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Wartime survivors endangered when claiming redress

14.06.2016

Lack of identity protection for victims filing compensation claims poses serious threats to their security and well-being. Last month, TRIAL International stepped up its advocacy efforts in favor of better protection.

Identity protection in criminal proceedings is crucial to prevent retaliation against victims speaking up, but also to protect them from additional trauma and isolation. It is particularly important for vulnerable groups, such as sexual violence survivors, who already face acute social, economic, and psychological hurdles when seeking justice.

While victims are guaranteed identity protection in war crimes cases, they are all too often redirected to civil proceedings to claim reparation – where no law protects their anonymity. As a consequence, many victims give up their claims altogether.

Throughout the month of May, TRIAL International has focused its advocacy efforts on this issue. Its Sarajevo-based team has met with national legal experts, including Ombudswoman for Human Rights Jasminka Džumhur and Supreme Court judge Goran Nezirović. Together, they will work to facilitate the reform of civil and enforcement proceedings, offering better protection to the tens of thousands of victims still awaiting justice.

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