UNODC supports Bosnia and Herzegovina in addressing violence against women

© UN DGC

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 23 December 2021 – Addressing gender-based violence against women (GBVAW) is one of UNODC’s key mandate areas. To promote crime prevention and criminal justice responses to violence against women around the world, UNODC organized a webinar in Bosnia and Herzegovina focusing on key technical needs for ensuring delivery of gender-responsive techniques among police and justice services.

UNODC tackles GBVAW in line with relevant international standards and norms. It offers targeted technical assistance through its Global Programme on Strengthening Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses to Violence against Women and in collaboration with its partners under the UN-EU Spotlight Initiative including the Joint UN Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls subject to Violence.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNODC’s Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe conducted a webinar as part of its work in developing the capacity of criminal justice systems to respond more promptly and effectively to violence against women and provide essential services to victims and survivors. The webinar focused on the importance of the ongoing shift from a perpetrator-oriented to a victim-oriented approach. In that light, the webinar primarily addressed the training needs of local police as first line responders to GBVAW including prosecution services. Following this approach, the session also encouraged police to reassure and empower victims to report their incidents. Additionally, the session addressed the necessity of compensating and repatriating as part of the criminal verdict.

International experts in law enforcement and justice systems from the United Kingdom, Canada and South Africa specializing in addressing violence against women shared their experience and insights during the session, while animating a discussion for over 40 professionals and practitioners in the law enforcement sector, including police, justice, prosecution and the judiciary in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The experts demonstrated ways to implement gender-based strategies to the local context through identifying specific needs in order to ensure a coordinated criminal justice response to GBVAW.

“Gender-based violence is an issue that is important for the whole region of South Eastern Europe.  This is an important issue for my country as well and therefore I am pleased to be able to address you on this topic” said the First Lady of North Macedonia, Ms. Elizabeta Gjorgievska in her statement addressing the event. She emphasized that “We should all practice enhanced co-operation, both within the UN agencies and national institutions on this important topic and promote a truly gender-responsive police and justice sector, where officials are fully trained, supported by management, and enjoy faith and trust of the communities in which they live and work.”

To assist and support countries, UNODC has developed a series of handbooks and training tools for police, prosecutors and the judiciary on effective and victim-centered responses to violence against women, including the recent Handbook on gender-responsive police services for women and girls subject to violence.