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In Zagreb on March 18th was held a discussion on “Psychosocial support for civilian war victims” organized within program of Peace studies by Center for Peace Studies, Documenta- Center for Dealing with the Past and the European House Vukovar.

Within the discussion speakers were Marina Petras, assistant in Documenta- Centre for Dealing with the Past, Gordan Bosanac from the Center for Peace Studies and Peace activist and honorary president of the European House Vukovar Ljiljana Gehrecke while the conversation was moderated by Emina Bužinkić, activist of Documenta and Center for Peace Studies.

In the introductory part Emina Bužinkić pointed out various aspects of unenviable position of the civilian war victims and their needs for psychosocial support. Gordan Bosanac talked about the way in which the state creates its policy towards civilians in times of preparing armed conflict, when it occurs, and after the war. Emphasis is placed on the inadequacy of funding for victims of the war after the war.

Marina Petras spoke about the research that was conducted during the 2013th year about needs of civilian victims of the war. Most of the studies was related to the victims of terrorist acts, while the other categories were people of died or disappeared family member and civilian invalids of war. A small number of victims achieved any form of rights or compensation. Emphasis is placed on the inadequacy of medical and psychological assistance to civilian victims of war. It was pointed out that almost none of the rights defined by the UN Resolution Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law were achieved by the victims.

At the end Ljiljana Gehrecke spoke about trauma of the individual and the requirements for its overcoming both for the individual and for society. She pointed out the importance of empowering the victim to overcome the feeling of misery and suffering, and to encourage them to focus their energy into improving their own lives. Providers of empowerment and rehabilitation treatments should be educated and specialized in regards of improving quality of assisting the victims in overcoming the trauma.