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OSCE Mission to BiH Calls for Urgent Reforms in Response to Gender-Based Violence


On this day of mourning, the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina expresses its deep condolences to the families of the victims of those killed and wounded in the horrific killings in Gradačac, as well as to the local community suffering from this tragedy.

Prevention of violence against women and domestic violence more generally must be priorities for all relevant institutions in BiH. We welcome the urgent investigation into the institutional response regarding this particular case, and strongly encourage relevant authorities at all levels to review the ineffective system of protection against domestic violence overall and to come forward with administrative and legislative proposals for how to better protect women against domestic violence.

According to an OSCE study, 48 percent of women in BiH have experienced some form of abuse, and 84 percent goes unreported. A comprehensive response to this alarming situation will involve a coordinated effort including effective enforcement of existing legislation and training for police and judiciary officials. The OSCE Mission stands ready to support any serious attempt to finally fight domestic violence decisively.

We also call upon the relevant authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to tighten firearms control through amending the laws regulating firearms ownership and possession in full harmonization with EU legislation and other international standards. Citizens should be encouraged to hand over their firearms to law enforcement authorities for destruction.

Finally, we urge the media to act responsibly by balancing the need to inform the public against preserving and protecting the privacy of those involved, especially minors. This is particularly important given the sensitivity of such incidents and the vulnerability of victims and witnesses.


Source: sarajevotimes.com


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