Annual report 2016

Full Narative Report 2020 can be downloaded HERE

Women, Peace and Security in Republic of Srpska

Supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Project Duration: 09/15/2015 to 09/15/2016

During the reporting period, our organization (which was re-registered in the Women’s Center Trebinje in July, 2016), in accordance with the planned activities, achieved goals and results in accordance with the project proposal.

At the beginning of the project, we conducted a survey on the number of girls registered  in security services at the level of the Republika Srpska Entity during the school year 2015 and 2016. The information received is:

Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republic of Srpska

Department for Information and Education in Banjaluka

During 2015, in the Basic Training Unit – Police Academy of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Srpska, a total of 44 girls applied, out of which 5 female cadets met the selection criteria.

In the High School of Internal Affairs, when receiving the first year of students in the school year 2015/2016, a total of 19 candidates applied, and seven candidates were enrolled for studies because they met the prescribed conditions for education at the College of Internal Affairs.

NUBL Faculty of Security and Protection, Banjaluka

In the academic year 2015/16, 97 students were enrolled in all academic programs (security, criminalistics, civil protection and private security) for enrollment to the Faculty of Security and Protection, of which 60 girls were registered, or 22.56%. Web address where data can be found is

Border Police of Bosnia and Herzegovina

During 2015, the Border Police of B&H received 17 females in the training of the VII class cadets for work in this service.

Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina

2542 men and 269 women applied to the advertisement;

121 men and 12 women (10%) were admitted.

For officers with faculty:

268 men and 75 women applied for the concourse;

13 men and 1 woman were admitted;

At the competition for the Academy: 4 women applied, 1 woman was admitted.

We also prepared promotional materials – 11343 promotional flyers and 500 posters in colors, that we distributed in 50 municipalities / cities. For the purpose of promotion of this project, we distributed to participants of roundtables – young girls from the final grades of secondary school, as well as to the introducers –  in total of 130 T-shirts with printed parole “Equality is my choice – is yours ?!”. In five cities, we organized roundtables where they shared their experiences in the work of security services (SBS, Police and Army) with two gestures in order to affirm these calls from a woman’s angle. For the implementation of these activities or the participation of introducers and their photographing in uniform, we received full support from the RS Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Security and Border Services of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The mentioned activities were carried out in this order:

The Period of Time




 13.02.16. The first roundtable was in Trebinje in the hotel “Platani”, which included a total of 21 girls; introductory writers: Dragica Ivanković and Mirjana Anđelić; the first street action.
 20.02.16. The second a round table was in Bijeljina and it was held in the restaurant “Despotović”, which was attended by a total of 21 girls; lead writers:  Jelica Kokotović and Svetlana Nikolić; the second street action.
 26.03.16. The third round table was  in East Sarajevo and it was held at the “Kula” boarding house, attended by a total of 20 girls; introductory speakers:  Slavica Radić and Jelena Antonić ; the third street action.
 16.04.16. The fourth  roundtable was in Doboj and it was held in the restaurant “Sumadija”, which was attended by a total of 23 girls; introductory writers: Nedeljka Dujaković and Jelena Josipović , the fourth street action
 18.05.16. The fifth roundtable was in Banja Luka and it was held in “Krčma near Alekse”, which was attended by a total of 21 girls, introductory writers: Željka Mileusnić, Sanja Sumonja and Stefani Knežević and V street action.


At the end of the project, after the above-mentioned workshops, we re-examined how many women were registered and employed in security services at the level of the Republika Srpska Entity during in the academic year 2016/2017. The information received is as follows:

Ministry of Defense of Bosnia and Herzegovina

In 2016/2017, 20 women were called to the military training for professional military service in the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. When it comes to Republic of Srpska, 20 women were called and, after successful completion of the training, they were admitted to the professional military service of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Border Police of Bosnia and Herzegovina

In 2016/2017, a total of 99 cadets were received, of which 14 were girls. With a high degree of qualification for the “Young Inspector” rank, 3 policewomen were received, and 11 policemen were received from the SSS for the “Police Officer” act.

