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Human Rights Watch found evidence-including internal IPTF reports, interviews with monitors, and verbatim transcripts of testimony by five trafficking victims-that IPTF monitors in Bosnia and Herzegovina purchased the services of trafficked women in brothels. Some monitors also arranged for trafficked women to be delivered to their residences. Most striking, however, was the evidence that at least three IPTF monitors purchased women and their passports from traffickers and brothel owners.

In the rare cases of purchase by IPTF monitors, at least two claimed that they had engaged in these purchases to "rescue" the women. Purchasing a human being clearly is not the proper, legal way to free a person from debt bondage, particularly not for a police officer. IPTF monitors have the ability, indeed the obligation, to use legal methods such as police investigations and raids.

Although using the services of a prostitute (being a client) is not a criminal offense under the laws of either entity, the facilitation of prostitution and the running of brothels are illegal. IPTF officers, who through their work and training knew or should have known that the brothels contained trafficked women, violated the IPTF code of conduct and undermined law enforcement by paying for sexual services. More importantly, the presence of IPTF monitors in the clubs as clients discouraged trafficked women and girls from seeking safe haven in IPTF stations.

Many IPTF monitors, aware of IPTF involvement, expressed their misgivings to Human Rights Watch investigators. The few who attempted to voice public protests or demand internal investigations on trafficking faced intimidation, and in some cases, claimed to suffer retaliation, including a dismissal in one case.

IPTF Officers As Clients

The Prijedor Case
On November 14, 2000, twenty-five IPTF monitors, assisted by SFOR, raided three brothels in Prijedor. These highly unusual raids secured the release of thirty-four women and girls who claimed that they had been trafficked into Bosnia and Herzegovina for forced prostitution.251 The scandal that followed the raids also resulted in the repatriation of six IPTF monitors: two Americans, two Spaniards, and two British officers for "exceeding the mandate" of IPTF.252

Just hours after the raids, IPTF monitors transported the women from Prijedor to Sarajevo, traveling with an SFOR escort. All the women qualified as trafficking victims under the IOM program. When they arrived in Sarajevo, IPTF human rights officials and Joint Task Force officers interviewed the women.253 One UNMIBH official with extensive knowledge of the case and who interviewed the women told Human Rights Watch, "SFOR and IPTF brought the girls to Sarajevo, and then the girls pointed out that the guys driving them had been their clients."254 According to an internal IPTF report, one of the women told IPTF investigators in Sarajevo, "[The] Spanish IPTF who traveled with us today had sex with Natasha. [The] French man who drove us today had sex with Natalia. Both girls [are] from Moldova. Another Spanish man had sex with Aliana. I saw some of these men today. They were in white cars with U.N. on it."255 In all, five of the signed victim statements obtained by Human Rights Watch included assertions that IPTF monitors had numbered among the trafficked women's clients.

The fact that the women were transported to Sarajevo by officers who had used the sexual services at the nightclubs created, at a minimum, an opportunity for witness tampering. The internal report on the investigation quoted one of the trafficked women as saying, "[The IPTF officer Miguel] told me that this was the last chance for me to go back to my country and to tell all the truth but not too much or anything about our relations."0

The women identified eleven international officials who frequented the brothels, either as visitors or as clients. The IPTF's own internal report on the incident stated, "Internal affairs has detailed descriptions of eleven IPTF officers from Prijedor and Sanski Most. Nine IPTF officers had sex and two went to the bar to drink. Internal Affairs is trying to match the descriptions with the names."1

According to interviews with the women conducted by IPTF Joint Task Force investigators, IPTF monitors paid for sexual services from the trafficked women in the nightclubs or in the IPTF monitors' residences. One of the thirty-four women told IPTF Joint Task Force investigators in Sarajevo, "IPTF members [based in Prijedor] were my clients too. I don't know their names, but they were Americans, Spanish, and Mexicans. Once an IPTF member has taken me to a hotel for two hours. I don't know his name, but he was staying in Prijedor. That IPTF member spoke Serbian a little bit. I don't know which country he was from."2

High-level UNMIBH officials knew of IPTF involvement in the nightclubs in Prijedor. According to one UNMIBH official familiar with the case:

      My information was that they were using the nightclub and using the girls, and when they realized this was going to [become public], they raided. We had information about this nightclub. One girl escaped and told us. We were in the process of planning an operation with the Joint Task Force. It leaked somehow to local IPTF, and to cover up [they] jumpstarted and behaved as if the police themselves had done the raid. Usually, we work closely with the local police.3

Deputy IPTF Commissioner Dennis Laducer supported this interpretation of the facts, telling Human Rights Watch, "Our information was that all six [of the repatriated IPTF monitors] had been in the clubs drinking or as customers with the prostitutes. They were there off duty."4

Clients and "Contracting"
In March 2001, an IPTF human rights officer in Tuzla told Human Rights Watch researchers, "Women trafficking-there is common knowledge about this. For the monitors it is forbidden [to go to brothels and nightclubs]. It is like we are attached to organized crime if we go. A monitor cannot go to these criminal places."5

Dennis Laducer, then deputy commissioner of IPTF, asserted that all monitors received personal instructions from him not to go into the nightclubs or use the services of women there. He told Human Rights Watch, "I meet with each monitor and tell them not to go to these clubs. `Don't use the women there.' I say it fifteen times; it's supporting organized crime. `I will send you home,' I tell them."6

On March 6, 2001, internal affairs investigators showed a group of trafficking victims from the "Kod Karalije" nightclub in Bijeljina an electronic line-up including photos of sixty IPTF monitors. Each photograph bore only a randomly-assigned number in order to avoid identifying any of the IPTF monitors. Ten of the trafficked women identified the same two monitors as clients. The internal affairs report, obtained by Human Rights Watch, concluded that the allegations of involvement in trafficking as clients had been proven against the two monitors identified in the photo line-up and against two additional monitors.7 The accused included two Pakistani monitors and two monitors from Fiji.8 It appears that these monitors were among the eighteen officers repatriated by UNMIBH over the course of the mission.9

David Lamb, a former senior IPTF human rights officer who left the mission in good standing to return to the United States, described delivery of trafficked women to IPTF monitors in Sarajevo. He told Human Rights Watch:

