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Some Children in BiH Have Become Virtually Invisible

Following the global UNICEF’s report The State of the World’s Children 2006: Excluded and Invisible, UNICEF in Bosnia and Herzegovina reminds on existence of “invisible children” even in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the world, hundreds of millions of children are suffering from severe exploitation and discrimination and millions of children disappear from view when trafficked or forced to work in domestic servitude, excluded from fundamental services and protections. Not only do these children endure abuse, most are shut out from school, healthcare and other vital services they need to grow and thrive. These children are growing up beyond the reach of development campaigns and are often invisible in everything from public debate and legislation, to statistics and news stories.


Without focused attention, millions of children will remain trapped and forgotten in childhoods of neglect and abuse, with devastating consequences for their long-term well-being and the development of nations. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are several groups UNICEF has singled out lately.

Unregistered children. The fact that in Bosnia and Herzegovina exist thousands of children whose very birth has not been registered is very significant and alarming.

Roma children. The research supported by UNICEF and  the European Commission in BIH, conducted by the NGO „Budimo Aktivni“, has confirmed that the lack of education of Roma parents and poverty are the greatest  obstacles for their children's education.

Children without parental care. The numbers of all children without parental care vary from source to source, but UNICEF estimates that there is between 3000 and 3500 children without parental care.

Children with special needs. Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2004 adopted the Framework Law for Primary and General Secondary education which stipulates inclusion of children with special needs into the regular classrooms.

Children victims of violence and abuse. While authoritative data on violence against children doesn’t exist, available statistics from official sources are unlikely to capture the extent of this 'invisible' form of violence. 

Trafficked children. Research on the situation of child victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation or begging indicate the prevalence of trafficking in children in BiH and the inadequacy of response mechanisms.


Unregistered children

Roma children

Children without parental care

Children with special needs

Children victims of violence and abuse

Trafficked children



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