Mine victims assistance (MVA)

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Who are mine victims and their legal rights in the Republic of Croatia

The protection of civil and military victims of the Homeland War injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) is defined by the Law on Protection of Civilian and Military War Invalids (National Gazette no. 33/92; 57/92; 77/92; 58/93; 2/94; 76/94; 108/95; 82/01; 94/01 and 103/03). Among other things, the Law regulates special protection of civilian invalids injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) as well as special protection of their families. The provision of Article 8, Paragraph 1 of the Law stipulates that the civilian war invalid is a person whose body has been damaged for at least 20% due to a wound or an injury caused by:

  • event relating to war events (bombing, explosion of war materials, stray bullet etc.)
  • explosion of the residual war material upon the completion of war operations

According to the Law on Humanitarian Demining (National Gazette no. 153/05, 63/07 and 152/08), the role of the Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC) is coordinative and implemented in co-operation with state administration bodies, a number of government departments, ministries and part of non-government sector as well as individual initiatives.

CROMAC has been systematically and promptly developing and maintaining the mine victim database since the establishment in 1998. The database is based on the data taken over from the United Nations (UN), data obtained by the Ministry of Interior, organization of health care system, collecting field data, information provided by the media and other reliable sources. CROMAC database does not comprise all mine victims and there is a reason for that. Namely, when CROMAC took over the UN database, the UN definition of mine victims was also adopted. These are the reasons for continuous update of the database because the part of UNs database has already had a considerable number of incidents registered as incidents with "unknown data" so there was a possibility for the double registration to happen but only in a limited number of cases. The conduct of general survey revision in 114 towns and municipalities during several past years resulted in collecting the additional accurate mine incident-related information that were processed and stored in CROMAC database.



The Republic of Croatia has highly-developed legal framework relating to the persons with disabilities in realizing their legitimate rights and status. The status and various forms of rights are being realized through over 280 different laws and by-laws. The role of the legal framework is passing the laws and provisions stipulating the protection and equalization of rights with no discrimination of any kind. For better insight, we hereby bring only the laws and referral acts that are in the closest relation with accessing care. Regulations passed the by relevant ministries whose scope of activities partially includes this type of assistance describe this matter in detail.

The Law on Humanitarian Demining from 20 December 2005, among other things, defines the realization of the right to disability allowance or retirement income in line with their profession. The Law defines the rights of deminers and members of their families in case of getting hurt or inability to work resulting from being hurt during the performance of demining operations. The Law on Special Rights from the Pension Insurance of the Employees engaged in Humanitarian Demining Operations from 20 December 2005, NG 158/05.

  • The new Amendments of the Law on the Rights of the Croatian Defenders and Members of Their Families are passed by the Croatian Parliament, National Gazette no.147/04.
  • Protection of Civil and Military Victims of Homeland War injured by mines is defined by the Law on Protection of Military and Civilian Homeland War Invalids, the Law on Employment and Professional Rehabilitation (National Gazette no. 33/05 from 14 March 2005) and Law on Pension Insurance (National Gazette no. 102/98., 127/00., 59/01., 109/01., 147/02., 117/03., 30/04., 177/04., 92/05., 79/07 and 35/08.) Basic laws have so far been the subjects of modifications and amendments as well as number of relevant rules and regulations

Several important documents have been passed and ratified in the past four years relating to persons with disability (hereinafter: PWD):

The Republic of Croatia is a signatory of the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disability that has been in force since May 3, 2008. On March 30, 2007 in the UN headquarter in New York, the Republic of Croatia signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and the Elective Protocol along with the Convention. On June 1, 2007, the Republic of Croatia passed the Law on Adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and the Elective Protocol. Representatives of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the Croatian Parliament and non-governmental organizations took an active part in drafting the text of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability that had been translated to Croatian language on several occasions during the draft phase. In that way, persons with disability were actively involved in the draft phase.

In terms of effectiveness, this international document is above all valid laws of the Republic of Croatia. Through 50 articles, it improves, protects and ensures the full equivalency in terms of human rights and basic freedoms of persons with disability (PWD).

