TRIAL contributes to experts’ seminars on sexual violence in Kosovo
TRIAL participated in two experts’ seminars on sexual violence in armed conflict in Priština and Gjakova on 5 and 6 December 2012 organized by the UN Women Project Office in Kosovo.
The purpose of the seminars was to take stock of the situation of sexual violence in Kosovo and to share experience from Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) with the aim of inspiring further action in Kosovo to improve the status and situation of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and torture.
The event hosted representatives of the BiH local judiciary, victims groups and NGOs providing psychological support to survivors. Human rights activists and experts from BiH, including TRIAL Human Rights Coordinator Lejla Mamut, held presentations on the right of survivors to a remedy and reparation in accordance with international law and the corresponding State obligations.
“These events demonstrated the willingness, competence and dedication of human rights organizations, international agencies and State institutions in Kosovo to address the numerous difficulties related to the situation of survivors of war-time sexual violence. I am positive that, with this kind of attitude and determination, Kosovo will be able to resolve a number of issues in a short period of time. As a representative of TRIAL, together with my colleagues from other BiH institutions and NGOs, we shared our experience and the lessons learned in BiH in addressing some of the main issues of concern such as impunity, the lack of adequate social and economic rights and psychological and medical support for survivors.”
A report summarising the main findings of the seminars will soon be drafted and there will be further communication and cooperation between TRIAL and different stakeholders in Kosovo in order to share best practices and ensure assistance to survivors of sexual violence in Kosovo.
On 4 December 2012 TRIAL Human Rights Coordinator participated as one of the speakers, along with a member of Kosovo Parliament and a representative of the Kosova Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims, in an open dialogue organized in a coffee place “Dit e Nat” in Priština.
The event focused on the topic of conflict-related sexual violence and the issue of the lack of recognition of survivors of war-time sexual violence in Kosovo as a special category of civilian victims of war and therefore the discrimination they are subjected to in the access to State social benefits and other kind of support.