- “In Prijedor, the city where I live, war events and the smell of war were felt much earlier than in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. First of all, legal authorities were overthrown. In April, the legal authorities collapsed and the Serbian Democratic Party, with the help of the army and the police, took complete control in all spheres of life. Very soon checkpoints appeared in the city with people in various military uniforms who completely controlled movement in the city. In those days, I was going through the worst thing that could happen to me. Of course, that was nothing compared to everything I would go through later.” – said Nusreta Sivac, Bosnian activist for women survivors of war-time sexual violence.
It is estimated that around 20 to 50 thousand women, girls and men were raped or sexually abused during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Almost three decades have passed since the end of the war, and Bosnia and Herzegovina has not established an efficient system of reparations for survivors in order to adequately respond to their needs. Bosnia and Herzegovina, like other countries of the world, has not yet established a legal framework that addresses the rights and needs of children born of war.
The film “Bosnia: Frozen Reconciliation | Off The Grid” depicts the current and realistic situation of both civilian victims of war and children born of war, as well as citizens in general who live in an age of frozen conflict without adequate progress.
- “Rape as a war crime has been used as a means of warfare, and in this regard it is an important prevention for some future wars in which I hope it will not be used. A small number of cases are investigated, although the prosecutors in BiH and beyond have enough information that they received from the International Tribunal.” – lawyer Vasvija Vidović
War-time sexual violence was systematic and institutionalized, which was confirmed by the verdicts of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia and Herzegovina is still far from providing survivors with adequate, quick and effective reparation measures that would be in line with international standards. Survivors often emphasize the state’s responsibility to support them and call for the adoption of a nationwide system of reparations, through which everyone would have access to adequate support and equal rights.
- “Thank God, the status of the children of fallen soldiers have been resolved, but we ask that we have the same rights as them, and to be recognized as a category of children whose mothers were raped during the war.” – Alen Muhić, a child born of war
The fact is that no country in the world, not even Bosnia and Herzegovina, has a clearly defined category of children born of war who live on the margins and fight for recognition of their legal status, where they face numerous administrative obstacles, stigmatization and discrimination.