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Challenges of Estimating Srebrenica Victims in the ICTY Approach

Challenges of Estimating Srebrenica Victims in the ICTY Approach

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Challenges of Estimating Srebrenica Victims in the ICTY Approach

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  1. Challenges of Estimating Srebrenica Victims in the ICTYApproach Workshop on Estimating War Victims in the Former Yugoslavia,1991-1999: Challenges and Achievements Sarajevo, 17 October 2009 Helge Brunborg Research Department Statistics Norway

  2. Background • ICTY established in May 1993, began operating in 1994 • A need for expertise on statistics and demography soon emerged • ICTY requested the Government of Norway to provide a demographer • Started working in June 1997 • Returned to Oslo in December 1998 but continued as a part-time consultant • A permanent position as demographer was created and Ewa Tabeau began working in the fall of 2000

  3. The population project at ICTY • Objective: Estimate the population changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina due to armed conflicts 1992-95 • Common estimates of the changes • Dead or missing persons: 25,000 - 328,000 • Displaced persons: 1 mill. • Refugees: 1.2 mill. • Population size • Pre-war population (1991): 4.4 mill. • Post-war population (1996): 3.4 mill.? Approach: Collect and analyse data on individuals

  4. Major data sources:lists of Victims: Dead, missing, buried, exhumed, displaced, refugees Pre-war population: Population Census 1991 Post-war population (survivors): People who registered to vote, displaced, refugees

  5. Lists of individuals • with information on • Full name • Father’s name • Date and place of birth • Personal Identification Number (maticni broj) • Place of residence • Ethnicity • Type of status or event • Date of event • … • Preferably in electronic format Who collected the primary data? How were the data collected? Quality of the data? Duplicates?

  6. Srebrenica Project Objective Determine the minimum number of dead and missing persons related to the fall of the enclave on 11 July 1995

  7. Srebrenica-related missing men as per February 2000 7427 men (and 48 women) Based on lists of missing persons

  8. Age distribution of missing persons and exhumed bodies As of Feb. 2000. Only 70 of the exhumed had been identified

  9. Probability of being missing for Muslim men from Srebrenica As of Feb. 2000

  10. Srebrenica-related dead and missingMinimum numbers Feb. 2000: 7,475 + 2 = 7,477 70 of these identified as dead (0.9%) Nov. 2005: 7,661 2,054 of these identified as dead (26.8%) Nov. 2007: 7,661 + 426 = 8,087 3,837 of these identified as dead (52.7%) Oct. 2009: Data not yet avaiIable but we expect that at least 60-70% have been identified as dead

  11. Expert testimonies • First presentation in court of demographic evidence: Number of Srebrenica-related dead and missing, against Radislav Krstić in June 2000

  12. Expert testimonies on Srebrenica • Krstić (2000) 35years • Blagojević (2004) 15 years • Milosević (2004) died in 2006 • Popović et al. (2007, 2008) ongoing • Perisic (2008) ongoing

  13. Expert testimonies at ICTY by demographers • Until now 25 times • Ewa Tabeau: 15 trials • Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Herzeg-Bosna, etc … • Helge Brunborg: 7 trials • Srebrenica, Kosovo • Patrick Ball: 3 trials • Kosovo

  14. Conclusions • Demographers and statisticians can make an important contribution to a war crimes court • Who did it and why? Statistics cannot tell. Need additional evidence. • Researchers are trained to be objective, critical and concerned about quality of data and analysis • The demographic research at ICTY has contributed to the growth of scientific work in this field • The book The Demography of armed conflict (Springer 2006) • Many scientific seminars and articles • At a large demography conference in Marrakech one week ago there were four sessions with more than 15 papers on this topic • Interesting and challenging to work on this at ICTY • A great satisfaction to have contributed to reliable figures on the number of victims. This is important for • History • Reconciliation • The families of the victims

  15. Thank you for your attention