Human rights: the Netherlands and Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Netherlands is your partner in defending human rights.

Human Rights Tulip

The Netherlands supports human rights defenders. Every year the Dutch government presents an award called the Human Rights Tulip.

Equal rights

The Netherlands works for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It also promotes equal rights for women.


The Netherlands combats human rights violations and promotes freedom of expression, freedom of religion and belief, and internet freedom. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds is not permitted.

Trade and development cooperation

The Netherlands also addresses human rights in its trade and development relationships.

Human Rights Ambassador

The Netherlands has a Human Rights Ambassador and a Human Rights Fund.

Human rights: the Netherlands and your country or region

For more information on this topic, contact the embassy or consulate.

Human rights should apply worldwide, to all people, in all places, at all times. The Netherlands spends € 4,5 million annually to promote human right throughout the globe. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, we partner with various NGO’s who are active in different fields of Human Rights. Additionally, we engage with governmental institutions to lobby and provide technical knowledge and share our broad experiences.

Our focus areas and instruments

Through our MATRA program and the Human Rights Fund we support several local organisations in achieving their human right goals. Over the years, we have supported projects aiming to improve

  • LGBTI rights,
  • gender equality,
  • media freedom,
  • freedom of expression,
  • non-discrimination,
  • worker’s rights and
  • minorities’ rights.

In 2018 media freedom and freedom of expression get most of our attention. This choice was based on worrying trends in the media sector on a global level, but primarily due to a very poor situation in the media sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Embassies in the countries in the region are also dedicating a lot efforts to address this issue, which has led to regional conferences on this topic. In 2017 the Digital Born Media Carnival was organized in Kotor, Montenegro, while this year in October a conference will be held in Ohrid, Macedonia. Both focus on digital media and their sustainability, but topics such as fake news, fabricated news, media ownership and political influence on the media get the necessary attention.

With our support, partner and implementing organisations have accomplished a lot, but as there is still ground to be won, we remain devoted and active in supporting BIH organisations and government to improve the human rights in their country.

Since 2014 we develop an awareness raising human rights campaign, which is implemented in Sarajevo and through our online channels. To see our previous campaigns and stay updated on upcoming ones, you can best follow our Facebook page.