Compensation for Sexually Abused Roma Boy

The Požarevac District Court confirmed the verdict reached by the Veliko Gradište Municipal Court, which ordered the father of the juvenile I.Ž, as the legal guardian of I.Ž, to pay 550,000 Dinars in damages to I.R, a juvenile Roma boy from Miljević [Golubac Municipality] in compensation for sexual abuse committed against him by I.Ž. The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC), the Center for Minority Rights (CMR), and the Budapest-based European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC) initiated the compensation lawsuit on behalf of I.R. on 22 March 2005.

On 22 April 2004 I.Ž, in his father’s tire shop in Miljević, abused the ten-year-old I.R. by threatening him and forcing him to slap himself and to hit his head against a wall. I.Ž. continued abusing the ten-year-old Roma by giving him a box of pork fat and making him spread it on all over his face and hands and then wash himself in a bucket full of dirty water. Even though I.R. begged I.Ž. to let him go home, I.Ž. slapped and hit him several times, pointed an air rifle at him and threatened to kill him if he did not take his pants down. I.Ž. forced the juvenile Roma boy to masturbate and wound himself in the rectal area. Finally, he threatened him with a knife saying that he would slit his throat if he told anyone about what happened to him. When he got home, I.R. was crying and he told his mother that I.Ž. abused him in the presence of three other unidentified men who yelled, “Kill the Gipsy, kill the Gipsy”. The boy’s mother spotted red marks around the boy’s rectum and called the police. The criminal trial of I.Ž, now a senior juvenile, was conducted before the Požarevac Municipal Court. After this trial was completed, the Požarevac District Prosecutor ordered a measure of increased parental supervision of the boy.

Roma children in Serbia are often exposed to humiliating treatment. Pursuant to local laws, but also the UN Convention on the Right of Child, the state of Serbia, is obliged to take all necessary measures to protect Roma children from all sorts of physical and mental violence, and to provide them with the physical and/or psychological recovery and social reintegration necessary for a child victim of cruel, inhumane or humiliating treatment.