International day of the disappeared: In Serbia, search continues for more than 10,000 missing people

14 October 2019
International day of the disappeared: In Serbia, search continues for more than 10,000 missing people
Press conference for the international day of the disappeared

The International Committee of the Red Cross, in cooperation with the Coordination of Serbian Associations of Families of Missing Persons, observed the International Day of the Disappeared in the City Hall in Belgrade, Serbia.

The event was marked by exhibiting video works from the artists of the Faculty of Applied Arts from Belgrade and the Academy of Applied Arts in Rijeka on the topic of the missing entitled Empathy. The exhibition was available to the public at the Belgrade Cultural Center from 31 August to 9 September.

Out of nearly 35,000 missing people reported to the ICRC, in the 20 years after the first conflicts broke out in the former Yugoslavia, 10,167 people are still missing.

The video exhibition aims to pay tribute to the missing people with an emphasis on the the humanitarian dimension of the issue of the missing persons and empathy with their families who have been trying to find out what happened to their loved ones for almost the past 30 years.

"Since last 30 August to date, 134 human remains have been found, identified and returned to families. If we continue with the same dynamic, it will take at least another 75 years to find all the missing people. A whole human life. I'm sure none of us has that much time," said Jelena Stijacic, the head of the ICRC regional delegation in Belgrade.

The ICRC expects that the process of resolving the issue of missing persons, which has significantly slowed down in recent years, will intensify and that families will receive the answers they have been waiting for almost three decades.

Under international humanitarian law, families have the right to know the truth about the fate of missing relatives, and former parties to the conflict are required to do their utmost to give them answers.

For further information, please contact::
Sanja Ivanis, ICRC Belgrade, tel: + 381 11 228 55 52 or +381 64 8444 440