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SARAJEVO, 18 June 2016 – The United Nations General Assembly designated 19 June the International Day against Sexual Violence in Conflict with the aim to raise awareness of the need to end conflict-related sexual violence and urge the international community to stand in solidarity with the survivors around the world. This day is marked worldwide in order to call for further action on the global fight against the horrors faced by individuals, especially women and girls in zones of conflict worldwide.

 UNFPA in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been supporting the efforts of public authorities to improve the position of survivors, including positioning this issue on the global agenda, together and with the longstanding support from Norway Embassy in BiH. However, even with the global efforts and concerted efforts at local levels in BiH and the fact that it has been over 20 years since the end of the war, survivors are still facing the same obstacles in their efforts to rebuild and reclaim their lives and the position in society.

On this very first occasion of marking 19 June, UNFPA, within the framework on Joint UN Programme ‘Seeking Care, Justice and Support to Conflict-related Sexual Violence Survivors in BiH’, jointly implemented with UNDP, UN Women and IOM, supported by the British and Canadian governments, including UN Action to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, will be embarking on a set of comprehensive interventions in the area of tackling the issue of stigmatization attached to the status of survivors in BiH, and consequent prevention of trans-generational transfer of trauma between survivors and their immediate families. Interventions in regards to stigmatization will be designed, framed and based on the information and knowledge stemming from the research on stigmatization of conflict-related sexual survivors commissioned by UNFPA in 2015.

To that end, UNFPA, with BiH Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, will release the Report on Stigmatization of Conflict-related Sexual Violence Survivors in BiH on June 20, 2016 and with BiH Parliamentary Commission on Human Rights on June 29, in Sarajevo. Building up on that, in cooperation with entities’ line ministries, the report will also be presented in Banja Luka and Mostar.

Additionally, UNFPA will be building up the capacities of media professionals for contextualized, inclusive and non-discriminatory reporting on conflict-related sexual violence cases in BiH; followed by the launch of the Excellence in Media Reporting Award, in cooperation the British and Norwegian Embassies.