Croatia adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2019 for the period 2019-2023. Croatia’s Second National Action Plan for Women, Peace, and Security was developed by the Government of the Republic of Croatia in collaboration with a Working Group that was specifically tasked with developing the plan. Croatia’s second NAP, NAP II, mimics the structure of NAP I in its objective and measures in the areas of prevention, participation and protection, and post-conflict recovery; however it also identifies new priorities in strengthening implementation and monitoring. NAP II’s development considers new Security Council resolutions on women, peace, and security that address challenges such as climate, migration, and terrorism (p. 7). The Working Group, chaired by the assistant minister for Multilateral Global Issues, operates under the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Croatia’s Working Group membership includes appointed representatives of sectoral bodies and the representatives of the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia and those of the Ombudsman for Gender Equality (p.7).
Croatia’s second NAP is preceded by one other NAP, adopted in 2011 and implemented for the period 2011-2014. The NAP was developed by an interdepartmental working group coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. Civil society actors were invited to provide input to the drafted NAP, but had no representation in the Working Group that was responsible for the NAP’s development. The NAP identifies nine strategic objectives, grouped under thematic pillars: prevention; participation; protection and post-conflict recovery; and implementation and monitoring. These objectives include increasing women’s representation in decision-making processes related to peace and security; promoting and protecting the rights of women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings; and improving cooperation in implementing Resolution 1325, among others.
Croatia reported on the implementation of its NAP, the development of the second NAP, and other WPS commitments in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020).
Croatia declared and gained independence in 1991 and 1995, respectively, followed by an independence war (1991-1995) that took place between the Croat forces and Serbian Yugoslav People’s Army. The conflict contained numerous human rights violations, including indiscriminate targeting of civilian areas, ethnic cleansing, and sexual violence used as a weapon of war. The conflict led to the death and displacement of thousands of people. During the war, women played a key role in antimilitarist and humanitarian efforts, including establishing anti-war groups, operating hotlines for victims of the war, and setting up women’s shelters. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was established in 1993 to prosecute crimes committed during the Yugoslav Wars, including those in Croatia. In 2015, the Croatian parliament passed a law that recognized the rights of victims of sexual violence during the war, which will provide survivors with a monthly stipend as well as access to free counseling and legal and medical aid.
At the multilateral level, Croatia most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2008-2009.