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Press statement | 15.01.2020

Ensure the implementation of international instruments to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence

Stop violence against womenStop violence against women

Human Rights Ombudsman Institution of Bosnia and Herzegovina Receives Complaints from Mejra Šakušić from Tuzla Arnela Šakušić-Mujić from Gračanica, alleging the work of the Cantonal Prosecutor's Office of Tuzla Canton, i.e. failure to act on criminal charges for domestic violence.

During the investigative proceedings before the BiH Ombudsman Institution, the Tuzla Cantonal Prosecutor's Office received responses to undertake actions in the legal matter under its jurisdiction, but they were vague and worded as follows: "we inform you that an investigation is ongoing" without specifying what actions have been undertaken, or when a prosecutorial decision can be expected, which the Ombudsmen of Bosnia and Herzegovina deem particularly worrying.

Such actions by the Cantonal Prosecutor's Office of Tuzla Canton confirm the reasons why most women victims of violence do not trust the institutions of the system, which results in the accumulation of fear in victims of violence and the failure to report cases of violence, and on the other hand raises the question of the efficiency and timely functioning of the judicial apparatus.

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 32 of the Law on the Ombudsman for Human Rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on 23 December 2019, the Ombudspersons of Bosnia and Herzegovina addressed the Cantonal Prosecutor's Office of Tuzla Canton with recommendation number: P-297/19 to take effective measures and actions without delay to end the said investigating and adjudicating the prosecutorial decision in the case at issue, taking into account the findings and opinion of the Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Recommendation stated that in the area of the protection of women's rights, one of the most important international instruments is the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence - Istanbul Convention (Bosnia and Herzegovina is the 26th CoE Member State that has signed the Council of Europe Convention on Prevention and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CAHVIO) .08.03.2013 The House of Peoples (31st session, held on 23.07.) and the House of Representatives (50th session, held on 18.07.) ratified the Convention. ) signed and ratified by Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Istanbul Convention is a key international instrument against violence against women, an international agreement and legally binding instrument in Europe, aimed at creating a legal framework for the prevention of violence against women, the protection of victims of violence and the punishment of perpetrators of violence.

The Convention commits States Parties to a comprehensive approach to violence against women and to take the necessary legislative and other measures to prevent discrimination against women, to develop a comprehensive framework, policies and measures to protect and assist all victims of violence against women and domestic violence, and to implement effective, comprehensive and coordinated national policies which cover all relevant measures to prevent and combat all forms of violence covered by this Convention.

Follow-up to recommendation P-297/19 is ongoing.

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