Bosnia and Herzegovina

The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/2015/203) issued on 23 March 2015.

 

Twenty years after the end of the war, conflict-related sexual violence remains a sensitive political issue, with slow progress made in establishing a comprehensive support system for survivors. The Government has recently expressed its intention to address conflict-related sexual violence, but has focused primarily on prosecution rather than the broad range of needs. The absence of services extends to children born of wartime rape, who face particular risk of stigma, abandonment, rejection and low socioeconomic status. The stigmatization and economic marginalization of rape survivors themselves remains a concern. The United Nations country team in Bosnia and Herzegovina has launched a joint project to tackle the legacy of conflict-related sexual violence. This project seeks to improve redress for survivors by mapping needs and capacities, improving access to justice and services and reducing stigma. The Peace Support Operations Training Centre, with support from UN Women, continues to provide predeployment training on conflict-related sexual violence for armed forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region. The inclusion of a specific objective on conflict-related sexual violence in the second national action plan for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) is a positive development that lays the foundations for enhanced service delivery to survivors.

 

Recommendation

I urge the relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to harmonize legislation and policies so that the rights of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to reparations are consistently recognized and to allocate a specific budget for this purpose. I further call upon the authorities to protect and support survivors participating in judicial proceedings through, inter alia, referrals to free legal aid, psychosocial and health services, as well as economic empowerment programmes.