Parents of disabled children in Bosnia are denied funding

recommended by Tijana Cvjeticanin Istinomjer, Bosnia and Herzegovina

In one day, two legislative bodies in Bosnia denied public funding for education and safety of children with developmental disabilities.

When two levels of government strike down initiatives to help disabled children on the same day, it’s hard not to take notice, especially if you have been following the struggle of their parents to provide them with better education.

That struggle is even harder in a country with 14 parliaments and governments, where your needs are decided by three different administrative levels.

But Jan. 17 was an unusually grim day for affected parents, as the state parliament refused to pay for GPS bracelets for persons with disabilities. Hours later, the entity parliament (in the Federation of BiH) denied funding that would sustain unique educational programs from organization called “EDUS.”

The state parliament rejected a proposal that was sparked by the case of  a 10-year-old boy who wandered away from home in March 2017 and was found frozen to death.

In a heartbreaking op-ed, one parent of a developmentally challenged child called it a day from hell. “All that we parents of children with autism have left, is to call for revolution,” the parent said. “But who would join us in this apathetic society? Or we could collectively leave this country, but who would take us in?”

Facts :

  • Both proposals came from members of “Demokratska fronta” (DF), a left-leaning party. The proposals had support from other parties on the left, but not from the ruling majorities.
  • The parliamentary majority, composed of three parties from the Federation of BiH and one from Republika Srpska, rejected one proposal in unison.
  • The “no” vote was also supported by one opposition party from Republika Srpska.
  • The second proposal was submitted by Dževad Adžem, an MP in the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Federation of BiH.
  • It was turned down, and the distribution of votes was nearly identical as in the state parliament (parties from RS excluded).


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