Addressing security and safety risks of illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Info

Implementation of Project activities will be carried out by a Project Implementation Team, involving recruitment of:

  • Project Manager, full time, international contracted;
  • National Project Officer, full-time, local contracted;
  • Procurement Assistant, full-time, local contracted; and 
  • Two (2) Project Assistants, full-time, local contracted.

The Project helps consolidate and further enhance capabilities of BiH to address contemporary and emerging security challenges to national and human security in accordance with OSCE commitments, norms and principles, primarily through support to BiH law enforcement agencies (LEAs) including entity and cantonal ministries of interior (MoIs)/police agencies; SALW Control Co-ordination Board; BiH Ministry of Security (MoS); Prosecutors’ offices, courts and penitentiary services; population of BiH; OSCE participating States from SEE.


The project Objective is: To support BiH in mitigating security and safety risks related to illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of SALW and their ammunition.

The project complements the Mission’s 2020 UBP Objective 1: To support BiH in developing a better-governed security sector capable of more effectively responding to contemporary and emerging threats and challenges to national and human security in accordance with OSCE commitments, norms and principles, and its Outcome 1.3: BiH conducts more effective arms control, safely reduces SALW and ammunition surplus, and contributes to regional arms control and non-proliferation efforts in accordance with relevant OSCE commitments and best practices.


The Outcome of the project is to ensure that: BiH conducts more effective arms control, safely reduces SALW and ammunition surplus, and contributes to regional arms control and non-proliferation efforts in accordance with relevant OSCE commitments and best practices.



This Project is implementing folowing activitites:

Activity 1.1: Upgrading physical storage infrastructure

Sub-Activity 1.1.1 Recruitment and work of a construction manager

Sub-Activity 1.1.2 Developing infrastructure upgrades design for LEAs’ SALW storage sites

Sub-Activity 1.1.3 Implementation of infrastructure upgrades at LEAs’ SALW storage sites

Sub-Activity 1.1.4 Quality control supervision for construction works at SALW storage


Activity 1.2: Installing Intruder-Detection Systems

Sub-activity 1.2.1 Hiring a local supervisor for procurement and installation of IDS

Sub-activity 1.2.2 Designing Technical Project Documentation for the IDS-Package

Sub-activity 1.2.3 Procuring IDS-parts and installation of IDS packages

Sub-activity 1.2.4 Monitoring of works on the upgrades and IDS installation, technical commissioning and handover


Activity 1.3 Supporting development of a regulatory and training framework on improved SALW control and management by LEAs

Sub-activity 1.3.1 Developing SOP and updating regulations for the management of SALW by LEAs

Sub-activity 1.3.2 Training programme on application of the SOP for management of SALW by police

Sub-activity 1.3.3 Printing and dissemination of TM, delivering training courses


Activity 1.4: Organizing training for law enforcement on SALW control and management


Activity 2.1: Supporting the development of an inter-institutional tool and methodology for monitoring and evaluation of communication and public outreach on SALW

Activity 2.2: Supporting inter-institutional dialogue and SALW CCB outreach to local authorities

Activity 2.3: Supporting monitoring, evaluation and knowledge transfer by SALW CCB on SALW outreach and awareness raising

Activity 2.4: Supporting inter-institutional dialogue and a gender analysis on the misuse of SALW


Activity 3.1: Supporting the organization of working groups and co-ordination meetings to develop a Master Plan for K9 capacity building

Activity 3.2: Supporting development of required legislative and operational frameworks for use of K9 capacity in detecting SALW                                

Activity 3.3: Upgrading K9 infrastructure and providing required equipment

Sub-activity 3.3.1 Recruitment and work of a construction manager

Sub-activity 3.3.2 Developing design for infrastructure upgrades of K9 facilities

Sub-activity 3.3.3. Upgrading the K9 infrastructure

Sub-activity 3.3.4 Procuring and handing of priority K9 equipment and transport

Sub-activity 3.3.5 Monitoring implementation of the upgrade works


Activity 3.4: Organizing a training programme on application of the SOP for use of K9 capacity in detecting SALW

Sub-activity 3.4.1. Developing a Training Manual on an SOP for K9 capacity use

Sub-activity 3.4.2 Printing and dissemination of the Training Manual, and delivering training courses

Activity 3.5: Establishing a platform for promoting use of K9 capacities through organization of competitions on national and regional level

3.6 Engaging the required K9 expertise


Activity 4.1: Supporting an assessment of relevant legal and statistical models of law enforcement and judiciary in establishing an integrated SALW and ammunition inter-institutional track record

Activity 4.2: Supporting establishment of the BiH SALW track record system

Sub-activity 4.2.1 Developing the design and rolling out the BiH SALW track record system

