The United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina commends the adoption of a new Law on civilian victims of war by the Brcko District Assembly, last Friday. The Law ensures that civilian victims war receive comprehensive reparations and support, covering all categories of civilian victims, including survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. Moreover, this Law specifically recognizes children conceived of conflict-related sexual violence. This is a first in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
With rampant cases of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) recorded across the globe, the experiences of Bosnia and Herzegovina offer painful but valuable lessons on how to protect survivors, ensure their dignity and transform the legacy of pain and trauma.
The United Nations in BiH calls upon entity authorities in BiH to follow the example of Brcko District and to amend existing entity-level Laws on Civilian Victims of War to also recognize children conceived of conflict-related sexual violence.
BiH authorities at both State and Entity level and Brcko District level worked closely with UN agencies, UNFPA, IOM, UN Women and UNDP over the past decade within the UN Joint Programme on conflict-related sexual violence, aimed at seeking, care, justice and support for survivors. This Programme was championed by the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and funded by the Government of the United Kingdom, UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict, and Government of Canada.
The UN remains committed to empowerment of youth, protection of survivors of violence and transformation of the legacy of pain and trauma while supporting the BIH authorities in ensuring access to justice, care, empowerment, and ultimately reparations for CRSV survivors.