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Tribunal hosts a Study Visit of Croatian Witness Support Professionals

Press Release
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 27 September 2011



Tribunal hosts a Study Visit of Croatian Witness Support Professionals


The Tribunal’s Outreach Programme is today hosting a group of witness support professionals from Croatia on a one-day study visit to the ICTY. The visit is taking place as part of the Tribunal’s ongoing efforts to increase cooperation and knowledge sharing with members of the judiciary in the former Yugoslavia.

The visiting group consists of five witness support professionals, including representatives from the ministries of Interior and Justice, the State Attorney’s Office and county courts of Zadar and Velika Gorica.

Commenting on the visit, Ms Nikica Hamer Vidmar, Head of Department for Victims and Witnesses Support with the Croatian Ministry of Justice, said: “We welcome this opportunity to learn more about the Tribunal’s unique experience in providing support to victims and witnesses. Practical knowledge gained this week will be directly applicable in our daily work with witnesses.”

During the visit, the participants will attend meetings with members of the Tribunal’s groundbreaking Victims and Witnesses Section. They will be given a presentation on the mandate and functions of the Section as well as take part in discussions on how to work with severely traumatised witnesses and how to deal with the emotional impact that work with witnesses may have on support professionals. 

Augustus de Witt, Chief of the Victims and Witnesses Section, said: “The pyscho-social support work of the Tribunal to witnesses is an integral but sometimes unseen part of the work of the Victims and Witnesses Section. The visit will broaden the understanding of this aspect of our work and promote awareness of the crucial role of witness support not only in the running of trials but also in ensuring the welfare of the witnesses who are pivotal in the judicial process.”

The visit has been organised by the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme in cooperation with the European Commission, through its Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument (TAIEX), which aims to facilitate the delivery of required technical expertise to beneficiary countries within the framework of EU enlargement.

The Outreach Programme is widely recognised as one of the main tools for sharing the Tribunal’s expertise with local judiciaries. As the ICTY moves towards the completion of its mandate, the Outreach Programme is intensifying its efforts to provide the communities of the former Yugoslavia with increased access to the Tribunal’s work and to promote a greater understanding of its achievements.

The Outreach Programme benefits from the continuous support of the European Union.


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More information about the Outreach Programme

International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

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