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Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ukraine: Lessons Learned from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Policy Options for Ukraine, the United States and the International Community
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Please join the Harriman Institute for a panel discussion with Tanya Domi, Emily Prey, Vasfije Krasniqi Goodman, and Vera Mjeku. This discussion Includes a special report on CRSV in Kosovo 1998-1999.

Since the start of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine in 2014, there have been countless reports of conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) committed by Russian forces against Ukrainian civilians of all ages and genders. Women have faced extensive sexual violence during this conflict. Similar to Ukraine, in Bosnia and Herzegovina people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations were subjected to extensive CRSV, and many of the survivors still have not received justice. The international community must learn from Bosnia to better prepare for its response to Ukraine and to aid trauma-informed social reconstruction postwar so that it does not take 30 plus years for survivors to come forward and for communities to heal. This report provides a roadmap for the international community.

Tanya Domi is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and is an affiliate faculty member of the Harriman Institute where she has taught in the Balkan Studies program since 2008. Prior to her faculty appointment at Columbia, Domi served in the United States Army for 15 years and later worked as a Congressional aide and military policy advisor to the late Congressman Frank McCloskey, a leading champion for U.S. intervention in the Bosnian war. She also worked internationally for more than a decade on issues related to democratic transitional development, including media development, human rights, and human trafficking. She has expanded her research to include genocide, conflict related sexual violence and prevention of atrocity crimes. Domi was seconded by the U.S. State Department to the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996 where she served in various roles, including as Spokesperson and counsel to former Ambassadors Robert Frowick and Robert Barry. Professor Domi is a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the New Lines institute for Strategy and Policy, Washington, D.C; Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Alliance for Peacebuilding Washington; President of the Advisory Board of the Post Conflict Research Center, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Senior Advisor for International Relations at the Institute for Strategic Analysis, University of Sarajevo. She is also a member of the Columbia University Global City Diplomacy Lab Scientific Committee, focusing on Balkan cities.


Emily Prey is a Director at The New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy in DC. She served as an advisor and contributed to New Lines’ groundbreaking independent expert reports: The Uyghur Genocide: An Examination of China’s Breaches of the Genocide Convention and An Independent Legal Analysis of the Russian Federation’s Breaches of the Genocide Convention in Ukraine and the Duty to Prevent. Her work has been published in several international publications including Foreign Policy, The Dhaka Tribune, and Praxis Journal of Human Security. She has been interviewed by international media including CNN, Radio France International, ilGiornale, and Radio Free Asia for her expertise on gender, conflict-related sexual violence, and genocide. Emily has briefed Members of Congress and their staff, U.S. government agencies, and Members of Parliaments around the world on genocide, conflict-related sexual violence, and Women, Peace and Security. She is the founder of ‘Gendering Geopolitics’, a popular Twitter Live series where she uses a gendered lens to interview prominent female diplomats, journalist, activists and more around the world for just ten minutes on a particular issue. Prior to joining New Lines, she served as Project Manager of the Financial Integration in Displacement Initiative of the International Rescue Committee at Tufts University. She has also worked with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and multiple global NGOs.


Vasfije Krasniqi Goodman was born on july 13th 1982. When she was 16 she was abdicated by Serbian police officers. She found for justice since 1999 but justice was denied to her in 2018 She publicly shared her ordeal in Kosovo and become the first woman to do so. Since then she is a huge activist on women’s issues after conflict. She is the founder of Vasfije’s Initiative, a non-profit organization to help support survivors financially. Since April 2018 she is a member os SEMA global network for survivors.




Vera Mjeku is an experienced professional with more than 25 years in government, communications, community relations, human rights and women issues. A graduate of New York University, she is currently a Program Manager for the Legislative Department of the New York City Council and previously a Legislative Policy Analyst and Chief of Staff for New York City Council, District 13.  Vera is the co-creator and leader of “Rally For Her Justice”, a movement to raise awareness and fight against the unpunished war crimes and crimes of sexual violence during the war in Kosovo in 1999. She has been instrumental in organizing rallies in NYC and Washington DC, co-hosted events with prestigious organizations such as Simon Wiesenthal Center, organized round tables advocating on behalf of survivors of sexual war crimes in US Congress and Senate. She has helped draft H. Con. Res 94-2022 and H. Con. Res 36-2023 on behalf of Vasfije Krasniqi Goodman a human rights activist and the only outspoken sexual war crimes survivor in Kosovo, expressing the sense Congress regarding the end of impunity of the unpunished Serbian sexual war crimes and gender based violence. Vera has traveled to the Balkans as part of Congressional delegations visiting survivor centers and pushing for country legislative changes and more advocacy. She has been a Speaker in different forums addressing awareness against unpunished war crimes, empowering survivors and addressing the impunity and justice for the survivors. Vera has been named one of the Top 25 Influential Women in 2018 by CNG Media, Bronx Power List in 2021 by Schneps Media. She was honored with a US Congress Special Recognition, New York City Council and New York State Assembly Citations of Merit. She was named Woman of the Year in 2015 by the AAWO and more.


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