FIELD UPDATES - Bosnia and Herzegovina
It is estimated that approximately 20,000 women in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) experienced rape and other types of sexual violence during the 1992-1995 war in approximately 76 municipalities across the country. Most of the women affected still suffer from severe psychological consequences and many of them also from reproductive health problems, including sexually transmitted infections and sexuality related disorders. BiH society and governments have not fully recognized yet the harms suffered by survivors of sexual violence during the conflict and have provided only partial redress to them and their families. The climate of political polarization, in which the pain of survivors is sometimes used to fuel collective myths and grievances, as well as continuing economic hardship and social rejection, has fostered transgenerational trauma, particularly evident in cases of children born of sexual violence in conflict.
List of Projects
Strengthening accountability for crimes of sexual violence in the Balkans: developing a BiH strategy and strengthening response to sexual violence in the Balkans
Following a nation-wide consultation, a programme, finalised in 2012, identified four areas for improvement: ensuring legal and psychological support to victims that were witnesses to war crime cases; strengthening capacity of service providers; sensitising the general public; and building partnerships between the governmental and non-governmental sectors. Furthermore, a five-year advocacy strategy for conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) was developed and a conference entitled Ensuring Justice, Reparations and Rehabilitation for Victims of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence was held in September 2012 in Sarajevo, with over 100 participants coming from BiH, Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia. Its recommendations provided a basis for further work of UNFPA and the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees.
11 November 2010 to 30 June 2013
Seeking care, support and justice for survivors of CRSV in BiH
The project helped to enhance access to justice, services, economic empowerment and reparations for survivors of CRSV and their families, in line with UN and European standards, as well as the quality and sensitivity of free legal aid services accessed by CRSV survivors. Additionally, the project served to deepen knowledge about the situation and needs of children born of sexual violence in conflict in order to develop comprehensive psychosocial services and stigma alleviation initiatives, and, in turn, to explore ways to target this group in future programming.
31 August 2015 to 30 September 2019