Bosnia and Herzegovina

Country Profile:

Bosnia and Herzegovina

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In Stolac High School, peace education activities engage students and teachers in discussions about the need of nonviolent dialogue and acceptance among all ethnic groups. The program’s topics include critical thinking skills development, overcoming stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice, and promoting human rights concepts, dialogue principles, and valuing diversity.


“Major Branches” of Peace Education Observed in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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  • Conflict Resolution Education
  • Divided Societies
  • Interethnic / Intercultural Education
  • Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Significant Approaches and Themes of Peace Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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  • Anti-Bias Education
  • Civic Education
  • Conflict Prevention
  • Conflict Transformation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Dialogue
  • Human Rights Education
  • Interethnic / Intercultural Education
  • Preventing Violent Extremism
  • Reconciliation Education
  • Violence Prevention


Historical Context

Bosnia and Herzegovina is situated in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula of Europe. The larger region, Bosnia, covers the northern and central parts of the country, and Herzegovina is spread to the southern and southwestern parts. The capital of the country is Sarajevo, and other significant, bigger cities are Mostar and Banja Luka.

The land has often felt the influences of stronger regional powers fighting for control over the area, and such influences helped develop Bosnia and Herzegovina’s distinctive ethnic and religious mix. Islam, Orthodox Christianity, and Roman Catholicism are present, with the three main denominations mainly related to the three main ethnic groups: Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs.

After the collapse of the Kingdom of Bosnia, and after the rule of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the region fell under the rule of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1878 and played a key role in the beginning of World War I. In 1918, Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slavs, in which it had no formal status. After World War II, it became a constituent republic of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

After the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991, much of the population voted for independence in the 1992 referendum. However, much of the Serb population opposed independence and boycotted the referendum. War soon took over the country, and nationalists in the country tried to take over parts of the territory they thought belonged to them. Horrific ethnic cleansing campaigns from 1992 to the end of 1995 killed thousands of people and forcibly displaced more than two million in much of Bosnia and Herzegovina. International intervention in the conflict resulted in the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords in late 1995. and creating two autonomous political entities: the Republika Srpska (Bosnian Serb state), established in the north and east of the country, and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina established in the western and central parts of the country.

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is administratively divided into 10 cantons-counties which are then divided into municipalities. There are 79 municipalities in the territory of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina BiH. Republika Srpska is administratively divided into 62 municipalities. The city of Brcko is a separate administrative unit – the District. This clearly shows that Bosnia and Herzegovina has a huge administrative apparatus that is, in most cases, highly ineffective and costly. Most of the budget money goes to the salaries of the administration, which has found a base in public services and is firmly holding its position. Their incomes are on average twice as high as in the real sector (manufacturing, trade, and services) which generates that income.

The Dayton Accords may have stopped the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but established a fragile, highly decentralized, and ethnically divided state, in which the international High Representative remains empowered to impose laws and remove domestic officials if the High Representative Office sees it as necessary to keep the peace in the country. Among the general public, the role of the High Representative is not positive, it is perceived as static and the actions of a longtime former High Representative Mr Inzcko are sometimes seen as meaningless. Although most citizens continue to strive for sustainable peace, their ideas about the organization of the country differ, and there are some citizens who question its future existence.

Official languages: Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and two letters (Latin and Cyrillic)

Current Issues/Conflicts

  • Ethnic divisions
  • Discrimination
  • The rights of minorities and asylum seekers
  • Domestic and Other Gender-Based Violence
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
  • Freedom of Media
  • Corruption and organized crime
  • Amendments to the Constitution and the Election Law

Additional Resources for More Context


Peace Education Efforts

More than 20 years after the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina remains a divided country in which political life is largely defined along ethnic lines. One of the most devastating outcomes of the wartime is the institutionalization of ethnic divisions in the educational system. Rather than move towards integration and reconciliation, the ethnically-based educational system has significantly reinforced divisions. The post-war generation has been identified as “young, intolerant, ethnically isolated and potentially radicalized,” suggesting that segregated education paralyzes post-war divisions in a particularly harmful way. “Two Schools under One Roof” is probably the most symbolic expression of the segregated schooling system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, although it started as a temporary measure to address the post-war ethnocentric education system and encourage the return of refugees and displaced persons. The segregated education system is a very complex field that can be analyzed from different perspectives. Like all aspects of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the education sector is heavily influenced by the war experience and the political and legal post-war framework created mainly to prevent the rekindling of violence. This framework is constantly deepening the societal division between Bosniaks, Bosnian-Croats and Bosnian-Serbs, while individuals, civil society organizations or other forces that strive for an inclusive society are marginalized by the political and social reality in this country. It is estimated that 3,000 – 4,000 pupils attend 35 divided schools in Herzegovina-Neretva and Central-Bosnian Cantons primarily populated by Bosniaks and Croats. The number of recorded hate speech incidents and ethnically motivated peer violence incidents and their consequences requires constant monitoring of these communities. Since systematic reconciliation efforts are missing, inter-ethnic grievances have remained unaddressed, and they are jeopardizing attempts of creating social cohesion.