The National Strategy of Unique Policy for Persons with Disability 2003-2006 was valid in the period between the two UN review conferences. Today, the valid document is the National Strategy for Equalisation of Opportunities for PWD 2007-2015. It was passed by the Government of the Republic of Croatia in mid-2007. The National Strategy defines 101 measure, implementation holders and co-holders; it elaborates the activities and measurement implementation deadline, sets the implementation indicators and defines the planned funds for the implementation of each measure. The task of the National Strategy is to synchronize all activity programs in the sphere of protection of persons with disability with standards reached globally, but also all other trends aiming at opening different aspects of life and make them available for persons with disability. General aspects of the Strategy refer to respecting human rights, indiscrimination, creating equal opportunities, full civil participation in the community life and involvement into global and European policy framework for persons with disability. The National Strategy leans onto the already established frameworks at the same time searching for new solutions to ensure comprehensive approach in all PWD-related fields of interest.

The most relevant issues defined by the National Strategy of Unique Policy for Persons with Disability 2007-2015 are as follows:
  • Improvement of material position;
  • Equalization of rights;
  • Education and rehabilitation;
  • Equal participation in community life
  • Protection of dignity and integrity;
  • Taking co-ordinated actions and efficient informing;
  • The Strategy refers to all persons with disability regardless of time and circumstances of damage occurring;
  • Providing tangible and financial assistance in the framework of different special rights;
  • The basic precondition for the creation of such database was met by passing the Law on the Croatian Registry of PWD;
  • More open action taking through non-governmental sector represents an extension to the government structure;
  • Possibilities for education and employment;
  • Professional rehabilitation;
  • Solving the mobility issues (entering public places, pavements and roads, reconstructions)
  • Rules and regulations on orthopaedic aids in line with contemporary medical and technical achievements.

The Council of Europe Action Plan for the promotion of rights and complete integration of PWD into the everyday community life - improvement of PWDs quality of life in Europe 2006-2015 consists of 15 guidelines for the improvement of basic scopes of activities of PWDs interest following the principles of non-discrimination; equal opportunities and involvement into social processes.

Based on strategic documents signed and passed in 2007, there was also the Law on Ombudswoman for Persons with Disability passed and Office of the Ombudswoman for Persons with Disability established. The mission of Ombudswomans Office is to contribute to creating a society of equal opportunities for all citizens on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, for all categories of persons with disability in all life segments, all age groups in all scopes of their activity. Ombudswomans Office should be a link between persons with disability, civil society and institutions able to solve the problems of PWD in a systematic manner using the most up-to-date achievements and lessons learned in the life of best practices and through co-operation of all bodies working on protection and promotion of rights and interests of persons with disability. Competences of the Ombudswomans Office are as follows: to warn, advise and give recommendations; suggest, inform; making insights into the temporary or permanent residences of PWD. State administration bodies, local and regional administration units, regional self-administration units, legal and actual entities are obliged to co-operate with the ombudswoman and submit the requested reports. The Administration for the Protection of Victims and Participants of War and its Department for the Protection of Civil Victims of Homeland War of Croatia that involves mine victims as well are established by the Decree on Internal Organization of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (Narodne novine National Gazette no. 38/07 from April 13, 2007).

The following activities are performed in the Department for the Protection of Civil Victims of Homeland War of Croatia: direct implementation of laws and legislation, professional assistance and assurance of their implementation, participation in drafting the proposal of regulations referring to protection of victims and participants of war, monitoring over the situation and proposing measures for the improvement of beneficiaries position; solving of appeals in the second-instance administrative proceeding and reopening of proceeding and revision of first-instance decisions from the sphere of civil invalids of Homeland War and members of their families; direct administrative supervision over the work of first-instance state administration bodies; participation in realization of psycho-social assistance for civil victims of Homeland War and members of their families; co-operation with government and non-government organizations for the purpose of providing assistance and proposing measures for the improvement of care for civil victims of Homeland War and members of their families; participation in defining content-related functions of information system and sub-systems of legal protection of beneficiaries; their claims and program solutions and their implementation, drafting expert opinions relating to implementation of legal protection of beneficiaries; taking actions according to inquiries of citizens, associations and state administration bodies; participation in drafting implementing rules relating to determination of monthly sums of personal disability allowance and other financial benefits; receipt and processing of claims for funds, payment order preparation and liquidation of invoices; keeping records on payments made, number and structure of beneficiaries; preparation of financial, statistic and other reports and finally, response to inquiries of beneficiaries and other interested bodies.

The Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment was established in December 2005 and continues with its activities in the years to come. The National Activity Plan for the Rights and Interests of Children with Special Needs 2006-2012 was adopted in March 2006.

