Today we participated in a press conference on the Istanbul Convention – the importance and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Prevention and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Meliha Sendic, President of the Center of Women’s Rights, spoke from the perspective of working directly with clients, victims of violence, who often do not have information about ways and procedure of protection, are legally illiterate, socially vulnerable, do not have adequate support and adjusted, victim-oriented approach of representatives of institutions in the protection system from violence. She presented the Initiative for Amendments to the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence in the FBiH through the introduction of the institute“Person of Trust” in response to this problem. Clients do not understand the language used by the institutions, and when there is a a Person of Trust, such as Center is, the process and path of protection is shortened. We informed the attendees that during this year we are working on bringing together an expert working group that understand this problem and we were able to get the support of numerous institutions and in the coming period we will jointly initiate and draft amendments to the Law. It has been stated that it is necessary to bring the provisions of the law into line with the Istanbul Convention as soon as possible, and one way is to introduce a Person of Trust. It should be borne in mind that the Republika Srpska, Montenegro and Croatia have addressed this shortcoming.
The press conference was organized by the Medica from Zenica, as part of the World Campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women. Sabiha Husic, Directress of Medica, Ismeta Dervoz, Independent Expert, and Edin Arnaut, Assistant to the Minister for Labor, Social Welfare and Refugees of the ZDK had their speeches. They advised that all laws should be harmonized, and that society should be more actively involved in the process of reducing domestic violence.
Photo credits: Medica Zenica