UN Women Requests The Advocates' Expertise in Evaluating Efforts to End Violence against Women in BiH

Stephanie Zosak of DLA Piper and Women's Program Director Rosalyn Park of The Advocates for Human Rights

At the request of UN Women in Bosnia and Herzegovina, The Advocates undertook a project to evaluate UN Women’s work to end violence against women in the country. The project entailed desk research and a fact-finding mission to produce a Strategic Overview assessing the laws and activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and make recommendations to help shape UN Women’s priorities for its future work to end violence against women.

Led by Women’s Program Director, Rosalyn Park, The Advocates conducted a fact-finding mission in June 2018 with three pro bono attorneys, including Stephanie Zosak of DLA Piper, as well as Mina Meljevic and Suzanne Turner. The two teams traveled to several cities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina to interview ministry officials, law enforcement, Centers for Social Welfare, health care workers, members of multisectoral teams, NGOs, and the media. They also conducted focus groups with high school students to understand perceptions and address primary prevention efforts. Because it was summer vacation for these students, Briggs & Morgan, Baker Donelson, and Thomson Reuters contributed giveaways to draw in more than 80 students in to participate. Fact-finding addressed several issues under the pillars of protection and prevention, including policy and budget advocacy, work of MSTs, economic empowerment, systems of accreditation, work with men and boys, education, community-level education, innovative solutions including ITs and safe cities, work with media, and religious leaders.