Introduction

The Netherlands Compensation Commission Potočari (NCCP) is the independent executor of the Srebrenica civil law settlement. This compensation scheme only concerns a specific group of victims of the genocide. It only concerns the deceased male refugees who were staying at the UN compound in Potočari on the afternoon of 13 July 1995. Only the surviving relatives of this specific group of victims can qualify for the compensation scheme. If you are a partner, parent, child or other first-degree relative of a victim, you can apply to the NCCP for compensation.

The compensation scheme applies to the approximately 350 male refugees who were in the UN compound in Potočari on the afternoon of 13 July 1995. A claim for compensation must establish that the victim was at the UN compound in Potočari on the date and time in question. The NCCP assesses each request very carefully whether it is plausible that the deceased family member was at the UN compound in Potočari on the afternoon of 13 July 1995. The liability of the Dutch State does not apply to people who were killed outside the UN compound, for example while fleeing through the woods. In that case we reject the request.

FAQ

When can I submit a request?

The State of the Netherlands has introduced a civil-law settlement arrangement to implement the Dutch Supreme Court judgment of 19 July 2019. That judgment held the State liable for 10 percent of the damages of the surviving relatives of the deceased male refugees who were in the Dutchbat compound in Potočari in the late afternoon of 13 July 1995.

The civil-law settlement arrangement offers surviving relatives of the male victims a convenient way to receive a compensation payment without having to start court proceedings or without hiring a lawyer (unless you want to do so). If you make use of this arrangement, you don’t need to embark on long, costly court proceedings to determine the amount of your damages. The civil-law settlement arrangement is based on standard compensation amounts as determined by the Dutch State. The amount for a wife or partner of a victim is € 15,000. A child, parent, and brother or sister of a victim are eligible for a compensation payment of € 10,000.

In order to be eligible for compensation, you need to fulfil a number of conditions. Surviving first-degree relatives of more than one victim may submit more than one claim. First-degree relatives are the spouse or partner, parents, or children of a victim. For example, a mother who lost both her spouse and her son may submit a claim for both relatives, as may a parent who lost more than one child. A separate claim must be submitted for each victim.

You may believe that your damages exceed the two amounts mentioned above. You also have the option of filing a civil suit against the Dutch state for possible compensation. If you pursue that option, you must not submit a compensation claim under this arrangement.

Only surviving relatives who suffered damages due to the death of a male refugee who was in the Dutchbat compound in the late afternoon of 13 July 1995 are eligible. The possibility of submitting a claim is non-transferrable. The arrangement is not open to heirs of relatives mentioned in the arrangement.

If you are eligible for compensation for the victim to whom the request relates, you will be offered a settlement agreement. Signing the settlement agreement will have consequences for you. First: you will receive the compensation payment. Second: you can no longer successfully file a claim with the civil court against the Dutch State for the unlawful acts established in the judgment of 19 July 2019, against a victim for whom you have received a settlement.

FAQ

The meticulous assessment

The NCCP assesses each request very carefully. The arrangement is intended for a specific group of victims of the genocide: relatives of the approximately 350 male refugees who died in the afternoon of 13 June 1995 at the UN compound in Potočari. Compared to the total number of victims of the genocide, this is a limited group of victims. We are well aware of this. It is the duty of the NCCP to ensure that reparations reach the people for whom they are intended. Therefore, you must prove that the victim was at the UN compound in Potočari on the afternoon of 13 July 1995. And you must prove in your application that you are a family member of the victim.

You have submitted a request to the NCCP with the required documents. The committee tests whether your deceased family member was at the UN compound in Potočari on the day and time of the incident. For this purpose the NCCP uses publicly available reliable sources and its own research. The commission checks among other things the place where the victim was last seen.

If the sources prove that it is plausible that the victim was at the UN Compound in the afternoon of 13 July 1995, you are eligible for compensation.

The Committee will ask you for more information if it appears that it is possible but not yet plausible that the victim was at the UN compound on the day and time in question.

If the Committee’s reliable sources show that the victim was last seen at another place on the date in question, for example in the woods, then the Committee will reject the request.

FAQ

UN Compound

The UN compound is defined in the court decision and in the civil law settlement as the factory site in Potočari where a battery factory was located before the war. On this former factory site, located on the right side of the road from Srebrenica to Bratunać, there were an assembly hall, sheds and an office building. As of April 1994, Dutchbat’s headquarters was located here. A characteristic feature of the compound were the very large halls of the battery factory in which Dutchbat’s vehicles were located. In front of these halls there was a large lawn. The terrain of the UN compound was fenced off with a high fence. Dutchbat guard posts were set up on the edges of the fencing.

The civil settlement concerns the approximately 350 male refugees who were in the UN compound on the afternoon of July 13, 1995. Compared to the total number of victims of the genocide, this is a limited group. The judge ruled that the Dutch State is liable for the fate of the group of male refugees, who on the afternoon of 13 July 1995 were still in the halls of the former battery and accumulator factory. According to the opinion of the Court, Dutchbat acted unlawfully towards this group of men. For Dutchbat should have offered these men the choice to stay behind in the halls. By not offering that choice they have deprived these men of a (small) chance to stay out of the hands of the Bosnian Serbs. After all, in the large halls of the former battery and accumulator factory that now belonged to the UN compound, the male refugees were hidden from the sight of the Bosnian Serbs.

You can also read our brochure

Brochure English (PDF: 208.1 KB)