From this it can be concluded that the planned result of the increase of 3% has been largely transferred and more than successfully implemented this project.



Supported by the OAK Foundation


The project goal is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of women in the Republic of Srpska, with an emphasis on the highly developed region – East Herzegovina, as well as building the capacities of the organization / foundation “Women’s Center” Trebinje.

In the reporting period from 01.03.16 until 31.12.16, we have achieved these achievements:

  • Along with direct animation of 107 girls through roundtables, as well as with distribution of 11343 color promotional flyers through street actions and 500 color posters we distributed in 50 municipalities / cities, we have managed to increase the number of girls’ applications to the police and military academy for more than 4%;


  • We have built a strong lobbyist network within government bodies that will make the maximum effort, according to their roles and capabilities, for the first time in the history of this entity and the whole country, to officially define women victims of domestic as a vulnerable category in the labor market, and to include the measures in the “RS Employment Action Plan for 2017” for their (self)employment in Republic of Srpska. We have produced two packages of economic measures, one with Prof. Zeljko Racic and others in cooperation with the Foundation “Lara” Bijeljina and “HaCL” Banjaluka, as well as concrete proposals to the Government of RS, which we symbolically presented at the conference in Banjaluka on the International Day Against Violence against Women. Approximately 60 participants took part at this conference, and they were mostly from relevant ministries and other government bodies such as: Ministry of Labor and Veterans’ and Disability Protection of Republic of Srpska; Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports of Republic of Srpska; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of Republic of Srpska; Ministry of Justice of Republic of Srpska, Ministry of Internal Affairs of Republic of Srpska, Employment Agency of Republic of Srpska; Chamber of Commerce of Republic of Srpska; National Assembly of Republic of Srpska; Public Relations and Media Office of the National Assembly of Republic of Srpska; Assets Management Agency; Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Srpska, Faculty of Economics in Banjaluka; schools “Banja Luka Colage” and MPs as well as ten representatives of women’s NGOs from Republic of Srpska;


  • As partners of the Foundation “Lara” in Bijeljina, we participated in the monitoring of the work of the CSB Trebinje, which helped us to see the shortcomings in the work of the police (specifically police officers on the ground), and we realized that it is necessary to conduct additional training of police officers who have already undergone various education on the subject of domestic violence in order to enable them to be coaches. In that case, they would conduct continuous training of all their superiors, as well as police officers on the ground, so that good practices in dealing with victims would not be lost by moving trained personnel to other positions or when new ones arrive.


  • Through the continuous meetings of the multidisciplinary team in each municipality, and through our advisory services (SOS, legal and psycho-social support), we provided support and assistance for 122 cases of domestic violence, not only in the area of Eastern Herzegovina, but from the whole area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as from the region (Serbia, Montenegro)


  • Training of 92 professionals from Eastern Herzegovina, as well as the signing “The Platform for the Joint Action of the Multidisciplinary Team on Combating Domestic Violence in Eastern Herzegovina”, has raised the support and the protection of women and children, who are the victims of domestic violence, to a level that can serve others as an example of good practice. This platform is actually an upgrade of the existing Cooperation Agreements and individual protocols because it has gone through a significant time interval and there have been legislative changes, as well as changes in employees with the signatories themselves. The participants were signatories to the previous Cooperation Agreement: from the police, the prosecution, the municipality, the centers for social work, health centers, the Red Cross, schools, kindergartens, the media and NGOs. They received new skills and knowledge (five-day education in Neum for four groups of 23 participants and two educators), but at the same time they provide us with suggestions on how to improve the work in the field of combating domestic violence and providing adequate support and protection of victims. Their suggestions served as a basis for the development of the document “The Platform for the Joint Action of the Multidisciplinary Team on Combating Domestic Violence in Eastern Herzegovina”;


