Horror in the Balkans


Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

In 1998, Kathryn Bolkovac, a US police officer on deputation with the UN’s International Police Task Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina, was put in charge of a project aimed at fighting violence against women.

imageShe encountered a battered young woman who was not from the Balkans. She spoke neither English nor Bosnian, but could point towards a local nightclub. “We forced open a locked door and discovered seven girls held captive,” Bolkovac says.

What she stumbled upon was sex trafficking ring operated by the Serbian mafia. Her suspicion that the clientele for the trafficked girls were Americans working in Bosnia, potentially even Bolkovac’s fellow police officers, proved true. She sent reports up the chain of command. But time and again her reports were ignored or dismissed as “solved”. Bolkovac was demoted and then fired. She detailed her experiences in a memoir, The Whistleblower.

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