coalition.

Coalition for Equality has the final aim of ending all forms of constitutional and other legal discriminatory measures based on ethnic affiliation by giving all groups who do not identify as one of the constituent peoples the same rights as constituent peoples, as well as giving all members of constituent peoples equal rights on the entire territory of BiH. The coalition advocates full equality of all citizens on the entire territory of BiH.

Aims of the Coalition for Equality are as follows:

  • Constitutional reforms on all levels of government in BiH as well as all other laws which contain elements of discrimination based on ethnicity
  • Reforms must institute actual equality on all levels for citizens in BiH who do not identify as members of the constituent peoples.
  • All reforms of ethnic rights for constitutional peoples must not institute new forms of discrimination.
  • Reforms must be fully implemented in practice in a non-discriminatory manner