Impact by Regions, Countries & Territories

UNDP’s Global Programme supports crisis-affected contexts across all regions to strengthen the rule of law and human rights. In this section, we present five regional overviews, detailing our priorities and approach depending on the context, as well as feature select country and territory results from 2021.

Five contexts from the list (Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali and Yemen) illustrate the achievements of the Global Focal Point for the Rule of Law (GFP). In peacekeeping missions and transition settings, UNDP’s Global Programme works through the GFP to deliver integrated assistance with our UN partners.

GFP Global Focal Point Highlights

Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), UNDP-supported the Regional War Crimes Project (RWC Project), improved analytical capacities and cross-sectoral cooperation between prosecutors and investigators. Among Balkan countries, BiH is the one with the largest backlog of war crimes cases and the highest number of missing persons. UNDP facilitated training for 120 investigators (46 women and 74 men) from police and prosecutors’ offices and agencies mandated to search for missing persons. The strengthened capacities of the investigators was one of the factors that led to generating more evidence in war crimes trials, exhumations and locating a new mass grave in the country. In 2021, the number of indictments in war crimes cases increased by 31 percent compared to the 2020 data: 21 indictments were issued against 56 persons accused of war crimes.

Investigators of law enforcement agencies in BiH, 28 women and 42 men, were trained on investigating crimes of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), including, for the first time, investigating cases of CRSV against men. Overall, the implemented activities ensured that victims of war crimes were not left behind. Due to UNDP’s cooperation with and support to civil society organizations (CSOs), survivors received psychosocial support and were empowered to advocate for their rights and hold domestic authorities accountable. At least two new investigations were opened for previously unprocessed war crimes following the UNDP-supported campaign “Forgotten Victims" initiated by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN).

In 2022, the Customs Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina will establish its gender network, the first one in a government institution, to address discrimination and ensure women’s meaningful participation in the customs sector. The decision emerged after the three workshops that UNDP organized in 2021 for 70 staff members of the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA), a customs agency in BiH, in consultations with the Network of Female Police Officials in BiH, BiH Agency from Gender Equality and the Ministry of Security. Though women comprise over 40 percent of the total number of ITA employees, the issues of gender-based discrimination had not been explored and addressed in the agency. Challenges were mapped and solutions proposed during the workshops, identifying entry points for action.

Through the joint UNDP and OHCHR project “Supporting the Integration of Data on Human Rights Reporting into SDG Planning Frameworks in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, national authorities in BiH were provided with a gap analysis and a detailed roadmap to improve human rights data collection and reporting. Recommendations were made towards improving submission of national reports to the UN human rights mechanisms, to regional entities, such as Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), European Union, as well as reports on SDGs implementation. Additionally, a strong partnership was developed between SDG Council in BiH, Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, National Human Rights Institution and CSOs to cross-check sources and add new SDG indicators to the upcoming 2023 Voluntary National Report.

To introduce alternatives to imprisonment in the Republika Srpska Entity, UNDP accomplished a comprehensive needs assessment exercise. The assessment outlined the required legislative changes, analysed best practices from other countries, summarized related ethical and professional standards, and presented structural and operational policies and procedures necessary to implement those changes.

Key Results: Bosnia and Herzegovina

The number of indictments in war crimes cases increased by 31 % compared to the 2020 data: 21 indictments were issued against 56 persons accused of war crimes.

120 investigators of war crimes benefitted from UNDP-supported training. This helped generate more evidence in war crimes trials, locate one new mass grave, complete 76 exhumations and identify 71 missing persons.

Over 90 cases of war crimes (on different stages of cases management) were closed, reviewed or processed through the UNDP-supported system of cross-border cooperation, case transfer or evidence-sharing between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia.

The Regional War Crimes project supported two civil society organizations to help victims, including CRSV survivors, to report crimes to the prosecutors’ offices and get access to justice, remedy and social services. Two new war crimes investigations were opened. 24 survivors (17 women and seven men) who had experienced war trauma received psychosocial support and legal aid.