The Action “Further strengthening the treatment of detained and sentenced persons in line with European standards in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)” in its third phase will build upon results of the two preceding Actions of the “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” in BiH through a joint programme of the European Union and the Council of Europe initially launched in 2016.

The Action is implemented in close cooperation with the Ministries of Interior, Ministries of Justice, Ministry of Health and the Institution of Human Rights Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Focusing on the capacity-building of prison and law-enforcement officers, as well as forensic medical and support staff, the action will further promote human rights approach to the multidisciplinary management of persons deprived of liberty and sentenced to the custodial environment. The Action will also support the establishment of a preventive monitoring mechanism in the places of deprivation of liberty in BiH and provide continued support to the BiH authorities in introducing system of electronic exchange of prison-related data.

Furthermore, the Action will aim to ensure comprehensive treatment of persons deprived of liberty in the criminal justice system, regardless of the nature or length of their detention. The Action will aim to embed the positive direction of further aligning the prison and police practices with European standards to combat ill-treatment in the custodial environment.

In doing so, the activities are designed to deal with the specific issues comprised in the Action's four components:

  • Component I: further improving the human rights record in policing across the law enforcement sector in BiH with the safety and security balance in check;

  • Component II: further enhancing the process of resocialisation of forensic patients and supporting their safe return to their families and communities;

  • Component III: further embedding the electronic exchange of prison-related data in practice; and

  • Component IV: building capacities of the National Prevention Mechanism function holders to monitor treatment of persons deprived of liberty.

The Action addresses the findings and the recommendations of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), as well as the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the application of Conventions of the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR).

The duration of the action is set at 48 months, and it is expected to be completed by 31 December 2026, with an overall budget of 1,450,000 Euros.