ASSOCIATIONS AGAINST THE “LAW ON NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS IN RS”: Everyone from sports and trade unions to humanitarian organizations are under attack

Anyone who votes for the adoption of the restrictive Draft Law on the Special Register and Publicity of the Work of Non-Profit Organizations will stand against freedom of association, freedom of action and most importantly – against the well-being and continued support, assistance and provision of services to the citizens of Republic of Srpska.

That is why we invite all members of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska to say NO to such a law on May 22, 2024!

A system that prohibits freedom of speech, freedom of action, freedom of association becomes a system of fear and the culprit for violating basic human, democratic and constitutional rights.

Numerous associations in the Republic of Srpska have been helping citizens in various ways for many years, from social assistance, protection from violence and violent persons, humanitarian actions, providing legal assistance, fighting against corrupt practices, and now they have come to a situation where they are fighting for survival, the target is drawn on their foreheads and it is threatened to put a padlock on the door!

Under the pretext of introducing transparency in the work of the association, the government actually wants to put all associations under their influence! Any activity or initiative that they do not like or do not find suitable will be punished. Any association that is not suitable and works as it is told, will be under the attack of various disputed and vague provisions of the new law, and will ultimately be shut down. The new law applies to all associations, not only certain ones, as it is wrongly conveyed to the public. Everyone is under attack, from those who fight for human rights and against corruption to sports organizations, associations for women’s rights, trade unions, associations for the protection of consumer rights, humanitarian associations…

This will not only lead to the closure or prohibition of the work of the associations, but will also produce negative economic consequences through the isolation of Republic of Srpska and the reduction of investments.

Associations of citizens already work transparently and in accordance with the laws, and now we ask whether the Government of the Republic of Srpska, which secretly submitted Proposal of the so-called law “on NGOs” into the parliamentary procedure, works transparently. The disputed provisions contained in the Draft Law leave room for arbitrary interpretation by the authorities to assess which organizations are “politically active”, and the label “foreign agent” will represent an attack and an attempt to put a pressure directly on the independence and work of the associations.

Also, the Draft Law encroaches on the constitutions of Republic of Srpska and Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and is not in accordance with the most important international standards.

We must preserve the freedom to associate!

Freedom to act!

Freedom to help citizens!

Freedom to have the right to criticize what is not good!

Freedom to work for a better tomorrow of the community!

Freedom to speak!

That is why we loudly say NO to the restrictive law!

The announcement is signed by:

Banjaluka Centre for Human Rights

Banjaluka Social Center

Center for Civic Initiatives (CCI)

Center for Youth “KVART“

Center for Informative Decontamination of Youth, Banja Luka

Center for Environment

Society For Research and Protection of Biodiversity

Foundation “Lara”

Foundation “United Women”

Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Banjaluka

Genesis project

My Herzegovina

“Centar” Youth Organization Mrkonjić Grad

Perpetuum mobile – Institute for Youth and Community Development

Pro Educa

Aarhus Resource Center in BiH

SEMPER – Service for Media Professional Education and Development

Transparency International in BiH

Association “Center for Integrative Inclusion of Roma and Romani Women Otaharin”

Association of Citizens “Impuls“ Banjaluka

Association of Citizens “eTrafika“

Association of Citizens “Movement of the Democratic Center”

Association of Citizens ”UNSA Geto“

Association of Citizens ”Hi Neighbour“

Association for the Promotion of European Standards and Improvement of the Business Environment – Capital

Association “Don”

Association Network for Building Peace

Association of Citizens ”Micro Network“

Association of Citizens ”Heart in the Palm“

Association of Citizens ”ToPeeR“

Association ”Forum of Women“ Bratunac

Association ”Stop Mobbing“

Association of Citizens ”Worker’s Solidarity in BiH“

Association of Citizens ”Restart“

Association “Friends of Srebrenica”

Association of Citizens ”Sharp Zero“

Association of Citizens ”Future“ Modriča

Association of Citizens ”The Path of Justice“

Association of Citizens ”Roots“ Ugljevik

Center for Civic Cooperation Livno

Futura – Life Quality Improvement Association

AC Fojničani Maglaj 

Center for the Development of Youth Activism CROA

Association for Project Activism Doboj

Environmental Association Eco Way

Association of Citizens Demos


Aleksandar Jokić

Igor Davidović

Jovana Kisin Zagajac



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