      There were allegations from victims that they were taken to an apartment where the Pakistani [IPTF monitors] lived and had to give sexual services to them [in January 2001]. One time a Pakistani monitor drove [two] trafficked women in a U.N. car to a hotel in Sarajevo and provided them to the "chief" of the Pakistani contingent. The women called him the chief.... There were two girls but they could not give any names. At the time of the allegations, the senior Pakistani officer was in Sarajevo and served as the chief of the internal investigations unit. The [U.N.] transferred him out of internal investigations unit. One of the Pakistani [monitors] in Bijeljina who drove the women was sent home. [The investigator] found evidence through the car records.10

An internal UNMIBH e-mail memorandum written by Lamb, then regional chief of human rights in Tuzla, and dated March 2, 2001, identified the Pakistani monitor who drove the trafficked women as "police monitor Noor, assigned to Bijeljina IPTF." Human Rights Watch corroborated this case with the official internal "Summary Investigation Report: Bijeljina 2," that included testimony from two trafficking victims interviewed by UNMIBH investigators by telephone. The women confirmed that they had both provided sexual services for Noor.11 The March 2 e-mail memorandum listed names and descriptions of nine IPTF officers identified by women trafficked into Bijeljina.12

During the course of the investigation in Bijeljina, allegations emerged that Romanian IPTF monitors intimidated Romanian trafficking victims because they provided evidence to internal affairs investigators. IPTF investigator Ioanna, who authored the internal report, wrote:

      As I opened the door to the office, [police monitor] Dumitrescu Constantin yelled something in Romanian to the girls.... When the door was left temporarily ajar he managed to speak to [name withheld], 21 years old. The [language assistant] noticed this interruption from his part and escorted the girl back into the office.... Inside the office the girl broke down in tears. We could not get her to tell us what was said. But from that moment on she believed that my intention was to send her to Sarajevo to go to jail.13

The Romanian monitor also attempted to take the four women to Sarajevo in his car without clearance from the human rights office at the UNMIBH headquarters in Sarajevo. Calling this behavior "extremely unprofessional and strange" in his report, the internal affairs investigator intervened and prevented this unauthorized transportation of the women to Sarajevo.14

In Doboj, IPTF monitors reported to Joint Task Force:

      We had raids in December [2000] against those [brothels], and afterwards several girls came to Doboj IPTF Station and reported to Human Rights Watch that they had been held as sex slaves. Among others, they named several IPTF personnel and language assistants who have visited or frequently visited those places. The reports and girls were taken to Sarajevo for further investigation, but we never heard anything back.15

In 2000, some monitors in the Doboj IPTF station passed a hat to pay for "surprise entertainment" at a birthday party. One IPTF officer familiar with the case told Human Rights Watch, "At the birthday party in the region the guys gave a present to the birthday boy. They went to a nightclub and got a stripper. She was not a local woman. The past regional commander did not leave, but some others did. If the bosses send messages that this is okay, then others will do it."16

Purchases of Women from Brothels
Human Rights Watch found evidence that a small number of IPTF monitors purchased women outright from "owners."

It is impossible to determine how widespread the purchase of women and girls is among IPTF monitors. One high-level UNMIBH source told Human Rights Watch, "One IPTF monitor bought a couple of women and bought them tickets to go home. This IPTF officer uses the prostitutes and then buys them from the owners to send them home. He confided this to me."17 The monitor did not face any disciplinary action.18 Mike Stiers, former deputy commissioner of IPTF, told Human Rights Watch, "We did have allegations of purchasing ladies out of café-bars to buy their freedom. One allegation [in 2000] was that one IPTF officer purchased a woman as a sex slave. He claimed that he had paid to have her released from her debt, but I doubted that explanation."19 In yet another case, an Argentine monitor purchased a woman from a brothel in 2001.20

A November 2000 internal memorandum to all U.S. IPTF officers from Pascal Budge, the site manager for DynCorp, the corporation contracted with the U.S. Department of State to provide all U.S. IPTF personnel, reported a rise in disciplinary repatriations within the U.S. contingent related to trafficking in persons and prostitution.21 Noting that the repatriations were "embarrassing" the memorandum enunciated a "zero tolerance policy," forbidding U.S. IPTF officers from visiting the nightclubs.22 The memorandum indicated that other IPTF officers had considered purchasing women in order to "rescue" them. According to the text, "One of our officers told me not long ago that he was interested in `assisting' a young victim of trafficking in his area. He explained that he was aware there was a specific price identified to release her from the establishment where she was allegedly held against her will. He informed me that it was his intention to pay that `ransom' and then release her to return to her home."23 At a minimum, this indicated that the officer had visited the nightclub and engaged in negotiations with the owner, already a violation of the much-vaunted "zero tolerance policy."

In one case confirmed by Dennis Laducer, then deputy commissioner of IPTF, UNMIBH admitted that a U.S. IPTF officer had purchased a woman from one of Sarajevo's brothels. Kathryn Bolkovac, an IPTF human rights officer, to whom the American confessed, told Human Rights Watch:

      One [U.S.] monitor bought a woman in Illidja. He was repatriated. He was duty officer with me and told me about a woman he bought....He admitted to me that he did this. He had her for a few months at least. He paid 6,000 Deutschmarks [€3,077/U.S.$2,777] or less and paid off her contract.... She was either Romanian or Moldovan, they met in a bar... He was an uneducated guy who thought he did her a favor and bought her.... He said that it was horrible how the owners treated her.... She ran away from him. [Name withheld] was the American who was repatriated. It was investigated and he [admitted] everything. Who knows what happened to the report. It was not published.... They talked him into repatriating and resigning. This would cause too much embarrassment for DynCorp.24

Because UNMIBH had failed to develop protocols in 1999 for the treatment and repatriation of trafficked women and girls, IPTF monitors dealt with trafficking cases in an ad hoc manner.25 IPTF monitors who met women in the nightclubs as clients sometimes attempted to "rescue" the women without purchasing them outright. These "rescues" apparently occurred after the IPTF monitor had purchased sexual services from their "owners" in the brothels and had grown attached to a particular woman in the establishment.26

