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Rights Group Slams Bosnian Ethnic Discrimination, Calls For Constitutional Change

Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Roma, Jews, and other minorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina remain excluded from participation in national politics.

In a report, released on April 4, the New York-based group calls on Bosnian leaders to remove ethnic discrimination against minorities from the country's constitution, laws, and public institutions.

HRW says much discrimination stems from Bosnia’s postwar 1995 constitution, which "mandates a system of government based on ethnicity and excludes these groups from high political office."

The constitution bars anyone who is not one of the country’s three main ethnic groups -– Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs –- from running for the tripartite national presidency or the House of Peoples, one of two parliamentary chambers.

The report also highlights the impact that discrimination has on Roma when it comes to accessing housing, education, healthcare and employment.
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