International Parental Child Abduction

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Country Information

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH)

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Exercise increased caution in Bosnia-Herzegovina due to terrorism and land mines.

Exercise increased caution in Bosnia-Herzegovina due to terrorism and land mines.

Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.

Minefields and land mines are present throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. While suspected hazardous areas are normally clearly marked, several people are killed or injured each year.  

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Bosnia-Herzegovina:

  • Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and crowded public venues.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
  • Remain on hard-surfaced roads and stay out of abandoned buildings due to risks from land mines.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter
  • Review the Crime and Safety Report for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
... [READ MORE]

Hague Convention Participation

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
Yes

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Sarajevo

1 Robert C. Frasure Street
71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Telephone:
+(387) (33) 704 000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(387) (33) 704-000. If after dialing you receive a recorded
message, press “0” and ask for the embassy duty officer.
Fax: +(387) (33) 221 837
Email: SarajevoACS@state.gov

General Information

Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since December 1, 1991.

For information concerning travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.

 

Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Website: travel.state.gov

 

The Bosnia and Herzegovina Central Authority (BCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).  The BCA has an administrative role in processing Hague Abduction Convention applications.  The BCA forwards completed Hague petitions to the competent municipal court within the jurisdiction of the child’s location. 

The BCA can be reached at:

Ministry of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Trg BiH br.1
71000 SARAJEVO
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Telephone number: +387 (33) 223 501/2/3/5/6
Fax number: +387 (33) 223 504/7
e-mail address: child_abduction_convention@mpr.gov.ba
Website

To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the USCA encourages a parent or legal guardian to review the eligibility criteria and instructions for completing the Hague application form located at a the Department of State website and contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the BCA.   All documents must be translated into Bosnian, including the Hague Abduction Convention application.  Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the BCA, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Bosnia and Herzegovina central authorities.  Attorney fees are the responsibility of the applicant parent.  Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.

Return

A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Visitation/Access

A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Retaining an Attorney

The BCA requires parents or legal guardians to retain a private attorney in order to file a Hague Abduction Convention application to a court in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Parents who are unable to pay the fee for an attorney may apply for legal aid.    

The U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.

Mediation

Bosnia and Herzegovina is supportive of mediation programs to resolve international parental child abduction cases, however, courts cannot order cases into mediation.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 

 

Last Updated: May 1, 2013

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Sarajevo
1 Robert C. Frasure Street
71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Telephone
+(387) (33) 704 000
Emergency
+(387) (33) 704-000
Fax
+(387) (33) 221 837

Bosnia and Herzegovina Map