Alleged Retaliation against Whistleblowers
Kathryn Bolkovac, a former IPTF human rights gender officer from the United States, brought a lawsuit in the United Kingdom in 2001 alleging that DynCorp fired her for blowing the whistle on trafficking of women and girls in Bosnia and Herzegovina.27 On October 9, 2000, Bolkovac, after reviewing transcripts of interviews with over thirty-five trafficked women, sent an e-mail to over fifty members of the U.N. mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, including Jacques Paul Klein, the special representative of the U.N. secretary-general (SRSG). The memo, entitled, "Do Not Read This if You Have a Weak Stomach or Guilty Conscience," included a detailed explanation of trafficking routes and logistics in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The memo went on to describe human rights abuses against the victims, including rapes, beatings, and forced labor. The memo also provided definitions of "prostitute," "pimp," "trafficker," "trafficking victim," and "clientele." The "clientele" definition alleged that IPTF, SFOR, local police, and international employees, as well as local citizens, made up some portion of the customer base for trafficked women.28

On October 31, 2000, then-deputy IPTF commissioner Mike Stiers called Bolkovac into his office to inform her that she would be redeployed-in Bolkovac's view effectively demoted-to the Sarajevo regional office as of November 6, 2000 and would be forbidden to work in a human rights capacity for at least three months.29 According to Bolkovac's account of the meeting, Stiers indicated that the redeployment was for "her own good" since the e-mail indicated she was "burned out."30 Stiers told Human Rights Watch, "When I saw the e-mail, I wasn't angry, I was concerned.... I had seen cases like this before in my department in Aurora [Colorado]... detectives and police officers whose work ate them up. I discussed the situation with several people, called [Bolkovac] into my office, and told her that in order to calm the situation down I wanted to move her out of her current situation for some period of time."31

On November 5, 2000, one day prior to moving out of her office at headquarters, Bolkovac wrote an "investigative report" outlining allegations of international, SFOR, IPTF, and local police involvement in trafficking. In the report, Bolkovac requested that the information be passed to the appropriate investigative body within UNMIBH. She wrote in the memorandum, "Numerous interviews of females who have been retrieved or escaped from establishments across the country of Bosnia have indicated in their interviews a fear of reporting and speaking to IPTF and local officials due to the presence of these officials in the places of business."32

In April 2001, DynCorp fired Bolkovac. The official reason for the firing was falsification of a timesheet.33 Bolkovac countered that she faced dismissal not for the alleged administrative infraction, but "for investigating, reporting, and requesting through internal affairs [that] investigations be done in regard to international involvement in trafficking, as it was reported by victims to us."34 Former IPTF deputy commissioner Stiers, who left the mission in November 2000, told Human Rights Watch, "The reason that she got fired had nothing to do with the [October 9] e-mail or the allegations that IPTF covered up."35 In December 2001, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to DynCorp requesting comment on the trafficking allegations.36 On August 1, 2002, Bolkovac won a unanimous decision from a British employment tribunal that DynCorp had unfairly dismissed her.37

Stiers insisted that the IPTF followed up on every allegation of wrongdoing by IPTF monitors, telling Human Rights Watch, "In every case we created an investigation and we did as good an investigation as possible with what we had to work with. I say this as a professional police officer. I found no cover-ups and no sweeping under the rug."38

But some of the investigators engaged in those inquiries reported interference with their ability to investigate cases thoroughly. In March and April 2001, Human Rights Watch found that some IPTF officers, both human rights officers and internal affairs investigators, faced retaliation when they looked into allegations of IPTF involvement in trafficking. An internal affairs investigator who had completed an investigation resulting in the repatriation of four IPTF officers for sexual misconduct involving trafficked women, told Human Rights Watch, "The number of people involved that they sent home-[were] only those without power, and now [UNMIBH] is investigating the team itself. Now we have to answer questions, and we're in the chair [hotseat].... Now those of us who know something are also getting investigated. Internal investigations now has launched an investigation against me."39

IPTF monitor David Lamb told Human Rights Watch:

      At some point things turned against the investigators. [The internal affairs investigator] was threatened with harm by one of the Romanians [who was under investigation for trafficking]. The Romanian had been transferred and worked in the Tuzla regional headquarters and sat down with [the investigator] in the cafeteria and threatened [him] that something would happen to them if they didn't stop the investigation... [The investigator] came to me immediately afterwards [and] wrote it down for me and arranged for other uninvolved IPTF officers to sit nearby, and he didn't tell them anything about the investigation. He just asked them to listen to the conversation. It was an American and a Portuguese who worked at Tuzla headquarters. He told the Romanian that he wanted to discuss what they had talked about before. He got the Romanian to repeat the demand to stop the investigation, and it was overheard by the other two at the next table. This was all on the record.40

Lack of Transparency in U.N. Internal Investigations
The UNMIBH Discipline and Internal Investigation Section undertakes investigations of allegations of general misconduct by U.N. personnel. Individual investigators submit their reports to the chief of staff in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who determines what disciplinary action, if any, will occur. In July 2001, an UNMIBH spokesman told the Associated Press that twenty-four officers, including eight Americans, had been fired for offenses ranging from bribery to sexual impropriety.41 According to a report submitted to the U.S. Congress by the United Nations in April 2002, eighteen IPTF personnel were implicated in "incidents of sexual misconduct" and repatriated.42

Despite numerous public statements by SRSG Jacques Paul Klein emphasizing his commitment to disciplining IPTF monitors for misconduct, internal affairs investigators described investigations that withered or disappeared as they moved up the chain of command. Former senior IPTF officer David Lamb told Human Rights Watch that officials in UNMIBH stalled and occasionally halted investigations. According to Lamb, internal affairs investigators were instructed to cease investigating allegations that Romanian IPTF officers were involved in trafficking-related activities in 2001. Lamb told Human Rights Watch, "At some point [the internal affairs investigator] was directed by headquarters not to investigate allegations about the Romanians and that the Romanian government-the Ministry of the Interior-would do the investigation themselves. [The investigator] and I both thought that was ridiculous. He had to follow orders and did not pursue the Romanians."43