  • We founded the first female agricultural cooperative “Smokvica” in Herzegovina and we raise the plantation of figs, which has created the preconditions for the continuous partial financing of the “Women’s Center”. As our law does not know social entrepreneurship, we decided that the form of association should be a cooperative, not a company, because in this way we can satisfy the parameters of social entrepreneurship – on the one hand, to empower a number of women victims of domestic violence as a vulnerable category and, on the other hand, the profit of the future business of the cooperative is directed exclusively to the costs of the activities of the “Women’s Center” Trebinje. This model, that is our business plan, was published in the collection of papers “Social Entrepreneurship – Theory and Practice”, published by the Association of Citizens “Svjetionik” Prijedor; Agency for Cooperation, Education and Development – ACED; GOPA mbH; The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Banja Luka College – BLC 2016.;


  • We have animated the local community through a campaign to build a safe house in Trebinje for the accommodation of women and children who are the victims of domestic violence. For this purpose, we have launched a new site – – which reflects the really immensely support of the public and the media we received in various ways – from free support to the event itself-donor’s dinner in Trebinje through cash contributions they paid (collected mostly from natural persons and a number of companies approximately 3,000 US $). Our next step in fundraising is international organizations / institutions and local authorities as well as the Government of Republic of Srpska.


  • In this project year, Trag Foundation enabled us to install the Pyramid software and its maintenance in two years, which will greatly facilitate bookkeeping management and enable better transparency of all costs. Also, a group of 9 members of the Women’s Center spent four days in Slovenia at the ranch “Kaja & Grom”, where they received new skills and knowledge from the Tellington TTouch method, which we now use on our own or between ourselves in order to relieve stress.

Project period: from 01.03.16 until 31.12.17




supported by the Swedish organization Kvinna till Kvinna



The project goal is: the improvement of institutional and coordinated community reactions to combat, and prevention of gender-based violence in Republika Srpska (at the entity and local level / level of Eastern Herzegovina).


Project period :  01.01.16. to 31.12.16.

  1. In accordance with the plan, in Trebinje was held one-day training 31.07.2015. for 63 representatives of institutions and non-governmental organizations from Eastern Herzegovina, the signatories of the Agreement on Cooperation with our organization in order to develop a multi-sectoral approach to combat domestic violence. Although it was the period of the holiday season, and some of the institutions were on collective vacation for example. schools, their directors still came to this training. In each of the 6 municipality / town in Eastern Herzegovina, was held 9 regular meetings of the multidisciplinary team, on the basis of bi-monthly meetings.We conducted monitoring of the institutions in a way in which with all the signatories we had first introductory meeting after which followed the interview particularly with the head of (Director, Chief, The President) institution / organization, but also with people who came to the meetings of the multidisciplinary team in the municipality / city. Thus, a total of 184 individual conversations / interviews was held which required that in each municipality we go more times. We processed the survey and the results achieved so far and gave suggestions for improvement of cooperation, which we publicized in a bilingual (Serbian / English) booklet in a total of 674 copies.These recommendations served us as a basis for the “Platform of joint action of the multidisciplinary team in the Eastern Herzegovina”. On the day 12.13.2016. in Trebinje we held a one-day conference at which with the presence of numerous media we presented “Platform of joint action of the multidisciplinary team in the Eastern Herzegovina” signed by 62 institutions / organizations from Eastern Herzegovina. Due to the closing of two organizations (in Berkovići) and one private kindergarten (in Trebinje) as well as the opening of the first kindergarten in Berkovići which we have included in our multidisciplinary team, there was a change in the total number of members of the multidisciplinary team that instead of the previous 63 institutions / organizations now gathers 62

Outputs 1 .: 62 institutions / organizations from Eastern Herzegovina that directly or indirectly work or deal with victims of domestic violence or with this issue have acquire new knowledge and skills in this area as well as improve their work and mutual cooperation in order to contribute to combating domestic violence and provide better support / care for women and children victims of domestic violence.


