Working group finishes work on "missing babies" affair

BELGRADE -- A working group looking into "the missing babies" affair has finished work, and the Ministry of Health is expected to soon send "a proposal to the government."

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This is what assistance justice minister in the sector for representing Serbia before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Vanja Rodić, told the daily Večernje Novosti.

"Concerning the case of 'the missing babies,' that is, Zorica Jovanović vs. Serbia, a deadline expired three days ago given by the court to provide mechanisms that will allow parents to obtain information about the fate of their children, and just satisfaction," she confirmed.

Rodić pointed out that "the working group established by the Ministry of Health completed its work and consultations between the ministries are now ongoing."

"The Ministry of Health is expected to soon send an appropriate proposal to the government. The state is aware that the judgment must be carried out. A final decision about the manner in which this will be done has not been made yet," the official noted.

She also said that the number of complaints in Strasbourg against the Republic of Serbia filed by Serbian citizens has fallen sharply since theECHR in March rejected the Vučković at al vs. Serbia - the so-called "war wages" case - saying that the constitutional complaint had not been used properly.

The daily reported earlier that the fact that Serbia did not comply with the judgment of the court "could be a major obstacle" to the country's EU membership bid.

Zorica Jovanović is one of several hundred parents who claim that their children did not die shortly after birth, but were instead taken from hospitals as victims of human trafficking. The ruling from March of this year said that the state "failed to provide convincing information about the fate of her child, born in 1983."

The newspaper wrote previously that only five parents had filed complaints before the ECHR. A parliamentary committee addressed the allegations in 2006 and made recommendations to the police and the judiciary, but these measures have not yet been implemented.