Tuesday, June 25, 2019

konferencija kosovo

To mark International Women’s Day – March 8th, the representative of the Autonomous Women’s Center participated in the conference on sexual violence during conflicts in Kosovo, organized in Pristina by the Jahjaga Foundation and the Embassy of Germany.

„I am aware that I come from a city responsible for crimes committed against the Albanian people in Kosovo, and with this, crimes against women in Kosovo. In my name, and in the name of my colleagues from the Autonomous Women’s Center and the feminist community, I would like to say that I am very sorry for this”, said AWC representative Sanja Pavlovic.  

She also stated that Serbia was the only state in the region that did not recognize, either in its laws or in other ways, women survivors of sexual violence in war as civilian war victims, and that the Law on the rights of civilian persons with disabilities in war was from 1996 and that there was no political or social decision to amend the law, even though it was generally evident that it was one of the most discriminatory laws in Serbia.

Speakers of the panel “Hear my voice: perspectives of survivors from Kosovo and from the region” were also Mirlinda Sada, executive director of the Medika organization from Djakovica, Besnik Leka, program coordinator of CARE International Balkan, Marijana Senjak, former president of the Croatian committee for victims of sexual violence during war and Sabina Husic, executive director of Medika Zenica from Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of the speakers on another panel, dedicated to the political perspectives of the problem of sexual violence in war, was Sonja Biserko, president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.

We would like to remind that Kosovo adopted a law in 2014, based on which a monthly pension is secured for victims of sexual violence in war, which has been implemented since 2018. The committee that decides about the status of victim of sexual violence in war, has received 960 applications since then, and this status has been approved from 228 survivors so far. Women’s organizations from Kosovo expressed their concerns about the work of the committee during the conference, above all, regarding the lengthy decision procedure and consideration of evidence. On the other hand, the ambassadors of Germany, USA and Great Britain pointed out the significance of this law, as well as the need for its amendment, so that it encompasses the period after 20.6.2000, when crimes involving sexual violence were committed by Albanian men against ethnic Serbian women, in order for these women to also have access to justice.