Prejudice and Discrimination

Essay by ChuckztA, January 2009

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Prejudice and DiscriminationBetween 1992 and 1995 the three major ethnic groups of today's Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosniaks Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats, fought a bitter conflict for political and economic power. Tens of thousands of people were killed and millions were driven from their homes as attempts were made to create ethnically cleansed territories. Tens of thousands of workers in these territories were discriminated against and unfairly dismissed because of their ethnicity.

There has been a great deal of discrimination among Bosnians. Even in more recent years, despite having been included in the OSCE Fair Employment Project, Aluminij has not made adequate efforts to have a more ethnically balanced workforce. Aluminij executives told Amnesty International in 2003 that the company does not have an anti-discrimination policy. Asked to explain the continuing imbalance in its ethnic composition, company executives explained that unemployment affects all ethnic communities and that all candidates for a post are judged merely on the basis of their skills and qualifications.

Before the war Aluminij was one of the largest state-owned companies in the SFRY. The company produces high-grade aluminum, which is in considerable demand from the automobile and other industries. Today, Aluminij is one of the BiH's most important companies, with over 20,000 people reportedly dependent on the plant directly and indirectly. Before the war things such as jobs were split between the three groups. After the war, the Bosnian Croats rule 93% of all jobs. The war affected the Aluminij factory in several ways. Power supply became erratic and access to raw materials became more difficult as supply lines were disrupted. Transport links were also affected, preventing workers from reporting to work regularly. Production inevitably declined. On 23 April 1992, the factory reportedly came under heavy shelling by the JNA and the electrical substation...