Bosnia Herzegovina

Children of rape; Women in hell, December 2005

Suzanna is 12 years old. In the eyes of the law she does not exist. She has no family, no bank account and no birth certificate. The place that she calls home is the state-run orphanage in Zenica in Bosnia, a rundown building with peeling paint flaking off the walls and broken windows. The orphanage is home to just over 150 children.

Some of them have lost their families to war and sickness, others, like Suzanna, were abandoned as “rape babies”, children born during the Yugoslavian war and left unacknowledged by families and state alike.

Ten years since the war in Bosnia ended. little has been done to help the thousands of women who suffered extreme sexual violence and torture or the children born as a consequence of this abuse.

  • Children play outside of a bombed apartment block in Sarajevo. Kate Holt.
  • A young child at an orphanage in Bosnia Herzegovina receives a hug from a care worker. Kate Holt.
  • A young child at an orphanage in Bosnia Herzegovina. Abandoned by her parents she is like thousands of other children. Kate Holt.
  • A boy looks out of his bedroom window at an orphanage in Bosnia Herzegovina. Kate Holt.
  • A boy, abandoned by his mother during the war, is seen here building a model house. Kate Holt.
  • A young girl hides behind her doll at an orphanage in Tuzla for abandoned children. Kate Holt.
  • A girl pieces together a necklace in an orphanage for children with special needs in Sarajevo. Kate Holt.
  • A woman who was interned in a "rape camp" for six months during the war is photographed here. Kate Holt.
  • This woman was forced to have two abortions after becoming pregnant after being raped by Serb soldiers repeatedly. Kate Holt.
  • Forced to watch as her daughter was repeatedly raped in their house in 1993 this woman was severely beaten. Kate Holt.
  • This woman was repeatedly raped by Serb soldiers in her home town. Kate Holt.
  • This woman was interned in one of the notorious rape houses. Kate Holt.
  • A woman shows the x - rays of her womb and other genital organs. Kate Holt.
  • Two women return to what remains of their apartment building ten years since the war ended in Bosnia. Kate Holt.
  • Ten years since the war in Bosnia ended with the signing of the Dayton peace agreement. Kate Holt.
  • The remains of a Serbian Church in Brčko Northern Bosnia. Kate Holt.