Bosnia and Herzegovina: Amnesty International Reports Lack of Justice and Services for Wartime Rape Survivors

A briefing by Amnesty International entitled, “Old Crimes, Same Suffering: No justice for survivors of wartime rape in north-east Bosnia and Herzegovina” is bringing attention to the government’s failure to address the needs of rape survivors during the 1992-1995 war. Two years ago, the government pledged to develop a “national program for women victims of sexual violence in conflict and beyond.” However, the project stalled due to political deadlock.
 
Survivors continue to suffer from serious physical and psychological problems including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, hypertension, and insomnia. Few of these women have health insurance and most are unable to pay for medication they need. Moreover, the justice system has failed to prosecute the vast majority of perpetrators. Out of tens of thousands of documented cases of crimes of sexual violence committed during the war, fewer than 40 have been prosecuted by either the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or by domestic courts.