Come behind the scenes of the four-day forum where a diverse group of people developed a Citizens’ Charter to encourage responsible online behaviour.

In late July, 50 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina gathered in Jahorina to address the issue of hostile behaviour on social media ahead of general elections held on 2 October.

Over four days of discussion and collaboration, they created a Citizens’ Charter that sought to discourage hate speech, harassment, disinformation and inauthentic activity online during the election period.

The group – supported by HD’s Balkans and Digital Conflict teams and a committee of academics, media experts and civil society groups – was chosen by stratified random sampling to reflect Bosnia and Herzegovina’s social and regional diversity.

The charter from the Citizens’ Forum convened by HD was promoted to the public, political parties and international institutions to encourage understanding and adoption of the guidelines.

To track progress, an independent body was monitoring the social media space in Bosnia and Herzegovina and observing online behaviour across the election period.

Check out this article to learn more about how our partners Sortition Foundation helped to ensure fair, random and diverse representation at the forum.

Read the charter in EnglishBosnian, Croatian and Serbian.

The charter builds on HD’s digital mediation work in the Balkans after we brokered the region’s first social media code of conduct around elections in Kosovo in 2021.

HD’s work to counter toxic online behaviour also includes a landmark social media peace agreement in central Nigeria and an electoral code of conduct in Indonesia.

The Digital Conflict programme is part of HD’s private diplomacy, mediation and peacemaking initiatives in more than 75% of conflicts around the world.