survivors of victims of the genocide in Srebrenica can apply for compensation from next week. The Wortmann Commission, which is implementing it on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, today announces the details of that arrangement.
The scheme is specifically intended for families of about 350 men who were on the Dutchbat compound in Potocari on 13 July 1995, during the fall of Srebrenica. These Bosnian Muslim men had resorted to the Netherlands-led UN enclave in the hope of staying out of the hands of the Serbs led by General Mladic. Yet they fell into the hands of the Serbs and, like 8000 people, were murdered.
In 2019, the Supreme Court stated that the Dutch state failed to protect these citizens because the Dutchbat leadership did not give them the choice to stay on the compound. The chance that their lives would have been spared if they had stayed in the compound, the judge estimates 10 percent. That is why the Netherlands must compensate 10% of the damage suffered to the survivors.
In order to prevent the payment of the fees from taking too much time, the Wortmann Committee has drawn up a general rule based on the estimated material and non-material damage. A widow gets 15,000 euros, a family of kin who has lost a father, son or brother is entitled to 10,000 euros.
The committee had wanted to start paying out as early as March, but the survivors, including the ‘Mothers of Srebrenica’, were not satisfied with the scheme because they were only able to claim benefits once, even if they have lost several family members.
“ There has been consultations with mothers and survivors organizations. The result is that a simpler arrangement has been agreed with fewer conditions,” says Sylvia Wortmann, President of the Wortmann Commission, in the CCEIT Radio 1 News.
“ The regulation of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that under certain circumstances you can make more than one request. So a wife who has lost her husband and a son can make two requests.”
Report for Scheme
From next Monday, relatives of victims of the fall of Srebrenica can apply for compensation. Since many of the survivors left their country after the Balkan war, the committee will actively publish the scheme in twelve countries. Because of Corona, this is still happening online and through the embassies.
Look here for a summary of the events in Srebrenica: