UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Bosnia and Herzegovina


Bosnia-Herzegovina decriminalised  homosexuality in 1991. LGBTQ rights are protected by a comprehensive anti-discriminatory law which was passed in 2016. There are no dedicated academic institutions or university level departments that are directly dealing with LGBT. Up until 2012, before it discontinued it, the Sarajevo State University offered a two year Masters program in gender studies, through which LGBT topics were also covered. Sarajevo has a thriving Civil Society which works on LGBT and it hosts the annual International Queer Film Festival Merlinka since 2013. Sarajevo hosted its first Pride parade in 2019 amid heavy police presence.

LGBT map of Bosnia & Herzegovina


Data and statistics
News portals
  • lgbt.ba - a BH virtual platform set up by SoC covering current multimedia content about the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexual people, as well as LGBTI culture, public policies and rights [in Bosnian].
  • Crveni vez // Red Embroidery - a documentary movie about the intersection of gender, sexuality, war and security in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina during and after the collapse of Yugoslavia through storytelling. This documentary movie presents a collection of personal testimonials and political accounts of 12 feminist, anti-war and LGBTI*QA pioneer activists, who have shared their stories on solidarity and their contribution to feminist, anti-war and LGBT*IQA movement in these countries [English subtitles].
  • Queer Sarajevo Festival 2008 - Production: Organization Q / Documentary movie / 2009 / 32’41” [English subtitles].
  • Naš otpor je ljubav / Our Resistance is Love - Production: Okvir / Documentary movie / 2014 / 3’42” / Short documentary depicts a process of ‘’Coming Out’’ street art installation organized in Sarajevo by a group of queer persons across BiH, France, Austria and Greece [English subtitles].
  • Queer Re:Act - Production: Okvir / 2013 / Short documentary movie / 14’41” / Paticipate Project 2015 / Short documentary movie on LGBT*IQA activism in BiH [English subtitles].
Digital libraries and archives
  • Association Okvir - committed to the promotion and protection of culture, identity and human rights of LGBTIQIA persons [in Bosnian].
  • Association Q is the first registered organisation in Bosnia-Herzegovina to work on LGBTIQ issues. It works towards challenging societal prejudices against LGBTQ persons through organising events, and policy-related research [in Bosnian].
  • LibertaMo - an association that promotes the strengthening of the rights of LGBT people and women's rights through feminist theory and practice [in Bosnian].
  • Sarajevo Open Centre (SoC) works towards promoting LGBTQI rights. It is an independent, feminist and civil society organisation. It also works on gender-related issues. It is one of the biggest and most active non-Governmental Institutions to promote LGBTQI and Gender rights in the country. SoC hosts its own library and borrowing of books is for free. They run their own media portal [in Bosnian and English].
  • Tuzlanski otvoreni centar - an independent, non-political and non-profit organization promoting active citizenship through political education and advocating for human rights of marginalized groups through equality policies [in Bosnian].
Other resources
  • Merlinka - an annual International Queer Film Festival held in Sarajevo [in English].