JUSTICE IN PROGRESS

The Bosnian War gained international attention and with it many international interventions. One such intervention was the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia (ICTY). Since 1991, the ICTY has charged over 160 people responsible for crimes such as murder, torture, rape, enslavement, and the destruction of property in the former Yugoslavia. The ICTY also took a monumental step forward in defining international humanitarian law for the first time in human history to include rape as a tool of war, used to intimidate, persecute, and terrorize the enemy. In addition, the Bosnian Prosecutor’s Office and the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, imposed by the High Representative and established in 2002, have tried over 600 people and doled out combined sentences totaling more than 2,087 years in prison.In 1996, at the initiative of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) was established in Sarajevo with a mandate to help account for the approximately 40,000 persons reported missing as a result of the fighting from 1991
to 1995.Despite such progress, there still exist several major obstacles to the effective prosecution of cases at the state and entity levels, including inadequate legal frameworks and a failure on behalf of BiH authorities to provide survivors and witnesses with meaningful measures of support and protection. A large number of those responsible for their suffering—members of military forces, the police, paramilitary groups—walk free. Some even remain in positions of power or live in the same communities as their victims.