Press Release . Communiqué de presse
(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 13 September 2004
FOURTH CONFERENCE BETWEEN HEALTH PROFESSIONALS FROM THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA AND THE ICTY ON WITNESS WELFARE
Starting today, 13 September 2004, a conference is being held at the ICTY between the ICTY Victims and Witnesses Section (VWS) and health/welfare professionals from Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) 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 Kosovo and FYROM 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 Kosovo and FYROM. 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, in May 2004 with experts from Serbia and Montenegro, and in June with experts from Croatia. 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, 268 witnesses have testified before a Trial Chamber of the ICTY.
Of this number (approximately):
58% were called by the Office of the Prosecutor, 40% by Defense Counsel, and 2% called by the Trial Chambers themselves,
63% testified openly without any protective measures,
18% were female witnesses,
28% were aged over 51 years, 13% over 61 years and 5% younger than 30 years.