Systemic discrimination and life on the edge of poverty. These are the words used by people with disabilities to describe their position in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on the International Day of Disabled Persons, December 3rd.
BiH ratified the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2010, but in practice not much has been done to protect and eliminate discrimination.
The laws classify people with disabilities into three categories and deepen the gap between them due to the great difference in the rights they exercise.
Concerns of parents of children with autism.
Elvir Cesko from Sarajevo is the father of an 11-year-old boy with autism. The boy has been assessed as 100% disabled and needs 24-hour care and assistance.
The monthly income from the budget of the Federation of BiH (FBiH), in the amount of about 380 BAM (about 195 euros), cannot cover even a fraction of the costs for all the necessary therapies.
The boy’s father fears that the new law will further reduce the already low income.
Namely, the new federal law foresees that people with autism and intellectual disabilities will be classified in a category with a lower degree of disability.
The law represents a ”trap”
The Government of the FBiH, during the establishment of the law, announced at the beginning of October that the system of protection for persons with disabilities will be improved in this way.
On the other hand, the Union of Persons with Disabilities and the Organization of Persons with Disabilities in BiH believe that the law represents a ”trap”.
They assess that the announced increase in benefits is minimal, bearing in mind the increase in the cost of living. They warn that behind the whole story lies the danger that many will lose their previous rights, Radio Slobodna Evropa writes.