Some inside the mission raised concerns about the lack of transparency. One high-level U.N. official told Human Rights Watch, "The attitude is that the dirty laundry should be washed inside the family, and I don't agree with that. The people [fighting trafficking] are very good, but they meet resistance inside the IPTF."44

In February 2002, the U.N. oversight office concluded a follow-up assessment into UNMIBH and found "no evidence of widespread or systematic involvement of U.N. police monitors in trafficking activities." A U.N. spokesman summarized the Office of Internal Oversight's conclusions, "...investigators of the Mission's International Police Task Force have improved their inquiries into allegations of improper behavior by police monitors, although the results of these investigations have not always been adequately communicated to the public."45

UNMIBH's Response in the Prijedor Case
The events in Prijedor in November 2000 provide one of the clearest examples of UNMIBH's failure to investigate allegations involving IPTF monitors in trafficking-related misconduct. As already described above, on November 13, 2000, IPTF monitors with SFOR backup raided three Prijedor nightclubs and freed thirty-four women and girls. A week later, Milorad Milakovic, husband of the owner of the nightclubs, a former police officer, and "president of the association of nightbar owners of Prijedor," called a press conference in Banja Luka to denounce the IPTF and lodge allegations that "David," an IPTF monitor, had demanded 20,000 Deutschmarks (€1,0256/U.S.$13,888) in protection money.46 Also present were fifty-six bar owners and their body guards, wearing jackets and tee-shirts emblazoned with "IPTF Go Home" and "SFOR Go Home."

The UNMIBH press offices first claimed that the local police, not IPTF alone, had found the women during the raid.47 UNMIBH's claim was contradicted less than a week later, when the minister of interior of Republika Srpska, Sredoje Novic, told a local newspaper, "We had condemned the action of the IPTF and SFOR and we believe that it was out of their mandate and authorizations. Local police was totally avoided and involved afterwards, when something needed to be documented."48

On November 30, the UNMIBH spokesman for Banja Luka and Bihac, Alun Roberts, reported that six members of the IPTF would be removed from the mission and repatriated for exceeding their authority under the UNMIBH mandate in connection with the November 13 raid.49 SRSG Jacques Paul Klein stated, "These were our best officers, but they did not follow the rules, and that cannot be tolerated," and claimed that he accepted the resignations "more out of sorrow... than anger."50 But it was unclear how the UNMIBH selected these six for repatriation.51 An IPTF monitor who faced repatriation for participation in the raid told Human Rights Watch that at least twenty-five IPTF monitors in the station participated in the unauthorized raid.52

Klein also denied Milakovic's allegations that IPTF officers engaged in racketeering but claimed that UNMIBH was investigating.53 Vincent Coeurderoy, commissioner of the IPTF, also confirmed that an internal investigation was underway.54 Human Rights Watch made inquiries about the status of the internal investigation in April 2001, five months after the Prijedor incident. According to Julian Harston, deputy special representative of the secretary-general, "I haven't seen the report, although I have asked.... It's still foggy. I don't think that there has been much digging."55

One high-level UNMIBH official in Banja Luka with intimate knowledge of the case similarly noted the lack of a report on the investigation. He told Human Rights Watch, "I am not sure that there ever was an investigation. There needed to be a complete record. A chronology. We asked Bihac [regional headquarters] to do the chronology of what happened. It did not seem to happen."56 Deputy IPTF Commissioner Dennis Laducer also stated that he never saw a final report on the case, although UNMIBH security officers did provide a briefing for him in April 2001.57 According to Alun Roberts, interviewed in December 2001, the case is now closed.58

While in Bosnia, Human Rights Watch investigators reviewed the complete internal affairs and Joint Task Force documents binders on the Prijedor investigation. The binders contained testimonies given by the women held in the three nightclubs raided by IPTF and SFOR (Crazy Horse I, Crazy Horse II, and Mascarada). The binder also contained lists of names and descriptions of IPTF monitors provided by the trafficked women. According to the report, internal affairs obtained detailed descriptions of eleven IPTF officers from Prijedor and Sanski Most, nine of whom the trafficked women alleged had procured sex with them in the nightclubs.59

Human Rights Watch could not find any statements given by the IPTF monitors repatriated by UNMIBH. We also could not find any evidence that the officers sent home had received any sort of due process protections to determine whether they were among the eleven "clients" or visitors to the nightclubs named by the trafficked women.60 Finally, although UNMIBH officials insisted that they hoped to see Milka Milakovic, the co-owner, convicted as a trafficker, Human Rights Watch could not find any evidence to indicate that the repatriated IPTF officers, who likely knew most about the case, had given any testimony to assist in convicting the traffickers and nightclub owners. The prosecutor on the Milakovic case confirmed that the IPTF monitors and the trafficked women returned to their home countries before providing testimony to an investigative judge.61 In the apparent rush to repatriate the IPTF monitors and silence the media uproar, UNMIBH indirectly scuttled the prosecution of the owners of the nightclub.62 As one IPTF monitor in Prijedor who participated in the raids told Human Rights Watch, "The monitors were not interrogated before they were sent home. That's a disaster. They could have told what was the procedure-how they paid for sex. They could have provided evidence."63

Equally disturbing, Human Rights Watch could not find any evidence to indicate that UNMIBH investigators had probed into the extortion allegations made by Milakovic against the American IPTF monitor. Human Rights Watch met with Milorad and Milka Milakovic, husband and wife, on two occasions to determine whether they had ever been questioned by UNMIBH investigators. Both denied that any investigators from the international community had ever approached them for an interview.64

An internal affairs officer assigned to the investigation explained the paucity of the record, saying that when he told his supervisor that he had a shovel and asked how deep he should dig, he said he was told: "only scratch the surface."65 Indeed, it appears that UNMIBH accepted the resignations of or repatriated only those IPTF monitors whose names appeared in the local newspapers. One of the monitors, who chose voluntary repatriation rather than dismissal in the wake of the Prijedor scandal, told Human Rights Watch, "It was a bit of a tidy-up job. It was a mess."66 In a telephone interview with Human Rights Watch, he stated, "We took the option to go home voluntarily. I would have gotten kicked out anyway." After the raid in November 2000, he interviewed ten of the women personally. He told Human Rights Watch, "The women gave a lot of names. They spoke to IPTF and gave names of [IPTF] people implicated. A couple of names came up, and they are still in the country. We [and the others who were sent home] were publicized-our names were in the papers. It was hard on the Americans, but other names came up and they remained there."67