  1. The first meeting of the partner organization “Lara” Bijeljina and “HCL” Banja Luka was held in Trebinje 14/15. 8.2015 .. In this one-day meeting were agreed framework and distribution of responsibilities and activities for all partners as well as the course of action to prepare the package of economic measures aimed at the economic empowerment of women victims of domestic violence in the RS. At the next team meeting in Banja Luka on 24/09/2015. on which Prof. Žerljko Racic attended we have developed a framework for our Plan of economic measures. Prof. Racic based on the proposal in front of the delegated partner organizations ( “Ženski centar”, “Lara” and “HCL”), develop a plan of economic measures in accordance with the planned time frame-by the end of September 2015 .. Two and a half day advocacy workshop: Development of advocacy and construction capacity for advocacy skills, for all three partner organizations, we conducted on Jahorina from 19 to 22 November 2015 .. As educators we have hired Diana Sehic from “Prava za sve” which helped to develop a plan of advocacy based on the Package of economic measures .

Outputs 2 .: The representatives of three organizations / foundations have received new knowledge and skills in advocacy and develop advocacy plan for the adoption of a Package of economic measures for the empowerment of women victims of domestic violence in the RS. In addition, we have improved our mutual cooperation.


  1. At the implementation of an advocacy plan that should be implemented in 2016, there was an almost complete deviation from planned activities due to circumstances that just opened as an opportunity or emerged as a nuisance during this period. For these reasons, we retain the freedom to not stick strictly to planned time frame and planned activities but we reacted “ad hoc” at the time..Appreciating given moments, we decided to leave out the planned Advocacy plan because at the moment of its creation we could not know what options we could be opened during 2016. So we used the drafting of the document “Employment Strategy of the RS 2016th to 2020th”, local elections and the willingness of individuals within the various institutions of the RS (which we lobby for) to support the introduction of economic support measures for women victims of domestic violence, and that they are officially recognized for the first time as a vulnerable category in the labor market.We had a meeting with the partner organization “Lara” in March 03.03.2016. in Bijeljina and 18.05.2016. in Banja Luka with the partner organization “HCL”. The meeting was attended by all the partners in Banja Luka and Prof. Zeljko Racic. We also held a meeting with the Director of the Employment Agency of the RS 04.18.2016. in Pale and made the draft of the Memorandum of cooperation. A meeting was held with the consultant Prof. Zeljko Racic in Banja Luka, we participated in the public debate on the draft of the Employment Strategy of the RS 2016.-2020, on the 18th of June in Trebinje (all TV stations have interviewed Ljiljana Čiković this occasion) and June 21 in Bijeljina, after which we in front of the Women’s Center sent proposals to the Government and the Ministry of Labour of the RS. At the meeting which was organized by “Udružene žene” on Jahorina, June 16/17 representative of “Lara” presented our proposals, which have then been included in the platform of joint action of women’s organizations and parliamentarians of the RS. Our next meeting was held in Banja Luka, 11.10.2016.. I had a meetings, on several occasions, with the General Secretary of SNSD as the ruling party at the Entity level (newly elected Mayor of the City of Trebinje), deputies of various political options, which have firmly promised full support to this project and which they confirmed with their participation in the conference “Prevention and combating domestic violence through programs of economic empowerment of victims”, held in Banja Luka on the International day against violence against women.On several occasions I had meetings and conversations with the Assistant of Minister whose department is the Ministry of Labour of the RS, which on the conference 25.11.2016. in Banja Luka proved to be very useful because of its role in the further inclusion of our proposals in the “Action Plan for Employment of the RS for 2017..” At this conference we presented our common package of economic measures aimed at the economic empowerment of women victims of domestic violence in the presence of about 60 representatives of different bodies and institutions of the Government of of the RS as well as women’s NGOs from the RS.

Outputs 3 .: Created a strong network of lobbyists within government bodies to put forth their best effort, according to their roles and capabilities, that for the first time in the history of this entity and the entire country, women victims of domestic violence are officially defined as a vulnerable category in the labor market as well as to the “Action plan for employment of the RS for 2017” incorporate measures for their (self) employment in the Republic of Srpska.

