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Press Release

International Day of the Disappeared

30 August 2011

This day serves to raise awerness of the authorities, press and general public to the plight of the Missing and the families of the Missing worldwide.

In Kosovo there are just under 1800 people unaccounted for from the 1998-1999 conflict and its aftermath.

EULEX is providing and will continue to provide assistance in the following ways:

  • Empowering local staff with capacity building and professional development trough EULEX’s MMA strategy.
  • Providing international experts to assist and conduct investigations for the search for the Missing.
  • Providing expert and impartial advice to Ministers regarding the issue of Missing Persons.
  • Forming key alliances with Family Associations, key civil society groups and other stake-holders.
  • Continue to search for reliable information of potential grave sites in and beyond Kosovo.
  • Stimulating public appeals for information in the mass media.

Since the Department of Forensic Medicine and EULEX began working together in December 2008 almost 300 field operations have been conducted and the remains of more than 240 victims – including 176 missing persons – have been handed back to affected families. An exhaustive analysis of the unidentified remains held at the Department of Forensic Medicine mortuary is continuing, with over 2000 individual case-files having been reviewed. Strong outreach activities and cooperation with the families and family associations of missing persons are continuing.

This day represents an opportunity to publicly state, once again EULEX’s commitment to assist the Kosovar institutions to determine the fate of the Missing to whatever extent possible.