Operation Makro
The obfuscation that characterized the Prijedor investigation also plagued the official reporting on joint raids conducted in both entities in March 2001. The Office of the High Representative media round-up, published on March 5, 2001, provided a glowing report of successful police raids in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The statement averred that 177 women "were freed" during the secret operation, which included raids on thirty-nine clubs across Bosnia and Herzegovina and the arrest of forty-eight alleged suspects.68 An official UNMIBH statement maintained that a total of 177 women, mostly from Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation, were "liberated" during the raids. UNMIBH, trumpeting the success of the operation, lauded the country's law enforcement officers for their cooperation during the action and indicated that the IPTF and IOM were assisting the women. SRSG Jacques Paul Klein said that the operation "clearly demonstrates to all of us that police training has paid off; professionalism has been enhanced; and the ability to work constructively together, regardless of entity or ethnic origin, is possible."69

But again, the reality differed substantially from this portrait. Of the 177 "rescued" women and girls, only thirteen made it to the IOM shelter in Sarajevo.70 The rest appeared to have vanished. An April 2001 internal report submitted to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva stated:

      This was a considerable operation which reportedly led to the rescue of some 177 women and the arrest of an undisclosed number of offenders.... All were stated to be victims of trafficking and were under the care of the U.N. and IOM. This would have been laudable but unfortunately does not seem to reflect the reality. To date IOM have thirteen women, a further twelve have since sought assistance, but whether this is as a result of the police action or otherwise has yet to be determined.71

Indeed, thirty-four of the "rescued" women faced arrest, charges, and fines.72 NGO representatives from Lara told Human Rights Watch that many of the women found themselves back at their nightclubs soon after the raids. Charges against Bosnian citizens for mediating in prostitution were dropped "due to a lack of evidence."73 No bar owners faced charges after the raids in Tuzla, even though one of the owners admitted that he engaged in trafficking.74 In addition, six women (three Romanian, two Moldovan, and one Ukrainian) in the same region received sentences of fifteen days of imprisonment for prostitution. In Zvornik seven (five Romanian and two Moldovan) of the 177 women "rescued" in the raids faced fines of 50 Deutschmarks (€26/U.S.$23) and ten days of detention.75

A Record of Impunity
When asked if any IPTF officers had faced prosecution in Bosnia and Herzegovina or their home countries for illegal activities, UNMIBH officials could not point to any cases where the U.N. secretary-general had waived immunity. They stated that repatriation served as the only punishment for involvement in trafficking-related misconduct, but they also could not point to any prosecutions in home countries. Julian Harston, deputy special representative of the secretary-general in Bosnia and Herzegovina, commented, "Waiving immunity is a very difficult thing to do. We are hard pressed to get police to serve here. The facility for it [waiving immunity] exists.... I don't know of any occasion where they were prosecuted at home. 76

Dennis Laducer, then deputy commissioner of IPTF, told Human Rights Watch that although UNMIBH had repatriated some eighteen international IPTF personnel for trafficking- and prostitution-related offenses, "I don't think that anyone has been prosecuted for this."77 Human Rights Watch found that UNMIBH failed to follow up once IPTF monitors accused of misconduct returned home. No institutional procedure guaranteed that reports of misconduct followed the officers home to their police stations or employers. At a July 26, 2001 press conference, UNMIBH spokesman told members of the press corps, "You have to understand that once the U.N. sends these files to the individuals' countries, it is up to their governments to take action, and the U.N. is no longer in the picture."78 In an April 4, 2002 letter to Human Rights Watch, the United Nations headquarters Bosnia and Herzegovina desk officer, Andrei Shkourko, noted that the "mechanisms for ensuring follow-up [on internal investigative reports] by the authorities of the contributing countries need to be strengthened."79 According to one U.S. government official, in some instances, the investigations into misconduct ceased after IPTF personnel returned home. According to Bob Gifford of the U.S. State Department, "There has been a practice at the U.N. where individuals who are being investigated have the opportunity to suddenly leave the country, and then the U.N. tends to drop its investigation."80

The problem of the jurisdictional gap under U.S. law has already been noted.81 According to Brooke Darby, an official in the U.S. Department of State's International Narcotics and Law Enforcement division, the Department of State did refer one case of a U.S. IPTF monitor who purchased a woman, but the Department of Justice did not prosecute. Darby told Human Rights Watch, "We would jump for joy if we could prosecute these cases. We're still working with the Department of Justice on this."82

The blanket immunity enjoyed by IPTF officers also troubled local officials. The state prosecutor for Republika Srpska told Human Rights Watch:

      The allegations are not in the competence of the national prosecutor's office-they have immunity. It cannot be a case in this office. But I would welcome it if some kind of procedure would be brought against those people in their home countries. For the sake of others who work in the international community there should at least be prosecutions. There is some kind of corruption among the men of the international community-we are all human. I don't know of a single case where someone was charged at home. I am not entitled to bring charges.83

251 "Thirty-four Prostitutes Revealed in Prijedor During the Raid," Nezavisne Novine, Banja Luka, November 16, 2000, p. 16. Human Rights Watch obtained the verbatim statements of twelve of these women and girls. Two of the victims were seventeen years old.

252 Human Rights Watch interview, Dennis Laducer, deputy commissioner, IPTF, Sarajevo, April 8, 2001.

253 Joint Task Force, a division within the IPTF, conducts special investigations, particularly those relating to organized crime.

254 Human Rights Watch interview, UNMIBH official [name withheld], Sarajevo, April 9, 2001.

255 Internal IPTF Report on Prijedor case, examined by Human Rights Watch investigators, Sarajevo, April 9, 2001.

0 Ibid.

1 Ibid.

2 Official IPTF interview transcript , Prijedor #7, November 23, 2000.

3 Human Rights Watch interview, high-level official in the UNMIBH human rights office [name withheld], Sarajevo, March 26, 2001.

