The information below is based on the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/2021/312) issued on 30 March 2021.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, survivors of conflict-related sexual violence have struggled to achieve recognition as legitimate victims of the war and to access reparations and redress. In August 2020, in response to an individual complaint, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women concluded that investigations into conflict-related sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina had been ineffective and slow and that compensation and support for the victims were inadequate. The complainant had pursued justice for more than a decade, after being raped in 1995, and had been unable to afford adequate treatment for the physical and psychological trauma she suffered. The United Nations continues to forge partnerships to advance justice, while preventing a relapse into violence. My Special Representative continued to engage with the authorities and key partners to promote comprehensive services, justice, access to reparations and economic empowerment for survivors, and to work with interfaith organizations to alleviate stigma. The Government has worked to expand the availability and improve the quality of medical and psychosocial support, including through virtual means during the pandemic, while civil society organizations continue to provide critical assistance to survivors, their families and children born of wartime rape.

Recommendation

I call upon the governments of countries undergoing post-conflict transitional justice processes to ensure concrete measures are taken to deliver accountability, award reparations and provide redress for conflict-related sexual violence, avoiding amnesty or impunity for these grave international crimes. I encourage these governments to consult survivors in the design and delivery of transitional justice processes, in line with a survivor-centred approach, and to ensure that past perpetrators are removed from national institutions through credible vetting procedures.

Where We Work: