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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                             

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)

The interethnic warfare in Bosnia and Herzegovina caused production to plummet by 80% from 1992 to 1995 and unemployment to soar. With an uneasy peace in place, output recovered in 1996-99 at high percentage rates from a low base; but output growth slowed in 2000-02. Part of the lag in output was made up in 2003-08 when GDP growth exceeded 5% per year.

A sizeable current account deficit and high unemployment rate remain the two most serious macroeconomic problems.

Key exporters in the metal, automobile and wood processing industries have reported a worsening performance and have announced layoffs and output reductions.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Bosnia-Herzegovinia

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Child Sex Trafficking Study By CU-Boulder Sociologist Reveals Misperceptions

University of Colorado, Feb. 28, 2005 – Complete Report:

[accessed 28 August 2012]

Most adults in Bosnia-Herzegovina think that the majority of its street children are Roma, and that Roma beg primarily by tradition.  Prejudice against the Roma has led people to think that there was little point to trying to help these street children, when, in fact, the street children come from all ethnic groups. - htsccp


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 23 January 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Roma children beg on the streets in Sarajevo.  Access to education remains limited for Roma children who frequently face a hostile learning environment due to harassment from other students, language barriers, segregated classrooms, and the inability to pay for the costs associated with schooling.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 7 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Education is free and compulsory through age 15; however, parents were required to pay for textbooks, lunches, and transportation, which some families could not afford. A lack of reliable monitoring and statistics on enrollment and drop-out rates hindered efforts to ensure that school-age children received an education. Children with special needs were legally required to attend regular classes, but schools were often unable to accommodate them. Except for Roma, almost all children finished primary school through the 9th grade; the completion rate was lower for secondary school. Boys and girls attended school equally.

According to the country's annual Helsinki Committee human rights report, up to 70 percent of Romani children did not attend school regularly. Many Romani children were unable to attend school because of extremely poor living conditions, lack of proper clothing, and the inability or unwillingness of families to pay school-related expenses. Verbal harassment from other students, language problems, and registration costs and requirements also contributed to the exclusion of Roma from schools, despite the desire of many parents to enroll their children

Child begging was common in some Romani communities; infants (with adults) and children as young as four were sent out to beg on street corners, often working 10 or more hours per day in all weather conditions.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child, BiH

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 3 June 2005

[accessed 23 January 2011]

[65] The Committee is concerned at the information that a significant number of children, especially Roma, are living or working on the streets, that the majority of these children are under 14, that most of them do not attend schools and nearly half of them appear to be ill. Furthermore, the Committee notes with concern that the work performed by these children is often harmful and exploitative and that many of them are compelled or forced to work.

CRC 39: Bosnia and Herzegovina reporting to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (19 May 2005)

NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, CRC News, 9/05/2005

[accessed 7 April 2011]

CHILD PROTECTION AND SPECIAL PROTECTION - The number of street children was not especially high, but 90% of street children were forced to beg and more than 10% of them were abused or used in some way or another.  BiH was planning to introduce new measures through the police to trace them.

Sharing The School Bench: Getting Roma Children Into School

United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, 7 October 2004

[accessed 7 April 2011]

Last year, the ranks of children on the streets of Bosnia and Herzegovina were swelled with hundreds of Roma children who hung out around parks, restaurants and parking lots with the hope of being given a coin or two that would help buy food for their family.

Bethesda Project - A Human Development Project for Orphans & Street Children [DOC]

Proposal for Funding by Private Foundations and Benefactors, October 06, 2000

[accessed 7 April 2011]

The Bethesda Project is a human development project aims at giving back to orphans, and street children and their families the dignity they need to keep on with their life by providing them new appropriate housing; school attendance for boys and girls; health and psychological support; sports facilities; training in handicraft skills and creativity; participation in livestock, farming and gardening activities; fine arts talent development and; spiritual development.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Bosnia-Herzegovina",, [accessed <date>]