Through this project, we have fully accomplish the first two results and for the third we have achieved the conditions for its implementation through the continuation of the project in 2017. Our first result: Strengthening cross-sectoral approach in providing adequate, sensitive and specialized protection of victims of domestic violence in Eastern Herzegovina confirms the signed document “Platform of joint action of the multidisciplinary team for combating domestic violence in Eastern Herzegovina”, brochure containing analysis and monitoring of results achieved so far , regular bi-monthly meetings of the multidisciplinary team, and their responsiveness to all of our training. The platform contains measures for each institution / organization which raised  the existing cooperation and assumed responsibilities to a much higher level in order to better protect victims.

As an example the District Prosecutor’s Office in Trebinje, which has fully accepted these obligations: 1. Detailed analysis of cases that were suspended – examine where they made errors on the field (in order not to repeat). In revising the previous cases could be found answers that would help the police, prosecution, judiciary, guardianship authority and all other services involved in the case, as well as on how to handle the complaints of domestic violence. This would avoid cases of non-prosecution of abusers. It is very important to immediately provide all the professional help and protection to the victim , not months later. For these reasons, we are in a situation that the victim change her statements in court, withdraw reports, complaints and the like.Here it is very important fast and effective treatment of all authorities involved in domestic violence cases. The victim usually report violence at the moment when she is afraid for her life or the lives of her children. Then the victim is not considering to change the statement, condemning of the family, environment and the like. As time goes on, under the influence of the environment, the family, and often children, victim ends up pulling the report and changing the testimony. Even in some cases, fear of the abuser force the victim to withdraw the report and give a different testimony of statements taken while accepting the report of violence;2. The issue of a search warrant of the house in all cases where it is suspected that in the house could be found legal or illegal weapons, or if victim says the attacker has a weapon which should be temporarily seize (preventively seize weapons that are legally owned); 3. Issue an order for detention of abuser so that victim can freely make a statement; 4.Include “Ženski centar” Trebinje for the purposes of proof in favor of the victim.

Our second result: Target women’s organizations have acquired skills in advocacy and develop a plan of representation related to ER 3 confirms our participation in education on Jahorina but also the document  Advocacy plan.

Our third result: developed sustainable policies of economic empowerment of women victims of gender-based violence at the entity level (Republic of Srpska) confirms the Package of economic measures but most importantly 60 participants at the conference who presented their views and pledged to contribute to its realization.

When seen all this, it is clear that institutional and co-ordinated response of community in the fight and prevention of gender-based violence in the RS is improved (at entity and local level / level of Eastern Herzegovina).

As a success story we would state a conference in Banja Luka. In fact, following a conference, we made a working meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Veterans Protection of RS; Ministry of Family, Youth and Sports of RS; Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management of RS; Ministry of Justice of RS ; Ministries of Internal Affairs of RS; Employment Agency of RS; Chamber of Commerce of RS; National Assembly of RS; Committee on Petitions, proposals and social control of the National Assembly of RS; Agency for confiscated property management; Cabinet of the President of NA of RS; Faculty of Economics Banja Luka; High school “Banjaluka Colage” and MPs. With them we continue working and we have defined specific proposals which we have delegated to the Government of RS to adopt into  ‘Action Plan for Employment of RS for 2017. ” and they read as follows:


  1. That “Project for Employment Support in economy of Republic of Srpska in 2017” contains an additional component:
  2. a) co-financing of employment of women victims of violence by employers
  3. b) co-financing of self-employment for women victims of gender-based violence


  1. Funding support for the economic empowerment of women victims of violence and other vulnerable categories of women which for a period of two years or permanently do not have the ability or competence to join the labor market but can by improving technology and other conditions of their work improve their economic situation or the situation of their family.


  1. Project for support of employment of women / people who are victims of domestic violence who would like an independent project be implemented by the Institute for Employment of the Republic of Srpska and had two components:
  2. a) subvention to employers for hiring victims of violence
  3. b) subvention for self-employment of victims of violence

Preposed mesures for credit and residential lines through the IRB RS for women victims of domestic violence.

They have all accepted our proposal to help us from their position that these measures be “squeezed” into the documents referred to!

