The Commissioner for Human Rights Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatović, published a letter she addressed to the Chairman of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr Mirsad Zaimović,.
The Commissioner calls on the Parliament to use an upcoming debate on the situation in several public institutions for social care to discuss the deinstitutionalisation of children with disabilities in general and to develop concrete proposals to make progress on this front. She stresses the need to use resources to provide families of children with disabilities with the necessary services and support to ensure that they can be brought up in a family setting, rather than to renovate or extend existing institutions.
The Commissioner also expresses concerns about the climate of hostility around the member of Parliament who published the information and video material about the treatment of children in the “Pazarić” institution for social care and of the whistle-blowers who provided those materials. Recalling the applicable international standards, the Commissioner encourages the House of Representatives to send a strong message that retaliation or victimisation of whistle-blowers will not be tolerated.