4 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Dennis Laducer, deputy commissioner of IPTF, December 12, 2001.

5 Human Rights Watch interview, IPTF human rights officer [name withheld], Tuzla, March 24, 2001.

6 Human Rights Watch interview, Dennis Laducer, deputy commissioner of IPTF, Sarajevo, April 8, 2001.

7 According to the report, the two other monitors were identified through telephone interviews with trafficked women who had already returned to their countries of origin.

8 UNMIBH, "Summary Investigation Report: Bijeljina 2, Covering Period 2-19 March, 2001," authored by Rosario Ioanna, investigator, April 13, 2001.

9 E-mail communication with UNMIBH official [name withheld], Sarajevo, November 1, 2002, on file with Human Rights Watch.

10 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, David Lamb, former IPTF human rights officer, July 31, 2001.

11 UNMIBH, "Summary Investigation Report: Bijeljina 2, Covering Period 2-19 March, 2001."

12 UNMIBH e-mail correspondence, sent from Tuzla Regional Human Rights office, Ref: Tuz HR-00/BIJ/062, March 2, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch.

13 UNMIBH, "Summary Investigation Report: Bijeljina 2, Covering Period 2-19 March, 2001."

14 Human Rights Watch contacted the Romanian Embassy in Washington, D.C. about these allegations. According to a letter sent by Stelian Stoian, deputy chief of mission, "The U.N. investigation did not find any evidence that Romanian policemen in the IPTF have been involved in human trafficking.... So far, no Romanian police officer with the [IPTF] has been repatriated due to misconduct in performing his responsibilities." Letter from the Embassy of Romania, March 12, 2002, on file with Human Rights Watch.

15 U.N. Interoffice Memorandum to Vincent Coeurderoy, commissioner of IPTF, "Subject: Prostitution in Doboj - The Vila," March 20, 2001.

16 Human Rights Watch interview, IPTF human rights officer [name withheld], Doboj station, March 28, 2001. While stripping is not illegal in Bosnia and Herzegovina, many of the strip clubs offer illicit sexual services as well. The fact that this woman was foreign indicates that she might have been a victim of trafficking. In this case, IPTF monitors violated the internal instructions to avoid going to nightclubs and procuring women for any type of services. IPTF officers receive these internal instructions during their induction in the "standard operating procedures" (SOPs) manual. According to Kirsten Haupt, UNMIBH spokeswoman, "This has always been part of the SOPs, since the beginning of the mission." Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Kirsten Haupt, UNMIBH spokeswoman, Sarajevo, October 18, 2002.

17 Human Rights Watch interview, senior UNMIBH official [name withheld], Sarajevo, March 26, 2001.

18 Ibid.

19 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Mike Stiers, former deputy commissioner IPTF, Colorado, February 26, 2002. In that case, the IPTF "could not find the girl to verify the story. The IPTF monitor said that he had sent her home to her country."

20 The monitor faced repatriation after an investigation. According to Celhia de Lavarene, STOP director, he lost his job upon return to Argentina. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, March 14, 2002. Ambassador Nancy Ely-Raphel, senior advisor to the U.S. secretary of state, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, testified that the Argentine faced criminal charges upon his return to Argentina. U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, "The U.N. and the Sex Slave Trade in Bosnia: Isolated Case or Larger Problem in the U.N. System?" April 24, 2002, Serial No. 107-85.

21 DynCorp Aerospace Operations, Ltd, a U.S. contractor, provides technology and logistical services to the public and private sectors. DynCorp was founded in 1946, has annual revenues of approximately $1.8 billion, and employs 23,000 employees worldwide. (See, retrieved April 4, 2002). DynCorp currently holds the contract for supplying the U.S. civilian police contingent to IPTF in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a contract valued at approximately U.S.$15 million. DynCorp also provides U.S. policing personnel in Haiti, East Timor, and Kosovo. U.S. SFOR contractors are recruited and employed by DynCorp through a contract with the Department of Defense.

22 The Budge memorandum appears to have launched a "zero tolerance policy" among the U.S. contingent. The U.N. enunciated a "zero tolerance policy" in mid-1999.

23 Internal DynCorp memorandum, Pascal Budge, "Trafficking in Persons/Prostitution," November 29, 2000. The memorandum continued, "While his intentions may have been genuine and even noble, I hope you all see the danger in engaging in such activity.... It is sufficient for me to say that the particular case to which I refer is no longer an issue for us in this mission. However, let me reemphasize that ANY unauthorized, unapproved, unofficial involvement or contact with anyone associated with either of these illegal activities will be dealt with severely and swiftly. You will face Termination for Cause, immediate repatriation, loss of your completion bonus and future employment eligibility with DynCorp, and possibly prosecution."

24 Human Rights Watch interview, Kathryn Bolkovac, IPTF human rights officer, March 19, 2001. See Colum Lynch, "Misconduct, Corruption by U.S. Police Mar Bosnia Mission," Washington Post, May 29, 2001, p. A1.

25 Since then, UNMIBH has issued regulations #9 and #9A governing the treatment of trafficked persons. In addition, UNMIBH created the STOP units to handle trafficking cases. These included fifty IPTF officers and one hundred and forty members of the local police. As of March 2002, one STOP unit worked in each of the seven regions, and one team in each of the ten cantons in the Federation and in each of the nine public security centers in Republika Srpska. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Celhia de Lavarene, director of STOP, Sarajevo, March 14, 2002.

26 In 1999, a human rights officer in Brcko reported on just such a case: "We had a girl here who escaped from one of those places. One of our monitors went there and met her there. He encouraged her to leave and she lived with him for several months. [It was an] Argentine IPTF monitor who helped [the] woman escape. We kept it all very quiet. I was happy that he helped her, but this is not what we are supposed to do. He fell in love with the girl and wanted to help her. She was working in Brcko and went to Orasje because he lives and works there.... The local authorities never asked, and we never told. He is worried that if IPTF finds out they might repatriate him...." In the case described here, the Argentine monitor's fellow IPTF officers contributed money for tickets and documents for the trafficked woman to return to Ukraine. The woman, who had never received a salary for working in the brothel, left in February 1999. Human Rights Watch interview, Juhe Roine, IPTF HRO, Brcko, March 21, 1999.

