We consider it extremely important to share information about the fact that for the first time before the court in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the victim of trafficking in human beings in the criminal proceeding achieved compensation for non-pecuniary damage as a victim of a criminal offense in the field of trafficking in human beings.
The Center of Women’s Right through provision of free legal aid services, although not part of the state referral mechanism for combating trafficking in human beings, at the invitation of the OSCE, represented the interests of the injured party, victim of trafficking in human beings, before the District Court in Banja Luka. The assistance referred to the direct representation of the injured party before the court, as well as the undertaking of a series of preparatory actions which, inter alia, required the drafting of a compensation claim.
In February 2019, the District Court in Banja Luka issued and publicly announced the verdict in which the accused, in addition to the sentence of 5 years in prison, is obliged to pay damages of 7,500 KM for compensation for non-pecuniary damage.
Bearing in mind the fact that only the victims of sexual violence in the war could have been compensated for the non-pecuniary damage so far, this success can be considered as immeasurable.
With the engagement of the Center of Women’s Rights, synergy, joint devotion and professional work of the judiciary institutions, outstanding experts who have done psychological and neuropsychiatric expertise, a remarkable achievement has been achieved.
It has been proven that the existing legislative framework is good and in line with international standards, and that the system functions when standards are applied consistently, which directly results in the fulfillment of the purpose of punishment.
We want this type of cooperation to be seen as an example of good practice of cooperation between the judiciary and the non-governmental sector and that reasons for delaying the court procedure, the lack of financial resources, the imprecision of the claims by the injured party (which is the most often legally illiterate person) are not arguments to not to comply with the provisions of the Law on criminal proceedings.