Sub-activity 4.2.2 Procuring of the equipment and installation of the SALW tracking system

Sub-activity 4.2.3 Monitoring visits related to installation works, technical commissioning and handover

Activity 4.3: Organizing training for judiciary and law enforcement users of the SALW tracking system

Sub-activity 4.3.1 Developing SOP for use of the SALW tracking system

Sub-activity 4.3.2 Printing and dissemination of the training manual, delivering training courses


Activity 5.1: Supporting the Working Group in advancing the legislative and regulatory deactivation framework

Activity 5.2: Organizing training for deactivation experts

Sub-activity 5.2.1. Developing a training manual on SALW deactivation

Sub-activity 5.2.2 Printing and dissemination of training manual, delivering training courses


Activity 5.3: Refurbishing and equipping deactivation facilities

Sub-activity 5.3.1 Recruitment and work of a construction manager

Sub-activity 5.3.2 Developing the design for SALW deactivation infrastructure upgrades

Sub-activity 5.3.3 Upgrading SALW deactivation infrastructure

Sub-activity 5.3.4 Procuring, installing and handing over SALW deactivation equipment

Sub-activity 5.3.5 Monitoring works on upgrading SALW deactivation infrastructure


Risk management plan is in place developed to address thirteen identified risks. 

Background And Justification

The Western Balkans are recognized as one of the priority areas in this regard, with evidence suggesting that some SALW and/or ammunition used by terrorists and other criminal groups in Europe originates from this region. There is significant international interest in supporting the fight against arms trafficking in the Western Balkans, including in BiH.

According to official data provided by BiH authorities, in the period 2012-2016 there was a steady rise in demand for obtaining a license for possession of small arms on the part of BiH citizens and SALW on the part of institutions in BiH. The majority of small arms license-holders continue to cite personal safety as the main reason for acquiring firearms, and the demand for small arms and licenses for their legal possession is predominantly male-driven. This has impacted the overall (perception of) security through decline of public trust in official institutions, and an adverse impact of SALW on women, men, boys and girls. 

The rate of incidents in which SALW was (mis)used remained constant throughout the analysed period, and the context in which misuse of SALW was recorded is prevalently related to crime. Accordingly, the significant number of firearms/SALW, their ammunition, and explosives in illegal possession of citizens, as well as their unlawful use, widespread availability and ease of access to them (including as a consequence of trafficking), continue to pose a pronounced risk to the safety of the general population, specific target groups, as well as law enforcement in BiH and the wider region.

In an overwhelming majority of cases, men are the prevalent perpetrators as well as the victims of crime and homicide committed with SALW. Nevertheless, observing these findings through the lenses of gender and age reveals that two categories of people are most affected– women and young men. Moreover, in terms of misuse of SALW in domestic violence, nearly every second person murdered within the domestic context was killed by firearms; in fact, 66.7 per cent of women and 15.5 per cent of men killed in this context were killed by a family member. 

Continued analysis of the above-noted trends and figures remains essential for evidence-based policy development and intelligence-led actions. Accordingly, the OSCE Mission to BiH (the Mission) intends to support and promote societal dialogue regarding the importance of prevention, control, investigation and suppression of proliferation and unlawful possession of SALW and its ammunition. Accordingly, the project will provide technical assistance in supporting the development of a variety of strategic, tactical and operational responses to illegal possession, misuse, and trafficking of SALW, ammunition and explosives.

To adequately prepare a response to the MoS assistance request, the OSCE conducted thorough consultations and research on the identified problems. With respect to the awareness raising and outreach, several meetings were held with the BiH SALW CCB and relevant LEAs in order ensure understanding on ways to provide the expected technical assistance. Project activities have been discussed and agreed with the stakeholders as the starting point for developing a comprehensive response. Through co-ordination with the relevant international partners in BiH, it was agreed that the UNDP would support outreach and awareness-raising efforts aimed at reaching the broadest possible audience while addressing the gender aspects that lead to misuse and trafficking of SALW, ammunition and explosives. In a complementary manner, this Project would support institutions in monitoring and evaluating the outreach campaign, thus helping generate important insight for future planning.

Upon the request of BiH to support increasing of security and safety of SALW and ammunition in the possession of police, the Mission and its international partners jointly assessed storage conditions of 28 police SALW storage/rooms - with a focus on storage management and PSSM. Following the assessment, the project has prioritized key locations and works that will serve as a starting point for these activities.

