As part of the European Union and Council of Europe joint programmatic framework “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey II” (Horizontal Facility II), the Council of Europe is implementing the Action “Promotion of Diversity and Equality in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

The Action builds upon the work of the Horizontal Facility I project on strengthening protection and promotion of national minorities in Bosnia, while introducing two additional thematic components related to addressing discrimination on sexual orientation and/or gender identity grounds and combating hate speech.

The Action is implemented in close partnership with institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees, Institution of Ombudsman for human rights, Agency for Gender equality, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate for European Integration), from Republika Srpska (Ministry for European Integration and International Cooperation, Ministry of Justice),  from the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Ministry of Justice, Government) and from Government of Brcko District as well as with the local European Union delegation, civil society organisations, local authorities and other relevant stakeholders.

The Action has an overall budget of 650,000 EUR and it is implemented for three years (May 2019 - May 2022).

Objectives and expected results:

The aim of the Action is to improve the functioning of anti-discrimination mechanisms and their accessibility to vulnerable groups in line with European standards, especially with recommendations from COE monitoring bodies, notably those from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and European Charter for Regional or Minority languages.

The Action intends to meet the following:

- Support initiatives to harmonise the anti-discrimination framework across the country and to develop and implement the respective action plans/strategies in relation to national minorities, LGBTI rights and hate speech;

- Strengthen the capacity of the authorities, local governments and/or equality bodies in order to allow them to better tailor their interventions to address discrimination and increase cooperation among authorities in this field;

- Increase the knowledge and awareness of the general public about the existence and rights of national minorities, about the rights of LGBTI persons and about the dangers posed by hate speech, offering means to develop counter-narratives.

The action is implemented by the No hate speech and cooperation unit of the Council of Europe, Anti-discrimination Department, Directorate General for Democracy.

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