27 Specifically, the lawsuit alleged unfair dismissal, breach of contract, and sex discrimination. E-mail communication from Karen Bailey, lawyer for Kathryn Bolkovac, September 9, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch. Bolkovac won her lawsuit on August 1, 2002. Bolkovac filed her case before an employment tribunal in the United Kingdom as required by her employment contract with DynCorp Aerospace Operations (UK) Limited.

28 Internal e-mail correspondence from Kathryn Bolkovac to U.N. mission personnel, "Subject: Do Not Read This if You Have a Weak Stomach or Guilty Conscience," October 9, 2000, on file with Human Rights Watch.

29 Human Rights Watch interview, Kathryn Bolkovac, IPTF officer, March 19, 2001. Internal memorandum summarizing the meeting with deputy commissioner Mike Stiers, dated October 31, 2000, on file with Human Rights Watch.

30 Internal memorandum summarizing the meeting with deputy commissioner Mike Stiers, dated October 31, 2000.

31 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Mike Stiers, former deputy commissioner of IPTF, February 26, 2002.

32 UNMIBH IPTF "Investigative Report," "Follow-up Requested: International-SFOR-IPTF-Local Police Allegations of Involvement," November 5, 2000.

33 The official termination notice provided to Bolkovac by DynCorp stated, "DynCorp has learned that you have falsified your time sheets. As a result, you are hereby officially terminated, as of today, for cause under Section 17.A.iv Termination for Cause." E-mail correspondence with Kathryn Bolkovac, December 16, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch.

34 E-mail correspondence with Kathryn Bolkovac, December 17, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch.

35 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Mike Stiers, former deputy commander, IPTF, February 26, 2002.

36 DynCorp responded March 5, 2002 and refused to comment on the case, then in litigation. Letter from Charlene Wheeless, vice president, DynCorp, March 5, 2002, on file with Human Rights Watch.

37 Employment Tribunals, Bolkovac v. DynCorp Aerospace Operations (UK) Ltd, "Unanimous Decision," Case no. 3102729/01, on file with Human Rights Watch. DynCorp has appealed the decision.

38 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Mike Stiers, former deputy commissioner IPTF, Colorado, February 26, 2002.

39 Human Rights Watch interview, IPTF internal affairs investigator [name withheld], Tuzla, April 2, 2001. In that case, the IPTF monitor's direct supervisor reviewed the allegations made against the investigator, allegations brought by the individuals under investigation. In a detailed three-page memorandum to UNMIBH headquarters, obtained by Human Rights Watch, the supervisor concluded, "The unfortunate truth is that [the investigator] is now subjected to these complaints because he did his job with dedication and distinction, and he uncovered much information that otherwise would have remained hidden... he did the right thing instead of covering up internal corruption as seems the rule in the IPTF." E-mail correspondence, "Complaints against [name withheld]," March 28, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch. Another internal affairs investigator similarly described feeling that he faced retaliation and scrutiny due to his involvement in trafficking investigations. Human Rights Watch interview, IPTF internal affairs investigator #2 [name withheld], Sarajevo, March 24, 2001.

40 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, David Lamb, former IPTF human rights officer, July 31, 2001. Human Rights Watch also obtained and reviewed the transcripts to which Lamb alluded. Those transcripts confirm Lamb's account of the events. The two internal memos, dated March 18, 2001 and March 19, 2001, are on file with Human Rights Watch.

41 William Kole and Aida Cerkez-Robinson, "U.N. Police Accused of Involvement in Prostitution in Bosnia," July 26, 2001.

42 United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, "The IPTF and UNMIBH Policy on Trafficking," submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee, April 23, 2002. Of these, six were U.S. citizens, two of whom had purchased women and their contracts. Testimony of Bob Gifford, civil police unit, Department of State, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights Hearing, "The U.N. and the Sex Slave Trade in Bosnia," April 24, 2002, Serial No. 107-85.

43 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, David Lamb, former IPTF human rights officer, July 31, 2001. Lamb supervised the internal affairs investigators in question and therefore knew of instructions given to the officers. The allegations included specific charges that a Romanian monitor and his wife engaged in trafficking women into Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to the deputy chief of mission at the Romanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., these allegations proved false. Letter from Stelian Stoian, deputy chief of mission, Embassy of Romania, to Human Rights Watch, March 12, 2002.

44 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, high-level U.N. official [name withheld], March 14, 2002.

45 U.N. News service, "U.N. OIOS Found No Evidence of IPTF Involvement in Trafficking," February 4, 2002. It is important to note that Human Rights Watch and other organizations pointed to individual involvement in trafficking-related activities, never alleging widespread and systematic trafficking by IPTF monitors.

46 UN Press and Information Office, "Summary of Today's Press Conference in Banja Luka By Milorad Milakovic, President of the Association of Night Bar Owners of Prijedor and Owner of One of the Coffee Bars," November 20, 2000.

47 Nezavisne Novine, Banja Luka, November 16, 2000, p. 16, translation by Department of U.N. Public Affairs, UNMIBH. See also Glas Srpski, Banja Luka, p. 4, November 23, 2000. The presence of local police remained a controversial question: Milka Milakovic, owner of the nightclub "Maskarada," initially stated that Serbian police officers were present at the raid. One IPTF officer involved in the raid told Human Rights Watch: "IPTF and SFOR and everyone from the station was there. There were twenty-five guys and two Czech SFOR detachments. Also there were three to four local police. And unfortunately, the local police did not get so involved and the local police did not do a lot. We shot ourselves in the foot." Human Rights Watch telephone interview, IPTF monitor repatriated for taking part in the raid [name withheld], April 24, 2001. See also Goran Djogic, "Erasing Unsuitable Officers," Reporter, Banja Luka, November 29, 2000, pp. 10-12.

48 Glas Srpski, Banja Luka, "Statement of Sredoje Novic," Minister of the Interior of Republika Srpska, Banja Luka, November 22, 2000, p. 3, translation by Department of U.N. Public Affairs, UNMIBH.

