The government demonstrated significant efforts during the reporting period by identifying more forced begging victims and granting compensation to four victims from their traffickers in the first successful civil suit. However, the government did not demonstrate increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period.
The government penalized victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected to trafficking, in part due to inadequate victim identification practices. Law enforcement and social workers justified cases of potential forced child begging, forced labor, and forced marriage involving Roma as traditional cultural practices. The government lacked victim protection, including victim-centered prosecutions and access to assistance outside of NGO-run shelters, and the strike force was ineffective due to a lack of participation among relevant actors. Therefore Bosnia and Herzegovina was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List.
As reported over the past five years, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Bosnian women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking within the country in private residences, motels, and gas stations. Economically marginalized Romani children are subjected to forced begging and involuntary domestic servitude in forced marriages. Foreign women and girls from European countries are vulnerable to sex trafficking within the country.