This report has documented egregious human rights abuses committed against women and girls trapped in debt bondage in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Around the country women and girls face violence, sale as chattel, and forced labor, all in contravention of international law. Some of the local officials tasked with preventing and protecting women from these abuses have directly benefited from trafficking. By failing to prosecute traffickers and corrupt state officials, the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina has created an environment ripe for trafficking in persons.
For too long, the government has shunted responsibility for combating trafficking over to the international community, content to participate in meetings and to draft action plans but unwilling to live up to the commitments made under international law. The government of Bosnia must work to ensure protection for victims of trafficking and cease prosecution and punishment of those victims.
At present, UNMIBH and the International Organization for Migration, mostly out of necessity, have taken on responsibility for the protection of trafficked women and girls. But even those mechanisms in place fail to protect victims adequately. In using a definition of trafficking that abandoned many victims to prosecution under Bosnian law, UNMIBH until late 2001 embraced stereotypes and discrimination against women and girls in the sex industry. Human Rights Watch found some positive signs that this changed with the introduction of the STOP teams in 2001. Nevertheless, UNMIBH has failed to investigate fully and transparently the role of its own employees in facilitating and attracting this modern form of slavery to Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is critical that the U.N. and its member states ensure that effective mechanisms are in place for prosecuting crimes committed by individuals attached to post-conflict operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and around the world.
Without corrupt officials-both national and international-trafficking cannot flourish. Efforts made by UNMIBH in the previous two years to protect victims of trafficking, while commendable, have not given sufficient attention to the patronage of brothels and purchasing of women by U.N. IPTF monitors. The Bosnian government has taken no perceptible steps to begin prosecuting traffickers and cracking down on corrupt police and local officials complicit in trafficking. If the international community and the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina are to live up to their international legal commitments, this must change.
To the Bosnian Government
· Implement the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the U.N. Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (Trafficking Protocol).
· Ensure that any new federal or local legislation complies with the Trafficking Protocol. Among other things, new legislation should criminalize the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability, or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery or servitude.
· Provide information to each trafficking victim, in a language that she can understand, on victim protection services available in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
· Provide victims of trafficking with information about the disposition of cases pending against their traffickers.
· Implement the short-term residency permit scheme outlined in the Temporary Instruction on Treatment of Trafficking Victims to provide for a period for humanitarian relief and reflection to allow victims to decide if they wish to cooperate with authorities in criminal cases.
· Ensure that trafficking victims can exercise their right to apply for asylum.
· Create a mechanism to allow trafficked persons to sue for compensation and other civil remedies from traffickers. Enforce the judgments.
· Provide funding for trafficking victims to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina to testify against their traffickers in criminal proceedings. Provide witness protection to these victims before, during, and after trial.
· Provide legal services for victims of trafficking.
· Cooperate with local nongovernmental anti-trafficking organizations to identify and provide services and protection for trafficking victims.
· Provide funding to local NGOs conducting services for trafficking victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
· Ensure that IPTF monitors involved in trafficking or trafficking-related offenses have their employment terminated.
· When an IPTF monitor is repatriated for disciplinary reasons related to trafficking, it must be clearly stated in writing that the reasons for termination of their employment was engagement in forced prostitution/trafficking. Such individuals should be banned from serving in other U.N. missions.
· Request that the U.N. secretary-general waive immunity in appropriate cases and allow local prosecution of citizens engaged in trafficking or buying of women and girls and their passports.
To the IPTF and EUPM
· Monitor the issuance of visas by the foreigners' department.
· Develop information and intelligence-sharing mechanisms with countries of origin that do not compromise the safety or confidentiality of trafficking victims.
· Ensure that open files receive adequate follow-up once an IPTF or EUPM police monitor investigating a particular case leaves the mission.
· Ensure that employees comply with local Bosnian and federal U.S. law while working in Bosnia and Herzegovina. While DynCorp has made some efforts to improve its code of ethics, it should explicitly deal with the issue of trafficking of persons for forced prostitution and prescribe disciplinary measures to be taken in such cases.
· Ensure that employees face disciplinary action if they do participate in these and other illegal activities.
· Ensure full cooperation with investigations by authorities, including making company personnel available to investigators for questioning even by postponing their repatriation to the United States.
· Forward information about alleged wrongdoing by employees to the appropriate authorities in order to allow them to investigate whether criminal violations occurred in either Bosnia and Herzegovina or the United States.
· Communicate fully all policies relating to trafficking and criminal conduct to employees and the interested public.
· Publicly report on implementation and enforcement of such policies to the extent that they do not jeopardize the rights of employees or victims.
To the OSCE
· Provide additional funding to NGOs in Bosnia and Herzegovina engaged in anti-trafficking projects through the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) anti-trafficking fund.
· Enforce the code of conduct relating to trafficking and OSCE staff in field missions.
· Provide regular, periodic training on women's human rights and trafficking in persons for all OSCE staff.
· Make trafficking in persons an integral part of all human rights field reporting.
· Review implementation of the commitments made in Vienna, Moscow, and Istanbul with regard to trafficking and with a view to ensuring adequate follow-up.
· Press participating states to ratify and implement the Trafficking Protocol.
To the Stability Pact for the South Eastern Europe Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings
· Ensure that the monitoring of national plans of action includes a focus on corruption and state complicity in trafficking.
· Publish the conclusions of the monitoring report undertaken by the Stability Pact Task Force on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
· Integrate qualified NGO experts in the design and implementation of training programs on trafficking.
To the Council of Europe
· Provide technical assistance to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the area of legal reform to bring anti-trafficking laws into accord with the Trafficking Protocol and European standards.
· Design and facilitate effective training programs for police, prosecutors, and judges on trafficking in persons and women's human rights.
· Ensure that all "model anti-trafficking legislation" contains explicit provisions for the protection of victims, includes special services for child victims of trafficking, and covers trafficking into all forms of forced labor and servitude.