Healing the Spirit: Reparations for Survivors of Sexual Violence Related to the Armed Conflict in Kosovo

Healing the spirit
A study prepared by an independent consultant, Ms.Victoria S. Rames, as commissioned by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights - Stand-alone Office in Kosovo

This study aims to highlight the main consequences of sexual violence during the Kosovo armed conflict; analyse the current state of reparations for crimes of sexual violence; and highlight the most desirable ways to provide survivors redress.

This study examines sexual violence in armed conflicts from international human-rights treaties – including CEDAW, the UN Convention Against Torture and UNSCR 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1960 – and related legislation from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) and Kosovo.

Noting that the 2005 UN Basic Principles affirm that “States should endeavour to establish national programmes for reparation and other assistance to victims in the event that the parties liable for the harm suffered are unable or unwilling to meet their obligations,” the study underlines the lack of such a comprehensive programme in Kosovo for survivors of sexual violence related to armed conflict. 

It also notes the lack of accurate data on sexual violence during the Kosovo armed conflict. Figures remain incomplete and flawed. However, the study argues, this should not prevent Kosovo authorities from adopting a reparation programme for any survivors already identified. Another loophole highlighted in the study is the lack of information regarding survivors of non-majority communities and male survivors.

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Languages available in print
English, Serbian, Albanian
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Armenda Filipaj /Project Assistant/armenda.filipaj@unwomen.org

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Resource type(s): Proceedings
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