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Conference between Health Professionals from Croatia and the ICTY on Witness Welfare

Press Release . Communiqué de presse

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)


The Hague, 4 June 2004



Starting on Monday 7 June 2004, a conference will be held between the ICTY Victims and Witnesses Section (VWS) and health/welfare professionals from Croatia to discuss the physical, emotional and psychological needs of witnesses.

The purpose of the conference is to discuss how the establishment of health and welfare networks throughout Croatia could assist in providing preparation and follow-up services to witnesses who testify at the Tribunal. These services will supplement the services undertaken by VWS while the witnesses are in The Hague.

This three-day workshop will bring to the ICTY, a group of psychiatrists, medical doctors, psychologists and social workers from Croatia. The professionals invited are currently practicing in the areas where most ICTY witnesses reside.

Similar conferences were held in December 2003 with experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in May 2004 with experts from Serbia and Montenegro. The series of conferences is funded by the European Commission.

During their stay at the ICTY, participants will familiarize themselves with the Tribunal’s work through meetings with representatives from the various organs comprising the ICTY, and they will have working meetings with VWS representatives aimed at developing protocols of services to be offered to witnesses.


From 1 January 1998 to the present date, just over 3,050 witnesses have testified before a Trial Chamber of the ICTY.

Of this number (approximately):

60% were called by the Office of the Prosecutor, 38% by Defence Counsel, and 2% called by the Trial Chambers themselves,

61% testified openly without any protective measures,

7% were resident in Croatia,

19% were female witnesses,

41% were aged over 51 years, 13% over 61 years and 5% younger than 30 years.