Dobrodošli / Welcome



General Background Information:

The Association of Concentration Camp Torture Survivors (ACCTS) of the Canton Sarajevo was formally established in 1997 as a non-governmental organization which gathers together and supports the surviving inmates of concentration camps throughout nine municipal associations.

The association is made up of a vulnerable population most of who endured torture and/or witnessed extreme violations of human rights during detention. The association has around 6,000 members of which 5,000 are men and 1,000 are women (including a special Women's Association to address the issues of women) of which 63% are displaced persons from Eastern Bosnia and 37% are from the Canton Sarajevo. We are a multinational organization composed of Muslim, Croat, Serb and Romani members. Many suffered inconceivable torture in concentration camps and prisons all over Bosnia-Herzegovina, including rape and other forms of sexual torture.

Needs and Challenges of Members:

The challenges of torture victims (men, women and children), do not end with their release. Many suffered from physical, emotional, and psychological torture all of which have contributed to various degrees of traumitization. Most victims of torture are without any psychological help, and programs which address their needs are few and their services are costly for the therapy needed to support an individual through the healing process. They remain in a state of limbo, often in temporary shelters, unable to psychologically return to their original communities where they suffered, nor are they legally able to remain in temporary shelters without work or a vision of a future. Most torture victims are without work and financial resources which further deepens their situation. Many of our members must deal with the realities of returning and not all are able to psychologically deal with returning to the regions in which they suffered extreme human rights abuses. Those who chose to return need assistance with the reconstruction of their homes and psychosocial support.

The physical needs of association members as aforementioned are great and varied and include: the lack of money; food; work; clothes; appropriate housing; and etc. The psychological needs are even greater for members who must live daily with the grotesque residual memories and the fears that such memories engender.