Cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue in the Republic of Srpska
The Republic of Srpska (RS)
In order to implement the UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expressions, in the part related to the contribution of culture to sustainable development and intercultural dialogue, the Intersectoral Group on Culture is established on the initiative of the Ministry of Education and Culture (see section 2.2). In this sense, more ministries are responsible for the implementation of the Convention and contribute to intercultural dialogue in the fields that are not primarily the field of culture, but they do have a common field of work. In addition, the Ministry supports the programme content and activities of cultural institutions and the NGO sector where the contribution to respect for diversity and diversity of cultural identities is visible. Moreover, the intercultural dialogue in RS is also implemented in the global context, and cooperation with UNESCO (UNDP, UNICEF), the Council of Europe, cultural centers and institutes of the European countries such as Russia, China, Germany, France, England, Switzerland, etc.
The Law on the Protection of National Minorities in RS (Official Gazette of RS, No. 02/04) is in force and regulates the rights and obligations of members of national minorities and obligations of the authorities to respect, protect, preserve and develop ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of each member of a national minority. As the needs of ethnic minorities are different, it means that they are under the responsibility of several ministries: Ministry of Education and Culture: the Law on Primary Education (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 74/08, 71/09 and 104/11).
The language and culture of national minorities in RS is respected and used in schools to the greatest possible extent, in accordance with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the Law on the Protection of National Minorities (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 2/05). There is a Federation of National Minorities in RS that has the status of the association of public interest to RS and currently covers 14 associations of national minorities in RS.
The Ministry of Education and Culture of RS, in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations on the Co-financing of Public Needs in Culture (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 7/10), co-finances cultural activities of national minorities on a regular basis through public competition for co-financing projects in culture, in order to promote their language and their cultural heritage.
The Radio and Television of RS, as a public service of RS, provides a special news program for national minorities in their languages once a week. Projects of national minorities are funded from a variety of sources: the Ministry of Administration and Local Self-Government finances the work of the Federation of National Minorities - the umbrella organization.
Developing a "community spirit" is the main thread in the Youth Policy document of RS. Important connection is made between this aspiration and implementation of intercultural society. Until now, the Ministry of Education and Culture in its regulations only allows for funding of projects in which cultural content is an imperative, and a new approach has enabled transversal approach to funding by more competent ministries and local communities.
Persons with special needs
RS implements activities that contribute to improving the status of persons with disabilities in terms of meeting the cultural, intellectual and creative needs of persons with disabilities.
The Ministry of Education and Culture participated in drafting the Strategy of Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Society (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 83/10) within the Intersectoral Authority of the RS Government to support persons with special needs. Many barriers are removed and significant benefits for people with special needs are introduced. Cultural institutions make cultural heritage and art available to persons with special needs and all disadvantaged categories of population.
In addition, the contribution of the Ministry of Education and Culture in this sense refers to the significant support the NGO sector or associations of persons with disabilities registered for cultural and artistic activities, so that their projects are co-financed through an annual competition for funding of projects in culture.