*SEED: Support for East European Democracy
** AEECA: Assistance to Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia
Program Goals: The U.S. Government’s goal is to support Bosnia and Herzegovina’s efforts to become a peaceful, democratic, multi-ethnic state on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works with state-level institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina to build its capacity to combat crime and corruption, investigate trafficking, war crimes, organized crime, and financial crimes cases.
INL’s program has two central components: the Justice Sector Program and the Law Enforcement Program. The Law Enforcement Program focuses primarily on building strong organizational skills of state-level law enforcement agencies, as well as general police investigation skills. The Justice Sector Program focuses on organized crime, trial advocacy, war crimes and appellate procedure.
Justice Sector Program:
INL’s Justice Sector Program is implemented by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training Program (OPDAT). It promotes the rule of law in BiH and works to expand the general capacity of the criminal justice system. INL-funded two legal advisors build the capacity of state level institutions to prosecute and adjudicate organized crime, corruption, terrorism, financial and war crimes cases. This is done through advice and formal training. In addition, the advisors provide trial advocacy and training in legal writing, with a goal of improving the appellate procedure and reducing the number of overturned convictions. In addition, one of the legal advisors is embedded with the Special Department for Organized Crime providing mentoring to Bosnian prosecutors who handle corruption, financial crimes and terrorism cases. This assistance has resulted in a task force type of cooperation between prosecutors and police, indictment in a high profile terrorism case, and more ongoing investigations.
Law Enforcement Development Program
INL’s Law Enforcement Program is implemented by the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP). ICITAP is working to build the capacity of state-level law enforcement agencies to effectively address the problems of organized crime, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, terrorism, and public corruption. Since 9/11, USG priorities have shifted from development of general policing services to the development of state level law enforcement capacities under the Ministry of Security. Faced with a bifurcation of police forces at the cantonal and entity level, the Law Enforcement Program’s support has focused on helping the Government to establish the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) as the premier State level law enforcement agency. The program provides embedded police advisors to SIPA, as well as to the Border Police and the Foreign Affairs Service, and the RS police.
Among the programs most significant achievements are a Standardized Police Reporting System, Border Control System; Green Border Project, development of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Strike force (a significant contribution to the raising of BiH from Tier 3 to Tier 1 over the period of several years); Civil Disorder Program; Police Academy Development and Forensics Program; Community Policing Program; Evidence Control System. It is also important to mention the State Police Information Network that connects all border posts to the central database and searches domestic and international arrest warrants; Case Tracking System; Creation of the Foreigner Affairs Service, and Development of Criminal Justice Departments in BiH’s Universities.
Some of the newer projects include the biometric visa project which will enable Bosnian officials to verify the identities of persons entering Bosnia with valid visas issued abroad, as well as the court security project that will strengthen judicial security in four major courts throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.