The international community found that segregated schools are the result of a failure of a policy of reintegration and stressed the importance of multi-ethnic education in the process of transformation of war-torn and ethnically-divided societies into inclusive, peaceful, and stable ones. The European Commission’s 2018 Progress Report for Bosnia and Herzegovina pointed out that the ethnic-based separation of and discrimination in some public schools across the country do not foster the development of an inclusive multicultural society and remains a serious concern. A recent ECRI report underlined that „ending all forms of ethnic segregation in schools is probably one of the most important tasks for BIH “. The segregation of school children from Bosniak, Croat or Serb backgrounds in predominantly monoethnic schools is also still a standard practice across the country and there have been no steps taken towards ending it. Public schools in BiH, which should play a pivotal role in overcoming inter-ethnic tensions, are still not organized as multicultural, multilingual, open, and -inclusive institutions for all children.

The current political stagnation and absence of social trust in BiH are due in no small part to ongoing disagreement about the country’s identity and future – and such disagreement has implications for the education of the country’s children and young people. It has been argued that the manner in which education was delivered during the war supported the conflicting agendas of the three constituent peoples by stereotyping and  promoting divisive histories. After the war, education was manipulated to perpetuate these divisions. (Magill, Clare UNESCO Education and fragility in Bosnia and Herzegovina)

The perpetuation of these divisions is not only visible in “two schools under one roof”, but also in monoethnic schools, physically divided schools, where teachers and students of different ethnicities do not share the same building, nor do they have any options or opportunities to meet at all, unless there are some NGO initiated projects. Therefore, the schools in BIH still instill division, ethnic prejudice, and a notion of artificial difference which obstructs reconciliation and is extremely concerning for the country’s future. In order to counter these institutional ethnic challenges, it is important to promote positive interaction, dialogue, and reconciliation among BiH youth, through various projects implemented by civil society organizations,  in cooperation with the respective schools,  and ministries of education,  that goes in line with recent EU Enlargement Western Balkans Strategy, which emphasizes the role of education as a „crucial to firmly anchor peace and ensure a prerequisite for peaceful coexistence and reconciliation in the Balkans“. It also responds to the UN’s SDG goal 16 which promotes just, peaceful, and inclusive societies.

Accordingly, given the general goals of education, the education system should provide access to knowledge as a basis for understanding oneself, others, and the world in which they live and ensure equal opportunities for quality education and choices at all levels of education, regardless of gender, race, nationality, social and cultural origin and status, family status, religion, psychophysical and other personal characteristics. This includes developing awareness of belonging to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its own cultural identity, language, and traditions, in a manner appropriate to the achievements of civilization, respecting diversity and promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and preparing everyone for life in a society respecting democracy and rule of law (Framework Law on Primary and General Secondary Education, Official Gazette of BiH, No. 18/03).

Curricula are not harmonized at the republican, entity, and cantonal levels. Educational institutions on the territory of the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina do not deal with topics related to the events in the period 1992-1995. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, including dialogue on the causes and consequences of war, but also opportunities to overcome its consequences, such as intercultural and multicultural dialogue, and the role of youth in peacebuilding. The lack of satisfactory cooperation between different sectors of society, institutions, and youth throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the lack of dialogue on events from the recent past, leaves room for manipulation and distorted truths from different sides.

Thus, the only attempts and aspirations towards such a connection of students through joint peace education activities remain with civil society organizations. But no organization has enough public and government support to engage in dialogue on the Bosnia and Herzegovina war with school students in its activities. So, civil society organizations had the greatest reach by working with schools on peaceful conflict resolution activities, working on conflict models from other parts of the world, and developing techniques of nonviolent communication, active listening, conflict transformation, mediation, and joint social cohesion projects.

