On Thursday, December 7, 2023, the Faculty of Law (FLW) at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS) organized a conference commemorating Human Rights Day 2023, focusing on the 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
IUS Vice-Rector for General Affairs, Associate Professor Muhammed Yasir Göz, and FLW Dean, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ena Kazić – Çakar, opened the conference. Senior Assistant Hana Šarkinović-Köse, as an FLW representative, emphasized the need to act upon numerous reports indicating systemic oppression and inequalities globally, reminding all stakeholders in society to fulfill their responsibilities and emphasizing the need for sustained partnerships. Oversight was given to fields in which progress was made as well.
Ms. Valerija Galić, President of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, congratulated students on Human Rights Day and invited them to be active participants in society because human rights are a call to action. She shared voluminous excerpts of constitutional case law of the Court in various areas of life with the audience. The address reiterated that the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms forms part of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that the Convention standards are simultaneously the standards of the Constitutional system of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Ms. Jasminka Džumhur, Human Rights Ombudsperson of Bosnia and Herzegovina, stated that it was very ungrateful to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and talk about human rights during times in which civilians are dying in many places around the world. We should state that Bosnia and Herzegovina still did not implement measures to ensure rights to victims of war in accordance with international standards. Nevertheless, without the existence of an international framework for the protection and promotion of human rights, it would be impossible to build peace, especially in conditions of conflict. In this light, it is necessary to observe the significance that the Universal Declaration holds. She reiterated the objectives of Agenda 2030 and especially the need to endure partnerships in achieving the Goals. She concluded by stating the key challenge for everyone is how to shift the focus from daily political issues to a systemic approach centered around citizens and their needs to ensure the implementation of international standards.
Ms. Benjamina Karić, Mayor of Sarajevo, took the opportunity to address higher issues and problems in today’s global society, which unfortunately still do not make the world a safer place to live. She called for action in sustaining and assuring human rights for our children by which our future will lie in a better state.
Ms. Saliha Đuderija, Member of the Board of Directors of the Missing Persons Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina, centered her speech on human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the state of protection of human rights. She emphasized the dire need for systematically working on the establishment of "practical human rights," pushing for reforms in the public sector, and further professionally directing the work of civil public servants.
The event was closed with the showcasing of the Exhibition "Human Rights Documents" by FLW and IUS Law Student Club.