HLC Calls upon the Institutions of the Republic of Serbia and Other post-Yugoslav States to Discover the Location of Remaining Mass Graves

On the occasion of the International Day of Missing Persons, the Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) calls upon the institutions of the Republic of Serbia to find the location of remaining mass graves and to ratify the international Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

HLC calls upon the institutions of Kosovo and other post-Yugoslav states to make public the location of the remaining secret mass and individual graves and to enable the families of the victims to give their loved ones proper burials.

According to the most recent data published by the International Red Cross Committee, the fate of 14,790 missing persons is still unclear: in Bosnia and Herzegovina there are 10,512 registered missing persons; in Croatia there 2,436 registered missing persons; and in Kosovo there are 1,842 registered missing persons. In the last 12 months, the remains of only 1,200 missing persons were discovered and identified, which is an unacceptably small number, indicating a serious lack of political will to resolve the fate of the missing persons.

Public speeches of prominent political figures promising an efficient approach to solving the issue of the missing persons, the mere declaration of the number (rather than names) of the missing, and the persistent efforts to cover up the location of the mass graves is degrading for the victims, their families, and for society, which has the right to know the truth.

Government institutions of the states involved in the conflict waged on the territory of the former Yugoslavia have an obligation to shed light on circumstances surrounding the disappearance of all victims, to find the location of mass graves containing their remains, and to punish those responsible for their death and disappearance.