As stated above, peace education has taken place and is still taking place through various forms, and the most significant bearer of this type of activism, with significant support from foreign sponsors, is the local non-governmental sector. Hundreds of seminars, conferences, training, peace camps, and workshops, and advocacy campaigns have been organized in the past twenty years with the aim of improving interethnic relations, establishing trust and reconciliation. Therefore, it is difficult to choose typical examples without the danger that the most significant actors will not be mentioned. In that sense, we will mention some of the organizations focused on working with schools in various activities, including peace education activities.


Legislative & Policy Initiatives

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are no legal documents or legislation on peace education in the regular education process. B&H consists of two entities (Republika Srpska and Federation of BiH) and Brcko district of BiH. The education sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina reflects the state constitution. It is defined by the BiH Constitution, the constitutions of the entities, cantons, and the Statute of Brčko District of BiH, which govern legal competencies in education.

In accordance with that there are twelve responsible institutions of education in BiH:

Republika Srpska has a centralized government and one ministry of education. The Federation of BiH has a decentralized government and consists of ten cantons where each canton has its own ministry of education.  The Federal Ministry of Education and Science has only a coordinative role.  Brcko district of BiH has a government with departments. One of those departments is The Department for Education.

There are also two other ministries with coordinating roles:

  • The Federal Ministry of Education and Science (Federalno ministarstvo obrazovanja i nauke) coordinates, among other things, activities within the Federation of BiH, between ten cantons.
  • On a state level, there is The Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH –MoCA (Ministarstvo civilnih poslova BiH), established with a role to coordinate activities within all education institutions in BiH. In accordance with the law, MoCA is responsible for carrying out activities and tasks within the jurisdiction of BiH related to defining basic principles of coordination of activities, harmonization of plans of entity bodies, and defining strategy at the international level, including, among others, education.

On a state level, there are also:

The bodies for the coordination of the education sector have also been formed including the Conference of Ministers of Education in BiH and the Council for General Education in BiH.

The Rectors’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina has also been established and it defines and represents the common interests of universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, cooperates with education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and acts as an advisory body for the implementation of the reform of higher education.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, competence in education is decentralized. Such competence entitles each level to create its own laws in the field of education, prescribe curricula, determine textbook policy, plans, and executions.  The consequences of such fragmentations are uneven educational policies, emphasis on the national group of subjects, and the absence of any valid external evaluation of student achievement after primary and secondary school. Bosnia and Herzegovina participated for the first time in the PISA test (International Student Assessment Program) in 2018. The results of the study, which was done in BiH for the first time in 2018, were well below the international average, with BiH ranking 62nd out of 79 countries. In the categories of reading literacy, numeracy, and science literacy, 15-year-olds in Bosnia and Herzegovina were on average at the level of 12-year-olds in the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD), which conducts the world’s largest survey.

Policy/Legislation

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  • Supportive

Teacher Training

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  • Optional


SDG Indicator 4.7.1 Data / Analysis

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In April 2021, the Council of Ministers of BiH adopted the document “Framework for the Realization of Sustainable Development Goals in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” The framework for the realization of the goals of sustainable development in Bosnia and Herzegovina was also adopted by the governments of the Republika Srpska, the Federation of BiH, and the Brčko District of BiH.  The first step in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the development of the Framework for Sustainable Development Goals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a joint document of all levels of government that identifies broader development directions, through which authorities at all levels and society in Bosnia and Herzegovina sustainable development. Based on the analysis of the situation regarding sustainable development in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ie key development trends, opportunities and obstacles, especially in the context of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s accession to the European Union and extensive consultations with representatives of institutions at all levels and socio-economic actors in 2018 -2019. Three directions of sustainable development in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been identified: 1) Good governance and management of the public sector, 2) Smart growth, 3) Equal Opportunities Society, and two horizontal themes: 1) Human capital for the future and 2) The principle of “Nobody it must not be excluded. ”

No formal reporting on 4.7.1 is currently available.  For general reporting on SDGs, please visit the Statistics for Sustainable Development Goals, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Preliminary analysis of SDG Indicator 4.7.1 was conducted in 2018 by UNESCO (based on 2016 data) that provides a ranking according to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s inclusion of global citizenship education and education for sustainable development across five indicators.  The scores are denoted by numbers (the higher the number, the greater the inclusion): High = 3, Medium = 2, and Low =1. M is used to refer to missing national responses.