The OSCE also assessed canine (K9) capacities of BiH police agencies. Given the complexity of the political system in the country, the assessment entailed visits to all levels of government (i.e. federal institutions, cantonal special police units, gendarmerie in Republika Srpska (RS), police units in BrĨko District). The assessment provided for an in-depth understanding of the existing legal and regulatory framework, infrastructure conditions, technical and human capacity, as well as specific knowledge and skills that are necessary. 

According to an assessment/study conducted by the OSCE Secretariat in 2017-2018 in BiH and other WB countries, the BiH legislative framework on deactivation of SALW and its implementation is not in line with relevant OSCE and international standards. Based on the findings of that assessment, BiH authorities decided to seek assistance from the OSCE in harmonizing and strengthening the deactivation legislative framework and its implementation. Assistance provided through this project will support harmonization of the bylaws on deactivation with international standards. It will also support the rolling out of the newly developed and stricter standard for implementation, oversight and reporting in line with the OSCE Best Practice Guide on SALW deactivation (FSC.DEC/1/18/Corr.2) and other international standards as applicable.

Each project activity will be examined against the fact that the use, misuse and effects of SALW, ammunition and explosives have different impact on women and men. To successfully address these varied concerns and realities targeted and tailored action will be developed and applied as relevant.


Proliferation and trafficking of SALW, ammunition and explosives poses a serious threat to stability and security in the OSCE area. Their illegal possession and trafficking fuels transnational organized crime, armed conflicts, terrorism and domestic violence - among other serious crimes. Terrorist attacks in Europe committed with illegal and reactivated SALW have underscored the urgency of addressing this issue in order to prevent terrorist groups from accessing SALW, ammunition and explosives.

On 1 February 2018, at a regional meeting in Podgorica, Montenegro, deputy ministers of interior and foreign affairs from SEE reiterated their unequivocal political commitment and aspiration to strengthening control of SALW, ammunition and explosives. They moreover explicitly recognized their spread and illicit trade as a constant and significant threat to internal and regional security. As a result, the authorities in the region developed and adopted the Roadmap for a sustainable solution to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW)/firearms and their ammunition in the Western Balkans (hereinafter: Roadmap). The document was adopted at the London Summit on 10 July 2018 as part of the Berlin Process.

Authorities at all levels in BiH contributed to defining and agreeing this commitment, and have accordingly prepared an action plan for implementing the Roadmap document in BiH. The action plan provides measurable actions, goals and concrete performance indicators - all applicable and in full conformity with the 2021-2024 BiH SALW Control Strategy. The Mission is also provided technical support to the BiH SALW CCB throughout its process of developing the SALW control strategy for the period 2021-2024.

As a result of extensive consultations with host country authorities and international partners, BiH stakeholders have identified following five priority areas that require OSCE support:

- Assessment and upgrading of SALW and ammunition storage infrastructure of LEAs in line with OSCE best practices;
- Building K9 capacities of LEAs in detecting SALW, ammunition and explosives;
- Supporting the establishment of deactivation legislative framework and its implementation;
- Supporting establishment and coordination of an integrated law enforcement and judiciary track record i.e. database on SALW use cases;
- Conducting community outreach on SALW control, risks and dangers. 

sdg sdg
Signing SALW Project Implementation Protocol
Signing SALW Project Implementation Protocol with 15 Project Beneficiaries
Donation Ceremony for Transport of Service Dogs for K-9 Units in BiH
Completed upgrade of infrastructure and IDS at 10 SALW storage sites in BiH
Guidelines for Enhancement of Inter-institutional Communication and Outreach on SALW
Monitoring and Evaluation Guidelines for Inter-institutional Communication and Outreach on SALW
Guidelines for PSSM in Police Organisations in BiH
Initiated works at the location for the SALW deactivation facility at two selected location in BiH
Harmonization of firearms legislation and regulatory framework on SALW deactivation in BiH
Participation of BiH LEAs in the 2nd Reg Mtg of Experts on Advancing the K9 Regulatory Framework
Participation of WP associations in BiH in a regional conference on gender and security in Skopje
Training on misuse of firearms in GBV and DV for associations of WP in BiH and MoS Gender CB
Official release of the SALW PSSM Guidelines in BiH LEAs
Finalized the installation of equipment for the ten (10) SALW police storage sites
Training Manual and Program for SALW PSSM in co-op with 3 police academies in BiH
Advanced training for 22 LEAs representatives on SALW PSSM finalized
Assessment visit of the French Gendarmerie K9 to BiH to assess K9 training capacities of BiH LEAs
Procurement activities for the K9 equipment completed
Video material on SALW project and major milestones completed
Guidelines for the Management of SALW in Police Organisations oficially released
Development of draft Master Plan to optimize the police K9 capacities in BiH
The Guidelines for the Use of K-9 Police Dogs for LEAs in BiH