A country visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina took place from 18-21 February 2015, in Banja Luca and Sarajevo. The visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina included meetings with representatives of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Agency for Gender Equality and the entity gender centers, the President of the Court of BiH, members of the 1325 Coordination Board, the Peace Support Operations Training Centre, the BiH Parliamentary Committee on Gender Equality, the UN Country Team, development partners, researchers, and civil society organizations working with and representing the survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. The country visit highlighted the challenges that remain for women, peace and security in the country, including increasing women’s meaningful political participation, women in decision making, and access to justice.
Bosnia and Herzegovina was selected as one of the Global Study’s country case studies based on its location in the disputed Balkan region, and the nation’s history of violent conflict during the early 1990s. The people of Bosnia-Herzegovina suffered many atrocities during the conflict, including large scale gender-based and sexual violence, human trafficking and sexual slavery. The establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and several of the Tribunal’s judgments can been seen as important milestones for the country’s recovery and reconciliation efforts. The country visit also provided insight into the development of the first National Action Plan (2010-2013) on 1325 and progress toward its implementation, and recommendations that led to the current second National Action Plan (2014-2017).
The country visit also highlighted the challenges that remain, including increasing women’s meaningful political participation, women in decision making, and access to justice, including for survivors of conflict-related sexual and gender-based violence, whose concerns still have not been fully addressed.