National Education PoliciesCurricula: ContentCurricula: ResourcesTeacher EducationStudent Assessment
1233M

 


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Peace Education training for high school teachers, who are mentored on an ongoing basis by NDC Mostar. Teachers have the opportunity to build capacities to teach in multi-ethnic settings and to conduct Peace Education classes in their respective schools.


Peace Education Organizations, Models & Projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • COI STEP BY STEP – is a professional, non-governmental organization established with the aim of promoting child centered approach and equal access to high quality education for every child in BiH. Launched in 1996 with the support of the Open Society Fund, it was transformed into a non-governmental organization in 1999. In over 18 years of playing an active role in the education system, the Center has become one of the leading professional organizations in teacher training, quality improvement and promotion of social justice principles and values. Training programs are supported by more than 30 professional books, manuals and other publications written by CEI staff and the International Step by Step Association. CEI is recognized all over BH by a strong network of teachers, schools, and certified trainers, as well as by cooperation with other NGOs, international educational organisations and agencies, Ministries of Education and Pedagogical Institutes. Vision: High-quality education and care that promotes human values and respect for diversities, and help each child develop his/her full potential and competences that will allow them to live productive and healthy life, and build society based on social justice principles. Center provides professionals and other caregivers with opportunities for ongoing growth, based on principles of quality education and need analyses, develops educational resources, and implements high quality programs based on a child-centred approach, active parent and community involvement, and respect for diversity. By building networks and coalitions, Center initiate and actively participate in advocacy for changes in policy and practice in education system in BH, based on data and situation analyses. (CEI Step by Step website)
  • SAVE THE CHILDREN NORTH WEST BALKANS – Save the Children has been present in North West Balkans since the 4-years long violent conflict ended in 1996. The work of Save the Children evolved from humanitarian relief to development throughout the past 16 years. Currently, we are implementing programs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro in four thematic areas: Child Rights Governance, Child Protection, Education and Emergency. Save the Children is recognized as the expert organization on these topics in the Region. After the initial humanitarian response and interventions aiming at improving the living conditions and providing psycho-social support to children and families victims of the violent conflict which lasted from 1992-1995 in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina but affected and impacted also the neighboring countries Serbia and Montenegro, Save the Children focused more on developmental work. The scope of interventions covered from pre-school and primary education, through support to children without parental care and disabled children, reconciliation efforts, psycho-social support to children, development of policies and strategies, building capacities of CSOs and institutions, establishment of children’s groups for monitoring of CR, prevention of violence and abuse, prevention of on-line abuse and exploitation, building of institutions for children, child rights monitoring, capacity building of professionals and practitioners to strengthening national mechanisms for monitoring and implementation of child rights, child friendly services for children performing street work, all the way to making sure that national institutions prioritize children in events of emergency. (North West Balkans Save the Children website)
  • PRO-Future (Trust, Understanding, Responsibility for the Future) is a USAID project of building peace and trust among citizens of all ethnic and religious groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Activities are implemented in over 70 municipalities in BiH, and the project is continuously working with youth, NGOs, women’s associations, religious communities and leaders, political leaders, the media and various levels of government institutions, which will jointly contribute to better understanding of citizens and the people of BiH. The project is implemented by the American humanitarian organization Catholic Relief Services CRS, with partners: Caritas BiH, KULT Institute for Youth Development, Tuzla Citizens ‘Forum (FGT), Helsinki Citizens’ Parliament Banja Luka (hCA) and the Interreligious Council in BiH (MRV BiH). (PRO Future website)
  • HELSINKI COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS – Since its establishment, this non-governmental organization has been dedicated to the promotion, protection and monitoring of the human rights situation in Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. The organization also focused its activities on educating citizens, especially young people, about the fundamental values on which human rights are based, as well as the area of transitional justice. The Helsinki Committee has in the past carried out systematic monitoring of the human rights situation and published regular quarterly reports, which were presented to the domestic and international public. The organization’s human rights education department has carried out a variety of educational activities for young people, professional groups, future decision makers, the media, religious leaders, etc. The Helsinki Committee initiate peacebuilding and dealing with the past in Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on the needs of citizens and harmonized with international standards and obligations of BiH, which contribute to building lasting peace in BiH and the region. (HELSINKI COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS website)