We used a variety of options with the aim of visibility of the project and activities such as:

– Printing and distribution of bilingual (Serbian and English) brochures in color.  We originally planned 500 copies but we enlarge it for another 174 pieces because we have distributed 10 pieces of brochure to all the signatories on the basis of their request. The brochure will be posted on our web page

-all the media (TV, radio, print, electronic) so that, for example. conference in Trebinje was followed by these broadcasters: BN, RTRS, ELTA TV, HERZEG, ATV; print media: Avaz, Glas Trebinja, Glas Srpske, Nezavisne;  news agency SRNA; radio stations: Radio Trebinje, Radio Gacko, Radio Berkovići, Radio Bileća and Radio Nevesinje; portals:

While the conference in Banja Luka was escorted by RTRS, Nezavisne Novine and Radio RTRS made a series of three radio shows that completely transferred presentation of all the participants in it ( 9 of them). All these activities are visible on our Facebook page as well as on the web portal.


Monitoring of Police Officers and Workers in Case of Household Families

Supported by the Swedish organization Kvinna till Kvinna


Within the framework of the project implemented by the Foundation “Lara” in partnership with the Foundation “Women’s Center” Trebinje, a survey of police officers and workers was conducted in order to improve the legal protection and social support of women victims of domestic violence.

As part of the project on August 31/2016, education for monitors was carried out, which was attended by Branka Pejovic Petkovic and Vera Bulut, the members of the Foundation “Women’s Center” in Trebinje. During the one-day education conducted in Sarajevo, the guidelines and instructions for the application of the Monitoring Questionnaire were specified.  In the course of the education, some questions have been reformulated by monitors. In accordance with the adopted changes to the Questionnaire, the Foundation “Lara” processed and subsequently submitted it to the partner organizations.

Upon receipt of the Questionnaire, we organized the work in the following way:

  • We requested the approval of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Srpska for carrying out research at the police stations;
  • After obtaining the Approval, we contacted the officers in the police stations of the Public Security Center in Trebinje and arranged the terms for conducting the interview;
  • After the implementation of two questionnaires, in accordance with the undertaken obligations, we prepared the report and submitted it to the bearer of the project;
  • We forwarded all the materials and reports within the planned deadline.


We were obliged to conduct interviews with the Chief of the Trebinje CJB,  the Chief of Crime Service,  the commander of the police station and with 7 police officers who enter the field after reporting domestic violence. In addition to conducting the questionnaire, we had an obligation to request a report from the Ministry of Interior carried out by the protective measures for 2014, 2015, 2016, which we did, and received it, and delivered it to the project holder.

Since the Foundation “Women’s Center” has been cooperating successfully with CJB Trebinje for many years, we have been given guidelines from the leading people for the selection of police officers who are most concerned with this issue.

When planning to fill in the Questionnaire, we have taken care that there is representation from several municipalities in Eastern Herzegovina.

During the implementation of the Questionnaire we did not have any problems, the police officers expressed a good will for cooperation. We came across the impression that the problem of domestic violence is recognized as a problem of the society, but that the system for victim protection is still not sufficiently developed. During the interviews, we came to the conclusion that the attitude of officers towards the victim of those who passed education by NGOs is recognizable and that it is noticeable that they lack the police officers working in the field. In all the cells in which we worked the approach is the same. It is based exclusively on legal procedures and there are no internal procedures anywhere. Moreover, the reports of violence have not been specifically recorded; the police officer who receives the application does not possess sufficient knowledge or skills to warn the victim of retaining the image of the act of violence until the moment of the arrival of the police; they do not have special rooms in which interviews are conducted with the victims (women and children); the persons conducting the interviews are not sufficiently educated for this, although everyone has a strong will to help the victim.

What is important to note is that we did not encounter the depreciation or mockery of the victim, and as a problem in the work we highlighted the alterations of the victim’s allegations, and this is justified by her inadequate protection by the system. The problem arises when it comes to the accommodation of the victim (absence of a safe house in Eastern Herzegovina) and its material and economic dependence on the partner.