There are nine key forms of mine victim assistance governmental and non-governmental sector, a number of organizations and individual initiatives take part in.
  • Emergency medical care;
  • Continuing medical care;
  • Physical rehabilitation, prosthesis and assistive devices;
  • Psychological and social support;
  • Employment and economic integration;
  • Capacity-building and sustainability;
  • Legislation and public awareness;
  • Access to public services;
  • Data collection.
Relevant ministries and institutions involved in mine victim care program are as follows:
  • Ministry of Health and Social Welfare;
  • Ministry of Family, Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity;
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration;
  • Ombudswomans Office for Persons with Disability;
  • Croatian Health Insurance Institute;
  • Croatian Pension Insurance Institute;
  • Croatian Employment Service;
  • Croatian Orthopaedic Society;
  • Clinical Institute for Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Aids;
  • Centre for Crisis Situations;
  • Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of PWD;
  • Committee of the Government of the RC for persons with disability;
  • Office for Human Rights;
  • Embassies of foreign countries to the RC
  • Croatian Mine Action Centre.
Non-governmental sector and institutions involved in mine victim care program are as follows:
  • Croatian Mine Victims Association (active until 2007);
  • Mine Aid Association;
  • M.A.R.E. Centre: Model of Active Rehabilitation and Education;
  • Croatian Union of Associations of Physically Disabled Persons;
  • Association of Organizations of Croatian Civil Victims of Homeland War of Croatia;
  • "Croatia without Mines" Trust Fund;
  • Croatian Red Cross;
  • International Rehabilitation Centre for Victims of Torturing;
  • Centre for Crisis Situations;
  • Association for Promotion of Equal Opportunities;
  • International Trust Fund for Demining and Mine Victim Assistance (ITF);
  • Association of Mine Victims of Karlovac County;
  • Bembo Association;
  • Norwegian Peoples Aid (NPA) (until 2010);
  • Individual initiatives of persons or organizations.

The aim of victim support and assistance through the above-stated ministries and institutions is to provide victims with integration into everyday living. There are four basic categories of MVA:

1. First Aid and Further Medical Care

Croatia has got a very well developed public health service structure and health care system that include clinics, clinical centres, specialized polyclinics, hospitals and rehabilitation centres. The sphere of health protection is defined by the Health Protection Act (National Gazette no. 85/06, 105/06, 1187/06, 77/07, 111/07 and 35/08) and Compulsory Health Insurance Act (National Gazette no. 85/06, 105/06, 118/06, 77/07 and 111/07). In the framework of the rights from the compulsory health insurance, mine victims that are insured by the Institute have the right to health protection under the same terms as all other insured persons, in the volume determined by the Institute and regulations passed based on law. These rights are as follows:

  1. Primary health protection,
  2. Specialist and consultative health protection,
  3. Hospital health protection,
  4. Right to medications defined by the basic and additional lists of medications issued by the Institute,
  5. Right to stomatological and prosthetic care and aids,
  6. Right to orthopaedic and other aids,
  7. Right to health protection abroad.

According to the Law on the Protection of Military and Civilian War Invalids, mine victims and members of their families are entitled to the following: rights on the basis of physical impairments, rights on the basis of the loss of family members and rights on the basis of material and other needs of a beneficiary.

I. RIGHTS ON THE BASIS OF PHYSICAL IMPAIRMENTS ARE:
  • personal disability allowance,
  • allowance for the care and help of another person,
  • orthopaedic allowance,
  • professional rehabilitation.
II. RIGHTS ON THE BASIS OF THE LOSS OF FAMILY MEMBERS ARE:
  • family disability allowance,
  • increased family disability allowance.
III. RIGHTS ON THE BASIS OF MATERIAL AND OTHER NEEDS OF A BENEFICIARY ARE:
  • upkeep costs;
  • allowance for help and care in the house;
  • special allowance;
  • free school books;
  • advantage during applying for educational institutions;
  • advantage during placing in students homes;
  • advantage during the employment;
  • advantage during situating into social welfare homes;
  • liberation from paying the fee for redevelopment of agricultural land;
  • special calculation of years of service;
  • right to transportation and funeral costs;

Children of killed civilians, children civilian invalids of war as well as children of civilian war invalids of the Ist group with 100% of physical impairments have an advantage over the others during applying for educational institutions (in case of passing classification exam), advantage during placing in students homes; right to scholarships under specially defined terms and the advantage during the employment, also under the equal terms.

Children of killed civilians as well as children civil war invalids are entitled to special allowance totalling 10% of budget base during regular schooling in the elementary schools and high schools.

