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date: 13 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The widespread use of sexual violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in the early 1990s resulted in landmark rulings from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) identifying rape as a crime against humanity and a war crime. Despite this progress, this chapter documents multiple challenges that have undermined the implementation of effective reparations for these crimes. It begins with an overview of the conflict, the use of sexual violence, and BiH’s obligations under international human rights law, particularly the right to reparation. It reviews challenges facing the state in implementing a reparations program for sexual violence, including the peculiar governance structure created in the Dayton Agreement, the absence of a healing process, the treatment of returning internally displaced persons, and the conflation of social benefits and reparations programming. It closes with a critique of existing initiatives, including criminal prosecutions, the Strategy on Transitional Justice, and rehabilitation programs.

Keywords: Bosnia and Herzegovina, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, rape, war crime, reparation, transitional justice, Dayton Agreement

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