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Reparations Database

Repairing the harm of victims after violent conflict. Empirical findings from Serbia, by S.Parmentier, M. Rauschenbach & E. Weitekamp, International Review of Victomology Vol. 20(1) 2014





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In this article the authors report about the opinions of the population in Serbia in relation to the reparation for the harm inflicted upon them during and after the Yugoslav war. The authors conducted a survey in 2007 among the population of Serbia victims.

The first section of their questionnaire was aimed at gathering information about forms of victimisation and harm suffered, while the second elicited their responses to various types of reparations: truth-seeking, mechanisms for establishing accountability, the appropriate treatment of perpetrators, and measures promoting reconciliation.

The results are discussed on pages 90-96. Concerning reparations, most respondents gave the highest priority to confessions by perpetrators. The return of property and material goods, and apologies by perpetrators emerged as second and third in importance while monetary compensation rated considerably lower in importance. Criminal prosecutions rated lower again, attracting favourable responses from  approximately 60% of respondents.

Answers to questions related to more symbolic forms of reparations show that the majority of respondents find it important that ‘the truth’ about the war is established. The importance of commemorations and the acknowledgment of suffering in general also emerged clearly from the data. According to the authors the data shows that many key issues in dealing with the past are still very present in the minds of the populations of Serbia.

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