Invisible Children of Bosnia - : Latest Jobs In Pakistan 2022

Thursday 22 July 2021

Invisible Children of Bosnia

The war in Bosnia ended almost 24 years ago. But for some, this conflict continues as a bitter part of everyday life. We are not children of love, we are children of hatred. It took me a long time to accept that war was the only reason I was alive. Children born of rape in wartime. A taboo theme in Bosnia. These children are now adults and are fighting against discrimination. It is important to keep pressure on those in power, so that they end up changing the laws. A LIFE OF DIGNITY Ajna's Struggle for Bosnian "Shameful Children" I was 15 years old and in high school when I came across a box with notes from the psychologist and doctor my mother had met. They documented all the details of her rape, what happened, her injuries. I was alone at home and read everything. In a moment, I didn't know myself any longer. My life immediately fell apart. When we met Ajna Jusić, she was 25 years old and studying psychology in Sarajevo. Her mother never wanted her to know that she was conceived as a result of rape. From the moment she learned this, Ajna felt like a living legacy from the war. Between 1992 and 1995, Sarajevo was ravaged by ethnic conflicts between Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croats. This war was marked by ethnic cleansing, mass killings and systematic and militarized rapes. No one knows how many women were sexually abused. It is estimated that between 20,000 to 50,000 to 4,000 children are born as victims. In Bosnia, they are designated "offspring of the imperceptible". For many, this war is over. But not for Ajna. As a child who was raped, she experienced stigma and discrimination. Bosnian official documents require the father's name. In Ajna files, this field is empty. Even now, after more than 20 years, every time I go to the authorities, I still have to tell the person behind the counter that my mother was raped. I don't know who my real father is. Can I still apply for student loans? Ajna cooperates with other people in the same situation. Their "Forgotten Children of War" bond fights to end discrimination and for equal rights. They also want the government to recognize Bosnian "invisible children" as victims of the war, a status that would provide certain types of assistance. The lawsuit has prompted harsh comments on their Facebook page. One person wrote that our mother was a prostitute. It wasn't our fault, but they sold his body for some food. Comments like that take me by surprise. Really. Many "invisible kids" can't get over their shyness. A feeling that Ajna's mother knew well. He lives 200 km from Sarajevo. Anja went through a lot with me. We used to be alone. The toughest thing is when someone at work asks who is Ajna's father. We are like leaves in the wind, tossed here and there by the things happening around us. Until she was seven years old, Ajna lived with her mother Sabine in a safe house run by an aid organization. Sabine used to work as a waitress in a cafe. There she met her husband, Nusret. The mason took him and Ajna to live together and they moved to their native village. But after the war, hatred and distrust were felt very strongly by the people of Bosnia. Life in this village is really not easy. It is inconceivable, a bachelor would marry a woman who already has children. Everyone gossips: Why doesn't he just find another woman? Woman without children. No one but Nusret knows about your birth story. I was going to keep it a secret forever. When people find out that Sabine was raped by enemy soldiers and is pregnant with Ajna, the family is openly hostile. The hardest thing is explaining to you the meaning of all those harsh terms. You want to know the meaning of "illegitimate child" and all the other words that are thrown around. Ajna's stepfather fought as a soldier in wartime. He wants a happy family life. But Jusic's family was ostracized in the village and Ajna was repeatedly verbally abused. I got so many problems with the people here. They don't know what to do with our situation. It took a long time and there were many endless fights, until they finally accepted our family. With Ajna, I finally have someone I can take care of. It gives meaning to my life. I raised her, sent her to school... Ajna's mother has gone through a great ordeal. After being raped by a Croatian soldier, she denies everything. When she understood she was pregnant, it was past the point of no return for a fetus removal. I didn't want to babysit him, I didn't even bother see him as a human. I'm just waiting for this baby to be born, to finally get rid of this "thing" inside of me. After birth, I did not carry him for three months. Didn't change his diaper even once. Sometimes I still think, would it be better if I had given him up for adoption. Then he didn't have to dwell on all this now. Maybe now she would work somewhere as a hairdresser and her life would be simpler. That is not true. What's not right? In my opinion, life without Ajna would be meaningless. Nusret is the one who creates a happy home. For rape victims, living a normal family life can be challenging. The small town of Gorazde is 200 kilometers from the village of Nusret. It is home to hospital nurse Alen Muhić and his adoptive father Muharem. During the war, Alen's mother was raped by many Serb soldiers. When she came to this hospital to give birth, the building was under siege. Muharem at that time was the keeper of the building here. She stayed here one day and gave birth to her child. The next day he just disappeared. 

