Feride Rushiti, executive director of the Kosovo Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (KRCT), has been awarded by the U.S. State Department with the International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award.
Rushiti is staying in the U.S and she will be receiving the award from the U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan who will host the annual International Women of Courage (IWOC) Awards ceremony honoring 10 extraordinary women from around the world. First Lady of the United States Melania Trump will deliver special remarks at the ceremony. In addition, Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert will deliver opening and closing remarks.
Feride Rushiti is founder and executive director of the Kosovo Center for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims. Through almost two decades of research and advocacy, Rushiti has secured access to healthcare and justice for civilian victims of Kosovo’s 1998-1999 war. In 2017, her advocacy led to a landmark government decision to fund pensions for Kosovo’s victims of wartime sexual violence, setting a precedent for governmental engagement in efforts to deal with Kosovo’s wartime past. Dr. Rushiti, a medical doctor, began treating civilian victims of war during active conflict in 1999. She was among the first doctors to recognize the need for treatment of psychological trauma for refugees fleeing the violence, particularly among women and minority groups. She pioneered a multi-disciplinary approach to address the needs of conflict victims, envisioning a single organization providing psycho-social support, legal assistance, medication, treatment, and policy advocacy. Dr. Rushiti also played a key role in developing Kosovo’s legal framework for the humane treatment of prisoners and other detainees, advocating successfully for independent monitoring of detention facilities.