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The Whistleblower: Kathryn Bolkovac—Peacekeeping and Human Trafficking in Bosnia

General Programming

dateJanuary 31, 2013 timeThursday, 6:15pm EST location Pulitzer Hall (Journalism School), The World Room (Room 305), Columbia University
  • East Central European Center
  • Graduate School of Journalism
  • Free and open to the public
  • First come, first seated
Collage of red-tinted plane taking off and passport stamps

When former Nebraska police officer Kathryn Bolkovac was recruited by DynCorp International to support the UN peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, she thought she was signing up to help rebuild a war-torn country. But once she arrived in Sarajevo, as a human rights investigator heading the gender affairs unit, she discovered military officers involved in human trafficking and forced prostitution, with links to private mercenary contractors, the UN, and the U.S. State Department. After bringing this evidence to light, Bolkovac was successively demoted, threatened with bodily harm, fired, and ultimately forced to flee the country under cover of darkness—bringing the incriminating documents with her. Thanks to the evidence she collected, she won a lawsuit against DynCorp, publicly exposing their human rights violations. Her story, recounted in the book The Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman's Fight for Justice, later become the Hollywood feature film The Whistleblower.

Ms. Bolkovac will discuss her story, human trafficking, and other topics with Tanya Domi, whose reporting broke this story.

  • Kathryn Bolkovac Author and Human Rights Activist
  • Tanya Domi Chief of External Relations CUNY Graduate Center