Long -awaited census in Bosnia and Herzegovina, first one after 22 years; the purpose is to establish statistical data, primarily for planning economic policies in the country. However, the process of the census has proved to be poorly prepared and recorded a large number of irregularities.
One reported problem concerns the enumerators taking completed forms back to their own homes, since storage place for census forms has not been allocated in all municipalities. This puts the credibility and legality of the process in question. Also there have been reported cases of enumerators caught interviewing citizens in restaurants, instead of their homes.
Following reports of irregularities, the Coalition Equality, composed of around 20 non-governmental organizations, has urged citizens to stop giving their personal data until the Statistics Agency removes all deficiencies for which they have no explanations.
Observers say the Statistics Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina is aware of all these problems and the fact that this could surely affect the validity of the census. They say after 22 years the country had time to prepare for the statistics and it looks like all those instructions from European observers who monitored the trial census last year, did not help.
If the census process moves forward, the results are due in mid-January. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the country of several constituent groups. Due to the huge number of people who were killed or fled the country during and after the Bosnian war, there is still no accurate data on the percentages of these groups living in the country.