Serbia the case of 'missing babies' in Serbia before the European court of human rights
Brinig, Margaret F
Sloth-Nielsen, Julia L
Mujuzi, Jamil Ddamulira
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In the case of Zorica Jovanovic v. Serbia, initiated before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in April 2008, the applicant complained of the continuing failure of the Serbian authorities to provide her with any information about the real fate of her son who had allergedly died while in the care of a state-run hospital or indeed with any other redress. Not only did the ECtHR decide that the applicant's right to family life guaranteed by Article 8 of the European Convention was violated, but it also held that the respondent state must, within a year from the date on which the judgment became final, take all appropriate measures, preferably by means lex specialis, to secure the establishment of a mechanism aimed at providing individual redress to all parents in a situation such as, or sufficiently similar to, the applicant's. It is important to emphasise that hers was not a single case. According to some information, there are around 1,500 reported cases of babies missing from maternity wards, although there is no data on the exact number of cases. State authorities in Serbia, however, had still done nothing either to investigate and prosecute those cases or to adopt legal mechanisms to resolve them.