Rights of deminers and persons equal to them in case of disability or death are defined in the Chapter V of the Law on Humanitarian Demining. Rights allowed based on disability are: the right to health insurance, the right to retirement insurance, the right to the remaining fitness for work, the right to a disability pension. There have been the rights based on organism damages defined. They refer to: personal disability payments, orthopaedic allowance, special allowance, allowance for personal care and aid rendered by another person, medical i.e. physical rehabilitation.

Rights of family members after the death of deminers or persons equal to them in case of disability or death are: family pension and family disability payments. There have also been the rights of children of fatally injured deminers defined.

After June 30, 1996, in case of an injury of a death of deminer during the conduct of demining operations, deminer i.e. his family members are entitled to the same rights as Croatian Homeland War veterans and their family members per provisions of the Law on the Rights of Croatian Homeland War Veterans and Their Family Members.

In case of injury or death of the deminer, member of the Croatian Army, i.e. police or civil protection of the Ministry of Interior during the conduct of demining operations, after May 30, 1990, deminer i.e. his family members are entitled to the rights from the Law on the Rights of the Croatian Homeland War Veterans and Their Family Members.

2. Physical Rehabilitation

Clinical centres in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek and one clinical hospital provide all forms of physical rehabilitation. There are 29 specialized hospitals for physical rehabilitation in Croatia and one Institute for rehabilitation and orthopaedic aids in Zagreb. There are also a number of private small firms dealing with manufacturing prostheses and aids because medical centres do not have their own manufacture. There are 400 contractual companies registered in the Republic of Croatia specialized in the procurement of orthopaedic and other aids. There are 150 orthopaedic technicians, members of the Croatian Orthopaedic Society, working in those companies. Orthopaedic technicians are being trained at work or abroad. Their work is supervised by orthopaedists. There are 783 physical therapists employed in the hospitals located on mine suspected areas. The prosthetists are currently being educated abroad but there is a plan for them to be educated at work. The Croatian Public Health Institute passed the Rules and Regulations stipulating the rights and needs relating to the use of orthopaedic aids and filling relevant needs (National Gazette no. 64/01). Other forms of medical and psychosocial help and assistance, hospital and home treatment, orthopaedic aids and other assistive devices are also defined by laws and rules and regulations (NG no. 26/96, 79/97, 31/99, 51/99, 73/99), (NG 25/05, 41/05, 88/05) and (NG 5/05, 19/05, 51/05, 116/05).

3. Psychological Assistance and Social Reintegration

The Ministry of Family, Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity opened the centres for psychosocial assistance in all 20 counties of the Republic of Croatia and City of Zagreb aiming at providing assistance to all people with disabilities including mine victims with war traumas including mine victims and members of their families. Apart from those centres, the newly established Family Centres are capable of providing such psychosocial assistance. The Regional Centre for Psychosocial Rehabilitation of Children and Young People Mine Victims in Rovinj is the biggest joint project of government and non-government sector initiated in 2001 on the area of medical and recreational complex in Rovinj. After the completion of operations, the centre should become the regional centre for the region of South Eastern Europe and wider. Thanks to the support of the Norwegian Embassy and a number of foreign and domestic donors, the first reconstruction works started in 2005. Most of the works have already been completed and rehabilitation activities started.

4. Professional and Economic Rehabilitation

As mentioned earlier, according to the polls carried out, professional and economic rehabilitation represent the priority. The act of employment and professional rehabilitation (NG no. 33/05 from March 14, 2005) speaks of the methods and procedures of training and employment of persons with disabilities and ways of retraining. The Fund for professional rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities was established the same year. The Fund encourages the Croatian companies and organizations to employ persons with disabilities but also stimulates the self-employment of persons with disabilities using State Budget funds. The Law on Free-of-Charge Legal Assistance from 2005 regulates providing legal assistance to persons whose economic status does not allow hiring a lawyer for court actions and administrative affairs, what is often the case. The laws, rules and regulations define all the privileges for the companies employing persons with disabilities. The above-mentioned Law on Humanitarian Demining defines a number of status rights of deminers and their families in case of disability and disablement pension. Additional payment for better quality prostheses in the amount of 7.000 to 50.000 HRK is the most frequent form of individual support. Several dozens of persons ask for such type of support each year.

Among other projects directly supporting the mine victims is the education of young people mine victims for the profession of prosthetist and their employment in the company Bauerfeind Ltd. from Zagreb. The project has been implemented since 1995. There are also certain projects conducted which directly financially support the procurement of computers, school books and equipment, assistance in procurement of small farming machinery for the future smaller farms, procurement of furniture, equipping houses, visits to the victims in their homes and rehabilitation centres, covering the rehabilitation and victim escort expenses.

