DRAFT LAW ON THE RIGHTS OF VETERANS, WAR AND PEACETIME MILITARY DISABLED, CIVIL WAR DISABLED AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF KILLED COMBATANTS AND CIVILIANS
In 2016 we were approached by the Ombudsman of Serbia regarding the engagement of his office with the rights of war veterans from the YU wars in the 90’s. We delivered to the Ombudsman’s office all the materials gathered in the previous project Naming IT War and reassembled the legal team (Human Rights lawyers) that worked on that project, to revise and develop the draft for a Law of the Rights of Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Civil War Invalids and their Families for Serbia which we began in the previous project. This was done voluntarily, free of charge.
This law and the concepts that lay behind are very important in the context of the YU wars and their commemoration since it is the only law that designates state’s responsibility for the wars and more acutely its responsibility for the people it formally and informally sent to the battlefield. Serbia legally was not in a state of war during the 90’s except for a short period in 1991-2 and the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999. Rethinking this law and creating public debate about it impacts not only the discourse in Serbia but in the whole region as well as the relations with the EU regarding the inclusion of the YU wars in the European historical narrative and the process of accession to the EU. In addition, the draft law was done in consultation with war veterans and civil victims, through the testimonies and in cooperation with their organizations as well as with human rights activists from different countries succeeding Yugoslavia. The law was handed in to the Ombudsman with our recommendations.
We thank the Association of Serbian War Veterans for their participation and contribution.
In the following link can be viewed/downloaded the existing law, the draft law which was the basis for our recommendations and the draft law which the project produced.