  • NANSEN DIALOGUE CENTRE PRIJEDOR – NDC Prijedor, using the idea and dialogue skills, empowers people that live in conflict areas to contribute to peaceful conflict transformation, promoting inter-ethnic dialogue as one of the skills for nonviolent conflict resolution and conflict transformation advocating for peace, reconciliation, multi-ethnic and multicultural understanding in BIH. NDC Prijedor is the part of Nansen dialogue Network (NDN) that has been initiated through educational program of Nansen Academy, Lillehamer (Norway). NDN now includes the work of Nannsen Dialogue Centres in Belgrade, Skopje, Osijek, Sarajevo, Mostar and Prijedor. Office in Prijedor was established in September 2010 as the continuation of work of NDC Banja Luka office that was established in September 2000. For many years, NDC Prijedor has been contributing to the establishment and development of institutional links between the two entities, municipalities, institutions, schools; establishes and renews relationships between people. One of the most important project NDC Prijedor has been implementing for 10 years is celebration of the International Day of Peace “International Day of Peace – LOUD FOR PEACE” as the follow up of all the activities within Nansen Peer Mediation Courses and Clubs and additional classes within “Peace Education – Conflict Prevention and Management” program.  This celebration is attended by 10 primary schools in Prijedor and Oštra Luka, along with fellow teachers from 5 schools in Sanski Most, who are involved in the project “Loud for Peace”, which it is implemented with the support of the US Embassy in BiH.  Every year this celebration of the International Day of Peace is attended by 10 primary schools from Prijedor and Oštra Luka, together with teachers from 5 schools from Sanski Most. It is an opportunity, every year, to send loud and clear messages of peace through joint games, art and literary works. It is also one of the ways in which NDC Prijedor promotes the positive values of dialogue, cultural diversity and peacebuilding activities.
  • NANSEN DIALOGUE CENTRE SARAJEVO – As in the other communities, Nansen Dialogue Centre Sarajevo, has been established by the participants of the Nansen Dialogue program in Lillehammer, who came from Sarajevo. NDC Sarajevo spreads activities to reach wider regions of Northern and Eastern Bosnia with the aim of contributing to the development of democratic practices and the prevention and resolution of conflict by creating dialogue across ethnic and national divides. It has developed its activities in several directions. All project activities are designed with a comprehensive approach to all segments of society with a special emphasis on working with youth, the education sector and municipal administration and officials. NDC Sarajevo sees interethnic dialogue as important means, not only in terms of breaking the motionless point and/or opening interethnic processes, but as permanent practice of challenging divides realities in B&H and establishing points and processes of mutual interests and hence contributing to overall development of the society and the state. After a long-term engagement in Bratunac and Srebrenica, and by transferring part of responsibilities to local groups, NDC Sarajevo reallocated its resources and started the cycle of engagement in the communities of Zvornik and Jajce. One of the most important and biggest projects of NDC Sarajevo now is the project “Jajce, A Successful Story – New Generation 3.0″, financially supported by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the product of the overall extensive engagement of the Nansen Dialogue Center (NDC) Sarajevo, which has been realized since 2009 in Jajce. Many activities have been realized with the students of the Secondary Vocational School (a multi-ethnic school), teachers and parents with the support of the school administration, the municipality and the County Ministry of education. One of the important outcomes of this engagement is the establishment of the Nansen Forum of Young Peacebuilders (NFYP) among the students of this school. After the establishment of the NFYP, students designed and implemented several interethnic local and regional activities, with the support of the NDC Teachers’ Alumni and the Nansen Coordination Board.
  • NANSEN DIALOGUE CENTRE MOSTAR – Nansen Dialogue Centre Mostar (NDCM) was founded in 2000 with the support of the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer (Norway), and today is a member of the informal Nansen Dialogue Network consisting of six Nansen Dialogue Centres in four Western Balkan countries. The Nansen Academy and the Nansen Centre for Peace and Dialogue coordinate the work of this network specializing in conflict transformation, as well as reconciliation and peacebuilding programs. NDC Mostar is engaged in a particularly complex environment, heavily influenced by the political climate and negative media rhetoric. The work is mainly focused on the territory of Herzegovina, and especially those communities that are marked by the phenomenon of “two schools under one roof”, as a visible symbol of the ethnically divided school system in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since its inception, NDC Mostar have been providing a neutral and open space where different actors can meet face to face in open and honest communication. This has generated many partnerships, based on trust and expertise at various levels of government, but also with international donors and embassies, as well as school principals, mayors, teachers, parents and students. Drawing on years of continued commitment to alleviating discriminatory practices in the education sector and supporting community reconciliation efforts, the NDC Mostar team has developed a new Strategic Plan for 2018-2022. The strategy will enable NDC Mostar to continue and expand its activities in the following focus areas: • Design and implementation of integrated education programs • Support to the implementation of community projects • Political dialogue on inclusive education (new area of ​​focus).The most important and the biggest project now is Nansen Model for Integrated Education (NMIO), which is the project developed and practically implemented by the team of Nansen Dialogue Centre Skopje. After the close cooperation with the NDC Skopje team, NDC Mostar has created the NMIO courses for both elementary and secondary schools’ students in BIH. All program activities incorporated in the Nansen Model are carefully planned and structured in a way to address the issues that the current educational system is facing and to offer new approaches and programs that will increase inter-ethnic integration and tolerance and build the competences of education stakeholders on multicultural education, inclusion and anti-bias approach to education. The model promotes cooperative relations between the schools and the local community to work together while establishing new policies and practices within the schools. One of the main goals of the model is to support integrated education and systems against segregation in schools, encouraging local platforms to reinforce the grass root engagement in encouraging local civil society initiatives for fostering ethnic reconciliation, tolerance and appreciation for diversity in the next generations. Through the Nansen Model for Integrated Education, the lack of mutual activities between primary and secondary school students is addressed by implementing joint extracurricular activities between students from various ethnic communities (Croats and Bosniaks) that enable successful integration and socialization. These activities reduce the cultural barriers as well as the stereotypes and prejudice linked to their ethnic, religious and cultural background.