5. Rights of Mine Victims Referring to Pension Insurance

According to the Pension Insurance Act, casualties are entitled to a disability pension and professional rehabilitation. In case of death, family members are entitled to family pension.

Deminers and persons equal to them that perform demining operations, claim the rights in case of disability or death according to the special law i.e. Law on Humanitarian Demining. Croatian Homeland War veterans claim their rights based on the Law on the Rights of the Croatian Homeland War Veterans (in case of general inability to work; professional inability to work and cumulative disability pension).

 

Summary (four-year period between the two UN Review Conferences (Nairoby-Cartagena)

Overall mine action activities in the past four years between the two Review Conferences, improvement of techniques and technologies, implementation of supervision procedures over demining operations, implementation of mine risk education activities and availability of information on mine suspected area resulted in substantial reduction of a number of mine victims (7-20010, 6-2011, 3-2012, 1-2013, 2-2014 and 1-2015). The above-mentioned figures include deminers and their involvement in mine incidents is also significantly reduced when compared to the period 1991-1998 (3-2010, 4-2011, 2-2012, 0-2013, 0-2014, 1-2015). This is primarily the result of education of deminers and worksite leaders, use of mechanical demining and supervision over demining operations in progress.

In the period from the first until the second Review Conference, what we see as the most important thing is the overall reduction of a number of mine incidents. There were some changes in forming of state bodies responsible for assistance to persons with disability (hereinafter: PWD) made as well as changes in the existing legal framework. Generally speaking, there was a better co-operation established with state administration bodies and institutions while a bit smaller moves were made in co-operation with different associations i.e. at non-government sector level.

  • Significant reduction of a number of mine incidents and mine victims;
  • Entire population informed about mine suspected area (MSA), continuous mine risk education activities, complete MSA marking;
  • Important documents signed and in force; modifications in legislation referring to PWD;
  • Strategies relating to PWD passed and in force;
  • New bodies and institutions established (for example, Office of the Ombudswoman for PWD);
  • Bigger co-ordination among state administration bodies in realization of assistance to PWD;
  • Positive changes in the Rules and Regulations on Orthopaedic Aids;
  • Positive changes in the reform of urgent medical aid;
  • Improvements in the work of the Croatian Institute for Transfusion Medicine;
  • Defined rights and procedures for PWD during their realization;
  • Regular co-ordination meetings of CROMAC, state administration bodies and NGOs;
  • Regular annual workshops for children mine victims held thanks to the support of the State Department through ITF;
  • Several mine victims employed;
  • Realization of several individual donations for children mine victims (money and tangible goods);
  • Role of media in reporting about mine action intensified;
  • Marking of April 4 International Day of Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action since 2006
  • Representatives of the Republic of Croatia regularly attended world events and workshops relating to PWD.
  • Implementation of the National Strategy for Equalization of Opportunities for PWD in the period 2007-2015 that includes: drafting a unique list of physical damage, a unique body for expert evaluation and definition of a severe disability. Considering the fact that this is the Strategy for Equalization of Opportunities for PWD, a disability degree will affect the terms and scope of rights a lot more than the persons status and incident circumstances that resulted in disability.
  • Implementation of goals of the National Strategy for Development of Public Health System 2006-2011
  • By contracting the health protection with health institutions and private health workers, there will be an equal availability of health protection ensured on the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia, on all health-related fields of activity primary, specialist, consilium and clinical health protection.
  • There will be the measures of an active policy of the national implementation plan for encouragement of employment of PWD continued. IPA programs are included into the "Encouragement of more intensified involvement of PWD into the labour market"
  • Favourable measures in professional rehabilitation will also be continued. Necessary funds will be secured in the state budget; many new regional centres and branch offices for professional rehabilitation;
  • Strengthening of co-operation of state administration bodies with the Office of Ombudswoman for PWD, bigger co-ordination and involvement of NGOs and non-governmental sector in working bodies during passing laws and their modifications and improvements for the needs of PWD;
  • Considering the fact that the National Registry for PWD is an official national database whose information is used by many departments and sectors in implementation of PWD rights, there will be an initiative developed relating to introducing an external incident code in the form to be made during the draft of the unique list of physical damage by the Ministry of Economy;
  • Although there are several guidelines on the rights of PWD, there is the need for making another extended guidelines or brochure in co-operation with authorised institutions, in line with valid laws and define clear rules of procedure establish the procedure i.e. define how to run the process from the moment of an incident to realization of rights to an integration.
  • The need for establishing an expert team for crisis has been realized. The task of this team is to visit the mine victim right after the incident and inform the victim about psychological assistance available and further actions to be undertaken for the purpose of realization of rights until their full reintegration into the family, working and social environment;
  • Systematic work on raising the awareness of public and media about the needs of PWD;
  • One-time financial assistance right after the incident should be included into the legislation;
  • Establish stronger connection with other associations in joint struggle for adequate rights of PWD;
  • There is a strong need for psychosocial assistance in the very beginning after the incident, assistance in primary health support and adaptation. This implies the change of practice of Centres for Psychosocial Assistance.
  • Family centres and Centres for Social Welfare should be more actively involved in analyses of social statuses and support options.

