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Redress in Action

This project is a continuation of the previous one targeting forcibly mobilised refugees in Serbia and Montenegro and advocating for legislation changes that would positively affect such victims. It has been developed as the result of eight years of experience with refugees and war victims, and five years of experience in work with torture survivors and victims of political violence.

The IAN Centre for Rehabilitation of Torture Victims has been working on rehabilitation of many forcibly mobilised refugees for several years, as well as taking over the in-court representation of those cases that have not been addressed by the two other human rights NGOs who used to cover this issue in the late nineties. In addition, IAN HR department has been actively involved in advocacy initiatives and regional programmes targeting refugees and assisting them in finding durable solutions.

More information about previous IAN projects and achievements can be found in the IAN monograph Redress in Action.

The overall objective of this project is to improve the general psychological, health, legal and human rights status of refugees in Serbia and returnees in Croatia who were forcibly mobilised in Serbia during 1995. This is achieved through concerted regional efforts aimed at direct assistance to individuals, increasing public awareness and effecting legislative change and/or adequate implementation of existing legislation through advocacy, thereby influencing the creation of a context increasingly conducive to (re)integration

In order to achieve this, the project is focused on the following immediate objectives:

- To ensure continual provision of psychological, medical and legal assistance and rehabilitation services for forcibly mobilised refugees and returnees to Croatia

- To provide legal representation in court for their claims for compensation of damages

- To collect data regarding the psychological, legal and human rights status of forcibly mobilised refugees and returnees and produce a publication containing recommendations on good practices in dealing with these issues

- To increase awareness about the problem of forcibly mobilised refugees in Serbia .

After several years of proceedings, at the beginning of October 2006 the First Municipality Court in Belgrade proclaimed a verdict against the Republic of Serbia . This Court made the verdict based on a PTSD diagnosis for compensation due to decreased general life functioning.

This very important act of the court (which also indicates autonomy of the court in our country) was announced in the evening news on the national TV station RTS1 and in TV B92 news (a station with national frequency). This information also was on the teletext of the previously mentioned TV stations, and in most of our dailies.

Considering the value of the litigation, if the Second Municipality Court also proclaimed a verdict against the Republic of Serbia this act would reinforce the validity of the verdicts . If that happened, this legal way of obtaining the rights of forcibly mobilized refugees with a PTSD diagnosis for in-court compensations would be considered as a court practice, which should ensure the possibility for in-court compensation for similar cases.

On 2nd November 2006 , the First Municipality Court in Belgrade proclaimed another verdict (for another client) against the Republic of Serbia . The court made the verdict based on a PTSD diagnosis for compensation due to decreased general life functioning and suffered mental fear .

In 2007, IAN lawyers are still working on 79 ongoing claims for compensation processes before competent courts in Serbia .

 

 


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