49 Glas Srpski, "Exceeded their mandates over nightbar raids," Banja Luka, November 30, 2001, p. 5.

50 Colum Lynch, "Six U.N. Officers in Bosnia Resign After Unauthorized Raid," Washington Post, November 30, 2000, p. A20.

51 According to Dennis Laducer, then deputy commissioner of the IPTF, the six had all visited the clubs either to drink or as clients of sexual services. But the women interviewed after the case broke indicated that eleven, not six men, had visited the establishments. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Dennis Laducer, December 12, 2001.

52 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, IPTF monitor repatriated after Prijedor case, April 24, 2001.

53 Colum Lynch, "Six U.N. Officers in Bosnia Resign After Unauthorized Raid," Washington Post, November 30, 2000, p. A20.

54 Alexandra Kroeger, "U.N. Policemen Disgraced in Bosnia," BBC News, November 30, 2000.

55 Human Rights Watch interview, Julian Harston, deputy SRSG, Sarajevo, April 9, 2001.

56 Human Rights Watch interview, UNMIBH official [name withheld], Banja Luka, March 29, 2001.

57 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Dennis Laducer, deputy commissioner, IPTF, December 12, 2001.

58 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Alun Roberts, UNMIBH spokesman, Banja Luka, December 12, 2001.

59 Internal Affairs internal report, Prijedor case, reviewed by Human Rights Watch, April 10, 2001. It is unknown whether these eleven participated in the raid. It is clear that several of the nine accused of having sexual relations with the women did provide transportation to Sarajevo from Prijedor after the raid.

60 Although the ostensible reason for the repatriation of the six monitors was "exceeding their authority," other monitors who also participated in the raids did not face repatriation.

61 Human Rights Watch interview, prosecutor in Milakovic case, Prijedor, April 6, 2001.

62 As of October 2002, the Milakovic case remained on hold, with little progress since April 2001. Because the victims did not provide testimony to an investigative judge, the court refused to admit their statements into evidence, effectively scuttling the case. The removal of the chief prosecutor by the Office of the High Representative after an investigation of his professional ethics also held up prosecution of the case, although the case remained open. The binders on the Prijedor case included memoranda noting that UNMIBH attempted on multiple occasions to have an investigative judge from Prijedor travel to Sarajevo to take testimony from the women, but the authorities in Prijedor refused to cooperate. The Milakovic family has since opened a new establishment, the Sherwood Forest Hotel, in Prijedor. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Alun Roberts, UNMIBH spokesman, Banja Luka, October 29, 2002.

63 Human Rights Watch interview, IPTF monitor [name withheld], Prijedor, March 28, 2001.

64 Human Rights Watch interview, Milorad and Milka Milakovic, Prijedor, March 28, 2001. It does not appear that the two were interviewed before the case was closed.

65 Human Rights Watch interview, IPTF internal affairs investigator [name withheld], Sarajevo, March 24, 2001.

66 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, IPTF monitor repatriated after Prijedor case, April 24, 2001.

67 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, IPTF monitor repatriated after Prijedor case, April 24, 2001. Although this monitor attested that he had not engaged in any wrongdoing, Dennis Laducer, then deputy commissioner of the IPTF, told Human Rights Watch that all of those sent home had visited the clubs either as clients for sexual services or to drink. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Dennis Laducer, IPTF deputy commissioner, December 12, 2001.

68 OHR Media Round-up, March 5, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch.

69 UNMIBH press release, "Successful Joint Entity Police Operation Rescues 177 Victims of Trafficking," March 3, 2001.

70 Human Rights Watch interview, Madeleine Rees, head of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sarajevo, March 19, 2001. Two of the thirteen were girls under the age of eighteen.

71 Interim Report to OHCHR Geneva on Police Action to Rescue Women and Child Victims of Trafficking March 2, 2001, on file with Human Rights Watch.

72 Fourteen women were sentenced to fifteen days of imprisonment and deportation from the canton. Nineteen women were fined 400 KM and sentenced to deportation. UNICEF, UNHCHR, OSCE/ODIHR, "Trafficking in Human Beings in Southeastern Europe," June 2002, p. 66.

73 Ibid.

74 Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "Additional Information on Operation Makro: April 4, [2001]," memorandum on file with Human Rights Watch.

75 Ibid.

76 Human Rights Watch interview, Julian Harston, deputy SRSG, Sarajevo, April 9, 2001. Under sections 20 and 23 respectively of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the U.N., the U.N. secretary-general shall have the right and the duty to waive the immunity of any official or expert on mission "in any case where, in his opinion, the immunity would impede the course of justice and can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the U.N."

77 According to information provided by Laducer, thirteen of the monitors repatriated for misconduct as of April 2001 were repatriated on the basis of charges related to prostitution and/or trafficking. Human Rights Watch interview, Dennis Laducer, deputy commissioner of IPTF, Sarajevo, April 8, 2001. An additional five faced repatriation for charges relating to trafficking and participation in prostitution. Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Dennis Laducer, December 12, 2001. According to a letter to the editor from Jacques Paul Klein, special representative of the secretary-general in Bosnia and Herzegovina, UNMIBH repatriated twenty-four monitors, including eight Americans, for misconduct. Jacques Paul Klein, "Letter Regarding the Report `U.N. Police in Bosnia: Who's Watching?'" International Herald Tribune, June 8, 2001.

78 U.N. joint press conference, July 26, 2001, Sarajevo.

79 Letter to Human Rights Watch from Andrei Shkourko, senior political affairs officer, U.N. headquarters, April 4, 2002, on file with Human Rights Watch.

80 Testimony of Bob Gifford, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, "The U.N. and the Sex Slave Trade in Bosnia: Isolated Case or Larger Problem in the U.N. System?" April 24, 2002, Serial No. 107-85.

81 U.S. police officers hailed from numerous local police stations in the U.S.; other officers had already retired. These two factors rendered discipline by a home police employer difficult, if not impossible.

82 Human Rights Watch telephone interview, Brooke Darby, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C., February 25, 2002.

83 Human Rights Watch interview, Borislav Dimitrievic, Republika Srpska chief prosecutor, Banja Luka, March 29, 2001.

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