He left his son here. The hospital was full of war victims at the time and the situation was chaotic. There are hardly any ordinary patients. Muharem and the hospital staff took care of the baby. My life revolves around this building behind me. This is where I was born and left. I now work here, my wife also works here, my son was born here. My life is intertwined with this hospital. Alen took us to his apartment. But he didn't want us to see his wife and child. Is it my birthday? It's your birthday. My time is five years? No, four. Such a happy celebration was only possible because Muharem often took the orphaned Alen to his house. One day I came home and had to tell my family that we would soon have to part with Alen, because the hospital had given Alen up for adoption. Our family was in an uproar, the children started crying. That's how it happened. We can't be separated from him. So we adopted it ourselves. Alen's adoptive family raised him like their own son. But this did not protect her from being ostracized through verbal abuse. To many, he remains the son of the enemy. It's annoying to be called "Serbian bastard child", or to say that you were found in the trash. Being ostracized like that is really bad. People blame the victims, not the perpetrators, and they still do it today. Trauma. Exclusion. stigma. Discrimination. This is the war passed down to the "invisible children". Alen and Ajna met in 2017 through a study of postwar trauma. Together they founded the organization "Forgotten Children of War". They succeeded in starting an unprecedented debate in Bosnia about wartime rape. Our first major step is to seek an assessment of the legal situation. We have a lawyer. He is analyzing Bosnian law and international conventions. Convention on the Rights of the Child or Convention on Human Rights. The endless problem facing child victims of war is that we have lost a fundamental human right: the right to be respected in personal and family life. While pressing for legislative reform, they hope to raise awareness of the situation. Bringing up this theme and talking openly about it is very useful. After years of suffering and humiliation... But we know where we come from. In present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina, people like Alen and Ajna are not considered victims of war. Ajna is working to change that with the help of lawyer Vildana Džekman. This is a formality with a wide range of consequences. Children of veterans and people with disabilities due to war are entitled to housing allowances and educational scholarships. Rape children do not get such help. When children of rape victims buy or inherit a house, for example, they must pay the full tax rate. War victims, on the other hand, get a 50 percent tax cut. Vildana tries to explain whether the Bosnian law violates international law. He is optimistic and explains why. I have analyzed international law to see if Bosnian law violates it. And I read a section that states, that there is an ombudsman for cases like this. So I looked for it in the ministry, but apparently they don't have an ombudsman. They never formed this office. The UN can talk about this. Yes, this is a good thing, because of our legal assessment. Otherwise, they would not know this. International law has great influence in Bosnia, a country dependent on financial aid wishful thinking. Lawyers used this as a basis for demanding reforms. Our legal assessment is probably the first of its kind regarding wartime rape. No, this is definitely the first time. The law must be changed to reflect what happened and to comply with international law. Bosnian law is largely derived from the laws of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, of which Bosnia was a part. Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded in 1995 under the Daytona Negotiations, which ended the war and established a power-sharing government designed to represent the country's three main ethnic groups. This was considered a temporary solution but until now the presidency has been rotated between Serbs, Muslims and Croats. And this has frozen the existing ethnic divisions. Ajna wants to do her part to overcome this division. He enrolled in a youth academy funded by the German government. It is open to Bosnian, Serb and Croatian Muslim students. During the 12 month course, these young people learn about the political process, community engagement and human rights. They earn a diploma that entitles them to apply for jobs in government or human rights groups. At first Ajna did not share her personal story with her classmates. But then Amra Avdić read her story in a media report. Now he is also involved in the struggle of "forgotten children" for equality. Rape victims get little help. In the Croatian and Muslim regions of Bosnia, the amount is about 300 euros. But on the territory of Serbia, this is much less. This is ridiculous! The crime is the same, no matter where it happened. Indistinguishable between Banja Luka and Sarajevo! Ajna is very quiet. He would never open up and tell anything about himself. He is considered an indifferent person, even a little arrogant. But what impressed me, especially after I heard his personal story, was that he never discriminated against people. For him, all victims are equal. They are all equally traumatized. Government officials will ask questions and force you to tell the story. But that's normal. Yes, it's normal for you and you get used to it. But it's bad! Why do you have to expose your mother's plight in detail to strangers every time? Why? At this academy, Ajna not only learns how to fight discrimination and human rights violations. This course has also helped her overcome anxiety, to meet new people and open up to them.