  • NETWORK FOR BUILDING PEACE – Network for Building Peace was established in February 2010. What we want and need for the whole country is a comprehensive effort aimed at restoring the quality of social and economic life in BiH, as well as increasing the long-term ability of the entire BiH society to deal with differences and conflicts in a constructive and non-violent way, and in that way to create framework for joint, coordinated action of a number of non-governmental organizations, local government and self-government, business sector, media and state institutions. Our goal is the impact and concrete initiatives related to the following areas of public policy that are recognized as key to long-term peacebuilding in BiH: Education; Security; Regional development; Protection and promotion of human and minority rights; Dealing with the past and transitional justice; Gender equality; Culture of public dialogue and democracy; Strengthening the capacity of civil society to build true peace; Restoring trust among BiH peoples; More constructive action on the governing political structures in BiH and Improving coexistence in BiH.MISSION: The Peacebuilding Network initiates, strengthens and connects peace initiatives and activities in BiH and the region.VISION: A stable society in which people respect each other and trust each other by building lasting peace together in BiH and the region.Network for Building Peace won the Freedom Award of the International Center for Peace and was second in the 2014 World Vision International competition for the Peacebuilding Prize. In 2016, it was also named the organization of the year in BiH in the selection of BH Magazine.In 2021, the Francophone Ambassadors and Heads of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina awarded the Network for Building Peace the Francophone Bridge of the Future Award, which is awarded every year. (Network for Building Peace website)
  • MOSTAR ROCK SCHOOL – Mostar Rock School acts as a sound factory which each year yields a new generation of trained talents, and serves as a place of exchange and cooperation, a professional musicians’ club and an organization that provides a range of support services for young musicians and bands on the rise. The Mostar Rock School implements its program activities in Pavarotti Music Center in Mostar, where the school offers musical education for youth. Through weekly individual classes, band coaching classes and session bands program, students enhance their knowledge and instrument skills, cooperate and team up with other students in task implementation. The program is set in a way for them to work with as many different peers as possible, each time working together and sharing the same passion to reach a common goal. In this way, besides the education, Mostar Rock School serves as a place of encounter and cooperation and promotes common values and celebrates diversity. Furthermore, Mostar Rock School offers its infrastructure (fully equipped music rooms) for rehearsals to all interested musicians and bands from Mostar and the surrounding area. This way, Mostar Rock School services up to 200 young people at any given time. Each school year, within its educational program Mostar Rock School implements more than 3000 hours of individual lessons, 400 session band rehearsals and it counts more than 1300 guest band rehearsals and practices throughout the year. The quality of the project is recognized by some of the highly respectable educational institutions such as United World College Mostar who has integrated Mostar Rock School’s program as one of the five obligatory outreach activities for four of its students annually. (MOSTAR ROCK SCHOOL WEBSITE)
  • CSSP – Berlin Center for Integrative Mediation is a registered NGO in Germany. The organisation is headquartered in Berlin, with local offices in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania. The organisation was founded in 2005 as a “Lessons Learned” project, which drew lessons from Prof. Dr. Christian Schwarz-Schilling’s work as the International Mediator in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1995 – 2004). Integrative Mediation originated as a methodology from his advisory team. The approach has evolved over the years and is further developed by members of the CSSP Team. CSSP worked and works primarily in the post-war Balkan region (Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Serbiaand Albania), even if since 2010, CSSP’s outreach expanded to transitional societies beyond this region (CSSP website)
  • ŠKOLEGIJUM – Školegijum, a magazine for equitable education, was launched in 2011 as a platform for critical analysis of education policies and practices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of a broader campaign for substantial and comprehensive reform of the education system. As such Školegijum draws the public’s attention to the presence of indoctrination in curricula, textbooks and practice itself. Also, Školegijum calls for the responsibility of all participants in the educational process – from the ruling parties, ministries, academic professors to the media, teachers, school administration and parents, advocating for a good, fair and free education. Good practices in education, both at home and abroad, are arguments that the authors of Školegijum use in their texts and promote them to substantiate their claims. To achieve high media standards, the editorial board insists on objectivity, accuracy, verifiability, and protection of personal data and copyright. For this purpose, Školegijum publishes texts in various forms, from expert analyses and comments, reports and interviews, news, to statistics and satire.


