The political structure with three different, fragmented areas – the two entities of the Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the independent Brcko District – is one of the reasons for the immense bureaucracy and deep division of the society, which is caused by the power struggles between the competing ethnically defined political parties. Together with the growing social inequality this leads to dissatisfaction among the population.
Poor working conditions and misery for refugees
Twenty five years on from the end of the war, the social and economic situation is dire. A few years ago, a new labour law was introduced in spite of massive protests by unions, which led to a breakdown of the social partnership.
Working conditions in many of the factories are appalling, for example in the textile sector. It is taboo to talk about this however because jobs are scares and there is a view that investors must not be scared away. In addition, at over 60% the young unemployment level is a record high. This leads many young Bosnians to emigrate because they cannot see a future for themselves in their own country. At the same time, many refugees travel through the Balkan route into the country, where they become stranded in camps with horrific conditions on the border with Croatia.
Life expectancy: 77.74 years
Average life expectancy in Switzerland: 83,6 years
Literacy rate: 98.5 %
Literacy rate among adults in Switzerland: 99.9 %
Gini index (income inequality): 33 (2015)
The Gini-Index measures the degree of income inequality: The higher the number, the more inequality. Switzerland: 32,7
Asylum applications and action plans against labour law violations
Solidar Suisse supports refugees stranded in Bosnia, including many families and minors travelling alone. We help them to file asylum applications in order to protect their rights. Where possible, traumatised people are given psychosocial support.
In addition, we collate violations of the labour law in textile factories and cooperate with unions, human rights and women’s organisations to develop strategies on improving working conditions. We jointly implement these action plans and exert pressure on companies and political decision-makers.