Committed to improving living conditions for all in Montenegro, Ljiljana Raicevic began her prestigious career as a union president for healthcare workers. Since 1996, Raicevic has been dedicated to changing perceptions about domestic violence and providing a safe haven for women and children, in addition to becoming an advocate for the end of human trafficking.
Each year the Ginetta Sagan Fund Steering Committee is presented with nominations for remarkable women working in every region of the world.
“These women work assiduously, and usually risk their own lives to ensure better conditions for women they may have never met,â€? said Committee Co-Chair, Julianne Traylor. â€œLjiljanaâ€™s work continues in this tradition. On Ginettaâ€™s behalf, the committee is pleased to honor a candidate that is not only working in an area that was close to her heart but part of a larger campaign that Amnesty International is heading–to stop violence against women.â€?
Raicevic was responsible for the creation of the SOS LINE, the first NGO to serve women in Montenegro. In a strict patriarchal society with few resources for women in abusive relationships and a belief by the government that such matters were private, the SOS LINE provided women with counseling and resources not available anywhere else. By 1999, Raicevic realized that the women calling the SOS LINE needed more than a phone conversation; the women needed a safe place to stay, medical and psychological attention and legal services. In response, Raicevic establish the first shelter for victims of family violence, WOMENS SAFE HOUSE.
Continuing her work for the safety of women and children, Raicevic is responsible for starting public conversation in Montenegro about human trafficking. Amnesty International describes trafficking as a global phenomenon where victims are sexually exploited, forced into labor and subjected to abuse. Raicevic has created a shelter specifically for the needs of these women and helped to establish a comprehensive victim protection program. She has also worked extensively to ensure that political officials accused of supporting trafficking were removed from office.
â€œI am immensely pleased that you have recognized the pioneering work we do as vitally important,â€? said Ljiljana Raicevic. â€œWe have worked tirelessly to raise awareness with Montenegrins about sex trafficking and domestic violence, and furthermore to stand against such abuse of women. We made them understand and it was tough. We have initiated laws that protect the victims. Now we have a financial resource to continue our work.â€?
For a thorough explanation and review of the trafficking situation in Serbia and Montenegro please visit http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGEUR700102004
MORE ABOUT THE GINETTA SAGAN AWARD
Established as a living memorial to human rights activist Ginetta Sagan, the fund annually bestows an award of $10,000 to recognize and assist a woman or women doing effective work to protect the dignity, liberties, and lives of women and of children in regions of crisis where abuse of human rights is widespread.
The announcement and presentation of the annual award serves to:
Recognize the recipient’s achievement, often at great personal risk, in helping victims of violence;
Enhance the recipient’s ability to live and work freely;
Protect the recipient’s capacity to continue, expand, and improve her work;
Bring increased international scrutiny to the crisis region or issue for which the recipient works
MORE ABOUT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, USA
The mission of Amnesty International is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.