When he started the program, I was pleased to see how ready he was to cultivate himself. He has made great progress, especially in personal development, regarding relations with this group. Now according to Ajna he can speak openly about some of his past. But there are still things he keeps secret. I know the name of the man who raped my mother. I've found out. He had another daughter and a son. As an only child, Ajna always wanted a sister. Did I just run into my brother or sister? Do I look at them? I am now 25 years old and I ask myself if I unknowingly passed my brother. Very weird. And over the years, the desire to meet them grew. I immediately realized, that this is not possible. I can't do this to my mother. That will destroy it. Ajna decides not to look for her siblings, who live somewhere in Sarajevo. He must find another way to leave his past. I said to myself, this is not embarrassing at all. Because of that I have changed my life and not focus on the past. It has given my life real meaning. Ajna met with lawyer Vildana Džekman in downtown Sarajevo. They are accompanied by Alen, who together with Ajna establish this bond. This association has 13 members but most of them stay away because they don't want to be filmed by our cameras. This group fights for the same status as children of war veterans and disabled people from war. And for the right not to give his biological father's name in the official files, without question. This lawyer has good news. I've seen the laws in all parts of the country. And everywhere, government offices only require to provide the name of one of the parents, it's the same whether it's father or mother. The patriarchal civil servant always asked for the father's name, but there was no legal basis for the request. We need to announce this as soon as possible. Because then you can decide what name to give. You can manage all the files without telling your personal story. In my case, I can give the names of my adoptive father, as well as my two mothers. My parents did it so that I could inherit the same rights as my sisters. It would be great if we could choose which parent we name. We are adults. We can decide for ourselves which name we give to the authorities. The group wants to hold a press conference to publicize the wrongdoing by the authorities. It is well known that together they can make a difference. It's graduation day for Ajna and her fellow courses. His mother Sabine and his adoptive father Nusret came on this occasion. Ajna studied at this academy for a year and in the end she was able to talk openly with her classmates about her past. This is my mother. I looked at my mother and just saw, how strong she was. I am proud, she is my mother. It doesn't matter, that I was born of hate. Ajna has also completed her psychology degree. He took part in the first international congress on child and adolescent psychotherapy in Bosnia. It was organized by his friend and mentor, trauma expert Amra Delić. He conducted the first scientific study of post-war trauma in Bosnia. And introduces Ajna to Alen. Ajna warned that the taboo of talking about sexual violence in wartime could pass trauma like poison from one generation to another. The only cure, said Ajna, is open discussion. Children born as a result of war have painful and bad experiences as they grow up. This often leads to trauma-related illnesses and psychiatric disorders. For example: post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or somatoform disorder. In addition there are complex long-term consequences, such as a lack of support from families, which can have social and economic impacts. As a researcher, Amra wants to give a face to the results of his research. He expects Ajna's help. But this is difficult. The big problem here too is the habit of blaming society and the culture of rape, which still exists in tradition-bound Bosnian culture. People often think that the issue of rape is a matter of honor, but not as a serious violation of human rights. Amra has been Ajna's mentor for the past two years. His support for me is the most important because he knows everything. And... when I don't know what to do, I call him and he always helps me. And that was the most beautiful moment in our relationship. She is my other mother. During the conference, Ajna suddenly made a decision. He felt ready to face the participants and for the first time speak publicly about his past. I would like to introduce Ajna Jusić. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology and recently graduated best in class from the academy run by the German youth organization 'Schüler Helfen Leben'. And I hope that soon he will take his master's degree in psychology. We ask ourselves, is it just us, or is there anyone else like us. Is there anyone who can sincerely say: I understand you, what you are going through is not easy. I stand before you as living proof that the damage caused by war has nothing to do with nationality or ethnic group. Rape has absolutely nothing to do with citizenship. This is a traumatic experience. And we have to treat it accordingly. Thank you. Ajna will continue to fight, not only for herself, but for all who have suffered like her. So that the "invisible children" in Bosnia can come out of the shadows, and live a life without discrimination, a life of dignity.

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