Processing War Crimes and the Search for Missing People in the Western Balkans (Regional Brief)

18 Jun 2019
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Twenty years after the end of armed conflicts that accompanied the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, accountability for war crimes is still a critical prerequisite for reconciliation and restoration of social cohesion and trust. Finding and identifying those who went missing during the conflicts can help prevention of further fragmentation and violence in the Western Balkans.

The Regional War Crimes Project (RWC) 2018-2021 UNDP strengthens the rule of law and improves cooperation among State Prosecutors and institutions for the search of missing persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, so they can process war crimes and accelerate the search for missing persons from these armed conflicts.

Since 2015, the initial phase, we have worked to build trust among the key actors, re-activate cross-border communication, enhance exchange of information and evidence, and support the commitment to joint investigations of war crimes cases.

This next phase will:

  • Strengthen the platform for regional and bilateral cooperation among the prosecution services and institutions for the search of missing persons and enhance their efficiency;
  • Improve cross-border victim and witness support and facilitate regional dialogue among prosecution services, institutions for the search of missing persons and victims’ associations;
  • Promote transparent and data-based public communication and outreach on processing of war crimes cases and the search for missing persons to prevent re-radicalization and aid long-term stability.

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