The GREVIO urges Bosnia and Herzegovina to implement the Istanbul Convention
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
The Council of Europe Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO), conducted on 8th November 2022 its first baseline evaluation report on Bosnia and Herzegovina. In particular, highlighted positive legal and policy measures that have been introduced by the authorities, but at the same time outlines measures that have to meet the requirements of the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, the so-called Istanbul Convention.
Based on GREVIO’s findings by the Bosnian authorities and from on-site visits there are challenges that require “urgent action” by the authorities in order to comply with the treaty. What is demanded by GREVIO is, that the authorities have to amend the sexual offences that are provided under the national, entity-level and the criminal codes in order to fully incorporate the notion of lack of freely given consent as it is required by the Istanbul Convention. They also urge for the specification of the non-consensual sexual acts that are criminalised based on the Convention. From the report it is also concluded that the authorities should adopt measures to ensure that any offence of sexual violence applies between former or current spouses or partners. Additionally, it should be ensured that proportionate and dissuasive sanctions will be applied for all sexual acts without the victim’s consent.
To conclude, GREVIO recommends that the authorities have to set up separate bodies for the co-ordination and implementation of policies and measures against all forms of violence against women and simultaneously introduce a data collection system that records asylum claims, based on gender related persecution and introduce at all levels of education mandatory courses focused on these topics. As it is required by the treaty, Bosnia and Herzegovina must also create one or more telephone helplines that will provide support to victims of all forms of violence against women, completely free of charge.
Sources and Further Reading:
Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, Council of Europe Treaty Series No. 210, signed in Istanbul (2011, May 11). Retrieved on November 10th, 2022, from https://rm.coe.int/168008482e.
Bosnia and Herzegovina should take further measures to comply with Istanbul Convention (report), Council of Europe (2022, November 8). Retrieved on November 10th, 2022,from https://search.coe.int/directorate_of_communications/Pages/result_details.aspx?ObjectId=0900001680a8e76a.