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Compensation for Victims of Human Rights Violations

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Yesterday, December 21, at the “Zira” Hotel in Belgrade, a conference on reparations and compensation for the victims of human rights violations was held. The conference concluded that victims are entitled to and need to receive proper material and symbolic compensation, but also that adequate conditions for such actions in Serbia and the countries of the region were not yet achieved.

“War victims have to realize their right to restore their dignity through both material and symbolic reparations”, Nataša Kandić, Director of the Humanitarian Law Centre (HLC) said, adding that the state is obligated to provide the conditions for “just and fair” compensation.

Kandić noted that there could be no rule of law without special attention for the victims, those who suffered injustice, and without programmes to compensate the victims.

Deputy Minister of Justice Vojkan Simić said that, even today, 20 years after the wars, relations in the region remain tense, without clear political will to allow the victims their right to reparations. He added that the process of reconciliation needs to be efficient and to ensure that perpetrators will be punished and victims compensated, and that his ministry believes that a regional framework for compensation needs to be established.

Goran Miletić from the Civil Rights Defenders noted that reparations for the victims was the very essence of respect for human rights and that it was not just an obligation for the state to compensate the victims, but an obligation for the whole society. (Source: Građanske inicijative / www.danas.rs)

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