The pursuit of justice for survivors of sexual violence committed during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) offers valuable lessons for international and non-governmental organizations as well as other actors now working with the survivors of war crimes being committed in Ukraine more than 25 years later.
Using modern approaches and therapeutic techniques, the Citizens’ Association Center for Early Intervention for Children with Developmental Disabilities, Mali Svijet [Small World], has been trying for more than 12 years to enable children aged 18 months to six years to more easily overcome the everyday obstacles and difficulties they face. Their assistance helps children reach their full potential at a young age to ensure a brighter future.
Zlatan Kovačević, the founder of SOS Bihać, has been gathering volunteers from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as well as abroad for the past four years to help people from the Una-Sana Canton who are in need. As a boy, he became one of the first civilian victims of war in BiH, and Kovačević’s many years of work on various projects demonstrate an ordinary man’s struggle and willingness to help others.
Polish-born Jewish legal theorist Raphael Lemkin first coined the term ‘genocide’ in his 1944 work ‘Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of Government, Proposals for Redress.’ Lemkin’s description of genocide as entailing “criminal intent to destroy or to cripple permanently a human group” laid the foundations for the Genocide Convention and genocide studies as a sociological discipline.
Combatting human trafficking remains among the major human rights issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Recent reforms, however, kindle hope that the country is making progress towards a more effective anti-trafficking framework. The elimination of trafficking will still require that Bosnia improve prevention efforts by fostering greater collaboration among political entities and with civil society, a particular challenge given mounting instability.