Social and economic rights training held in Trebinje

On 11-13 February 2022 the Max Planck Foundation continued its ongoing series with a third event.

Young professionals and student activists from across Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) met in the south-eastern town of Trebinje for training, discussions and further development of their own campaign. At earlier meetings participants had deliberated on administrative, bureaucratic and political obstacles impacting citizens, particularly the younger generation, in their pursuit of harmonious co-existence.

Building on previous sessions, this third workshop aimed at clarifying the precise workings of BiH’s political and administrative system in greater depth. Guided by Foundation’s staff and two experienced lawyers from BiH, participants were challenged to reflect on social and economic rights and their structural function in securing a shared and peaceful future for BiH. Participants shared their own experiences, and a subsequent legal analysis yielded an informed assessment of the ways in which the national administrative order and bureaucratic practices actively prevent citizens from taking the pursuit of their studies, work or residence nationwide. These administrative and bureaucratic practices accentuate geographical and ethnic separation that negatively affects peaceful co-existence, cultural exchange and favours a permissive environment for corruption. By cementing obstacles to mobility, the system furthermore impedes younger people’s prospects for personal development in the country with larger ramifications for economic development.

The workshop series will continue throughout 2022, setting the participating young activists on track to deploy a campaign that relates their own experiences to a wider public, grounded in a sound understanding of the legal implications that attach both to the current system as well as to conceivable reforms.

The proceedings were part of the project Strategic Approach to Future and Youth-Oriented Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.