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Yugoslavia: Update to YUG33809.E of 22 March 2000 on domestic violence and spousal abuse

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 17 December 2002
Citation / Document Symbol YUG40377.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Yugoslavia: Update to YUG33809.E of 22 March 2000 on domestic violence and spousal abuse, 17 December 2002, YUG40377.E, available at: [accessed 27 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Research Directorate found few reports updating the information already provided in YUG33809.E of 22 March 2000. The section of Country Reports 1999 concerning domestic and spousal violence, quoted in its entirety in that Response, remained unchanged in Country Reports 2001 (4 Mar. 2002).

Two reports published by the Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children in 2001 and 2002 provided some information on the availability of state services in Yugoslavia. In 2001 the government was considered unable to care for refugees and internally displaced persons in Serbia and Montenegro and it could not respond in most cases of domestic violence (Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children Sept. 2001, 24). The second report focusing on Kosovo noted that "[l]ocal and international initiatives to address domestic violence have proliferated in the last two years (ibid. Apr. 2002, 94). However, none of these were directed toward the minority Serb or Roma populations (ibid.). The report also noted that a recent increase in the reporting of domestic violence may be explained either by an increased incidence of assault or by an increase in the number of women coming forward due to education campaigns (ibid.).

The same 2002 report on the situation of women in Kosovo indicated that marital rape is specifically excluded from Kosovo's legal code and that the traditional view of blaming the victim remains prevalent in trials (ibid., 93). In addition, "there are few organizations in Kosovo providing counseling or health services to Albanian sexual assault survivors. Of those, none has had extensive training in responding to sexual assault, and only one has provided service to non-Albanian women" (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. 4 March 2002. United States Department of State. Washington, DC. [Accessed 17 Dec. 2002]

Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children. April 2002. Jeanne Ward. "Post-Conflict Situation in Kosovo." In If Not Now, When? Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Refugee, Internally Displaced and Post-Conflict Settings - A Global Overview. [Accessed 17 Dec. 2002]

_____. September 2001. Refugee and Internally Displaced Women and Children in Serbia and Montenegro. [Accessed 17 Dec. 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

Internet sites including:

Autonomous Women's Center

Balkans Net

Belgrade Women's Studies Center

CAFOD Serbia

European Country of Origin Information Network

Free Serbia

Human Rights Watch

International Aid Network



Subregional Women's Center

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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