Seeking Care, Support and Justice for Survivors of Conflict Related Sexual Violence in BiH

What is the Joint Programme about?

 Participation in UN Action "Get Cross" campaign

20 years after the 1992-95 war, which was marked by serious violations of International Humanitarian Law, including widespread rape and sexual violence, many survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) have not been redressed to this day and still suffer dramatic consequences on their daily lives.

As recognized by the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, its Causes and Consequences’, Mme. Rashida Manjoo, in the report on her visit to BiH, the critical need to provide assistance and services to survivors of CRSV and for a comprehensive approach to tackling CRSV is greater than ever. Indeed, both societal and Governmental recognition of the harms suffered by CRSV survivors - both women and men - during the war is lacking and survivors suffer from widespread stigma. Moreover, survivors need enhanced access to tailor-made services, such as free legal advice and access to affordable and appropriate psycho-social and health care services, including mental, sexual and reproductive health services, as well as economic empowerment. There is also a need for governmental institutions at all levels in BiH to recognize CRSV survivors as a specific category of war victims, and provide equal access to reparations, both symbolic and material, across the entire territory.

In 2014, the UN Country Team in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) developed a Joint Programme to comprehensively address the unresolved legacy of conflict related sexual violence from the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Programme is championed by Mme Zainab H. Bangura, the UN Special Rapporteur on Sexual Violence in Conflict, and represents the combined efforts of IOM, UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women, thus demonstrating the resolve of the entire UN Country Team (UNCT) to tackle this issue.


What we do?

This joint UN Joint Programme aims to promote the rights and respond to the needs of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) from the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the early 90s, and to provide redress to both them and their families. The Joint Programme combines the expertise and in-country experience of four UN agencies: IOM, UNDP, UNFPA and UN Women.

The Joint Programme has four main components:

  • Data collection, research and mapping of needs and capacities,
  • Enhancement and expansion of CRSV-sensitive service provision in the following sectors:
    o    Health care;
    o    Access to justice: support to victims and witnesses and free legal aid;
    o    Economic empowerment and employment;
    o    Capacity building of associations of CRSV survivors.
  • Development of a reparations programme tailored to the BIH context,
  • Stigma reduction through advocacy and sensitization, including work with the media and universities.

Who Finances it?

Donor name Amount of donation
British Government $ 1,406,774.00
UN Action $    500,009.00
Government of Canada $    385,055.00