War Crimes Court Grants Landmark Award to Wartime Rape Survivor

A war crimes court in Bosnia & Herzegovina has ruled for the first time that a survivor of wartime rape is entitled to compensation. The court also sentenced two Bosnian Serb soldiers to 10 years in prison for raping the woman during the 1992-1995 Balkan war. The ruling is unique because previously, the Bosnian war crimes court refused to compensate rape victims, requiring them to file costly claims in civil court and reveal their identities. The UN Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict stated in response to the landmark ruling that, “the [Bosnian] court has sent a strong signal that there will be no sanctuary for perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence.”

 

Compiled fromBosnia and Herzegovina: UN Special Representative welcomes court decision in the Kotor Varoš case, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Sexual Violence in Conflict (June 29, 2015); Bosnian court grants wartime rape victim compensation in landmark ruling, The Guardian and Reuters (June 25, 2015).