The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.

Challenges:  Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) continues to face significant challenges in its institutional development due to a challenging economy, lingering ethnic tensions, duplicative tiers of governance, and rampant corruption. Still, BiH is an important strategic partner in fighting transnational criminal organizations and terrorism, as well as promoting regional stability.

Transnational organized criminal networks based in the Western Balkans and  have a direct impact on the U.S. through criminal activities, some internet-based and some through trafficking of contraband and persons.

Goals:  INL programs assist the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in reforming the criminal justice system through advisory and technical assistance to improve legislation, build law enforcement capacity, and help enable  the successful prosecution and adjudication of complex criminal cases.  Programs also support efforts to combat trafficking in persons, gender based violence, and other issues impacting human rights. 

Accomplishments:  INL assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina  has contributed to following successes:

  • Establishment of specialized task forces.
  • Adoption of the Counter-Terrorism Suspicious Activity Reporting Guide  to notify law enforcement agencies of suspicious activity. Development of informant handling policies and procedures in the State Intelligence and Protection Agency.
  • Adoption of a law criminalizing human trafficking in Republika Srpska and Brcko District.
  • Establishment of four Witness Support Offices in Una-Sana and Central Bosnia Cantons that provides psychological and administrative assistance to victims and witnesses.
  • Establishment of a world-class crime scene investigative laboratory.
  • Establishment of the country’s first Master’s Degree program in forensics accounting and national certification program.
  • Establishment of practical legal training (as opposed to  theoretical) for law school students at major law faculties throughout the country.
  • Reduction of the level of juvenile delinquency rates in primary and secondary schools participating in INL programing.
  • Equipment and training for crowd control, resulting in reduced violence at protests. INL-funded crowd-control assistance contributed to BiH successfully hosting a peaceful inaugural Pride Parade in 2019, the first country in the Balkans to do so.
  • Accreditation of two of the country’s three police training facilities with the International Association of Director’s of Law Enforcement Standards and Training.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future