Reparations soon for conflict-related sexual violence survivors in Kosovo*

Kosovo begins implementation of the law that gives legal recognition to civilian survivors of the armed conflict and allows them to claim survivor benefits.

Date: 17 March 2016

On 30 December, Kosovan authorities approved a new regulation that will allow survivors of conflict-related sexual violence to be identified and given official status as civilian victims of war eligible for survivor benefits that include a monthly pension.

Experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina meet with relevant stakeholders working on drafting the approved regulation in January 2015 in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women/Art Murtezai
Experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina meet with relevant stakeholders working on drafting the approved regulation in January 2015 in Tirana, Albania. Photo: UN Women/Art Murtezai

The regulation begins the implementation of the Kosovo Assembly’s Law No. 04/L-172, approved in March 2014, which gives legal recognition to survivors of sexual violence during the conflict in Kosovo.

Survivors of sexual violence during the Kosovo conflict, which ended in 1999, welcomed the regulation but asked for comprehensive support to fight the stigma and culture of shame and silence that continues to surround the issue.

“Survivors are happy at the approval of this regulation that guarantees their rights, dignity and integration into all aspects of life,” said Mirlinda Sada, Executive Director of Medica Gjakova, an NGO that works with survivors. “A lot more work needs to be done to empower survivors, though. Women say they need comprehensive psychosocial, medical, legal and economic support.”

UN Women has worked with civil society organizations and Kosovan authorities since 2006 to get legal recognition for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Kosovo. It actively participated in Kosovo’s National Council on the Survivors of Sexual Violence – a Government body established by the President – and provided technical support to draft and adopt the legislation.

UN Women also supported the drafting of Kosovo’s Action Plan on UN Security Council resolution (UNSCR) 1325, which aims to provide redress to survivors of sexual violence in conflict. UN Women also facilitated exchanges with survivor groups in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina.

To read the full story visit UN Women's regional website for Europe and Central Asia: http://eca.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2016/03/kosovo--new-regulation-sexual-violence


* References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999)