News on Peace Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Access the comprehensive archive of news articles related to Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Global Campaign for Peace Education website. For a more customizable search, please visit the Global Campaign for Peace Education Clearinghouse.


Research on Peace Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Access the comprehensive archive of research articles related to Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Global Campaign for Peace Education website. For a more customizable search, please visit the Global Campaign for Peace Education Clearinghouse.


Where to Study Peace Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Visit the Global Campaign for Peace Education Global Directory for where to study peace education in this country and around the world.

  • https://peacehub.ba/  – A group of academics from The Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex), The University of the Arts, (London) The University of Rwanda, The University of Sarajevo and Los Andes University (Bogota, Colombia) are involved in an AHRC research project looking at Peacebuilding Pedagogies in Higher Education. It is within this Network that the idea was born to start the University Peace Education Hub Sarajevo which is seen as a space where different forms of knowledge will be brought together and provide an entry point into the university where community members, community organizations, practitioners and all alternative forms of knowledge will collaborate for a critical exchange and learning with the members of the academia and university students, in order to explore the possibilities of collaborative projects and work on peace building and promoting the culture of peace


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A Certificate Award Ceremony was organized by NDC Mostar and the Ministry of Education of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton for teachers who finished their training in the field of “Education for Peace.” NDC Mostar and the Ministry of Education of Herzegovina-Neretva Canton have conducted a few Peace Education training cycles for 21 high-school teachers from this Canton who will serve as educators in this program


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This country profile was last updates on: June 11, 2024

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Voloder, V, & Zovko, E. (2023).  Bosnia and Herzegovina.  In Jenkins, T., & Segal de la Garza, M. (Eds.), Mapping Peace Education. https://map.peace-ed-campaign.org/country-map/entry/448/


Country Expert #1

Edita Zovko

Edita Zovko is part of the Nansen Education Team working on creating teaching materials and workshops in the field of nonviolent communication and peace education. Edita believes that education, both formal and informal, as the most powerful and proven means of sustainable development should be a combination of upbringing and education in the service of individual interests and needs, as well as social values and achievements. In addition to creating workshops and courses for schools, she conducts trainings for teachers in the field of peace education and non-violent communication and inter-ethnic dialogue. Edita holds a BA in English and Croatian language from the University of Mostar.

Country Expert #2

Vernes Voloder

Vernes Voloder works as a Public Relations officer at NDC Mostar, and he is responsible for managing various projects related to peacebuilding, democracy and social activism. Vernes is committed to fostering a culture of dialogue as an important precondition for resolving conflicts in divided communities and developing peaceful and inclusive societies.

Vernes holds a BA in Communication Studies from the University of Dzemal Bijedic, Mostar.He has completed several media and public relations programs, including the BBC School of Journalism and the London School of Public Relations.


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