Chapter One: Protection
Article I: Rights of Refugees and Displaced Persons
- All refugees and displaced persons have the right freely to return to their homes of origin.
They shall have the right to have restored to them property of which they were deprived in the
course of hostilities since 1991 and to be compensated for any property that cannot be restored to
them. The early return of refugees and displaced persons is an important objective of the
settlement of the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Parties confirm that they will accept
the return of such persons who have left their territory, including those who have been accorded
temporary protection by third countries.
- The Parties shall ensure that refugees and displaced persons are permitted to return in safety,
without risk of harassment, intimidation, persecution, or discrimination, particularly on account
of their ethnic origin, religious belief, or political opinion.
- The Parties shall take all necessary steps to prevent activities within their territories which
would hinder or impede the safe and voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons. To
demonstrate their commitment to securing full respect for the human rights and fundamental
freedoms of all persons within their jurisdiction and creating without delay conditions
suitable for return of refugees and displaced persons, the Parties shall take immediately the
following confidence building measures:
- the repeal of domestic legislation and administrative practices with discriminatory intent or
- the prevention and prompt suppression of any written or verbal incitement, through media or
otherwise, of ethnic or religious hostility or hatred;
- the dissemination, through the media, of warnings against, and the prompt suppression of,
acts of retribution by military, paramilitary, and police services, and by other public officials or
- the protection of ethnic and/or minority populations wherever they are found and the
provision of immediate access to these populations by international humanitarian organizations
- the prosecution, dismissal or transfer, as appropriate, of persons in military, paramilitary,
and police forces, and other public servants, responsible for serious violations of the basic rights
of persons belonging to ethnic or minority groups.
- Choice of destination shall be up to the individual or family, and the principle of the unity of
the family shall be preserved. The Parties shall not interfere with the returnees' choice of
destination, nor shall they compel them to remain in or move to situations of serious danger or
insecurity, or to areas lacking in the basic infrastructure necessary to resume a normal life. The
Parties shall facilitate the flow of information necessary for refugees and displaced persons to
make informed judgments about local conditions for return.
- The Parties call upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ("UNHCR") to
develop in close consultation with asylum countries and the Parties a repatriation plan that will
allow for an early, peaceful, orderly and phased return of refugees and displaced persons, which
may include priorities for certain areas and certain categories of returnees. The Parties agree to
implement such a plan and to conform their international agreements and internal laws to it.
They accordingly call upon States that have accepted refugees to promote the early return of
refugees consistent with international law.