In April 2010, there was the Brochure intended for persons with disability-persons injured by mines entitled ''Possibilities and Rights'' promoted at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. The brochure was prepared by the Croatian Mine Action Centre, Mine Aid Association and a number of associates and financed by the Sisak-Moslavina County (edition: 200 pcs). Considering the fact that all copies of the brochure have been distributed to different institutions, associations and individuals, the need for another updated issue emerged. It was funded by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and published in March 2011. Mine Aid association was the publisher.

The Brochure consists of chapters on rights based on disability, rights of peacetime, military and civil war victims, rights of deminers and persons equal to them on the basis of disability and death with a number of interpretations of legal regulations. The second part of the Brochure consists of the list of relevant institutions and associations with over 500 addresses and telephone numbers. The Brochure is also available on web pages of the Croatian Mine Action Centre (CROMAC).

At the end of 2011, there was a book promotion organized in the House of Human Rights in Zagreb. The book is a result of completed project entitled Croatia twenty years later Mine victims: where they are, what they do and what they need. The project was headed by the Association for promotion of Equal Opportunities from Zagreb led by M.Sc. Mirjana Dobranovi. Together with her associates, Mr Gordan Bosanac from the Centre for Peace Studies and Mr Mato Luki from the Association of Mine Victims of Karlovac County, Mrs Dobranovi prepared the project and applied to the tender announced by ITF (ITF Enhancing Human Security) from Ljubljana. The project was funded by the USA. The research presented in the book was carried out by the Agency for Market Research TotusOpinionmeter. The head of research Ms Maja Labus informed about the subjects of research: the circumstances of mine incidents, adequacy of medical care and role of government institutions and civil society in lives of mine victims. The research results shall be the groundwork for improvement of victim status but also making an impact on the regulations referring to this subject matter and removal of obstacles mine victims run into during the employment process.

It is important to mention that mine victim assistance programmes are implemented within legally defined framework i.e. institutionally, but also with the support of non-governmental organizations, organizations and individuals and coordinative role of the Croatian Mine Action Centre. The basis for strategic framework is the National Strategy for Equalization of Opportunities for PWD 2007-2015 and Croatian Action Plan of Assistance to Mine and UXO Victims 2010-2014.

Croatian Action Plan of Assistance to Mine and UXO Victims 2010-2014

Croatian Action Plan of Assistance to Mine and UXO Victims is a document based on commitments undertaken by signing the Ottawa Convention and Convention on Cluster Munitions as well as decisions and guidelines of the UN Review Conferences held in Nairobi and Cartagena as well as conclusions of the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Vientiane.

The basic goal of this Plan is to improve the quality of life of mine victims and members of their families. With the establishment of Co-ordination body whose representatives participated in the preparation of the Croatian Action Plan the conditions for overall coordination and systematic supervision over the goals set in six basic chapters became much better. Basic chapter are as follows: Understanding of the problem we are facing, First aid and further medical care, Physical Rehabilitation, Psycho-social assistance, Economic integration, Laws and Public policies. Starting positions from 2010 were elaborated for each chapter as well as goals and plans for achieving the goals and also sources of funding.

Understanding the problem we are facing is aimed at raising the quality of life and services for mine victims via involvement of all responsible bodies and departments as well as monitoring over providing adequate services as a response to the needs and evaluation of quality of services provided.

Mortality will be reduced by planning the improvement of providing first aid and further medical care, stabilization of medical conditions and reducing physical damage which might occur as a result of injury during emergency medical interventions, to the minimum. The aim is to enable access to treatment with the purpose of reduction of physical damage resulting from an injury. The purpose of improvement of physical rehabilitation is to return maximum physical-functional capacity to the persons injured by mines and UXO including acquisition of appropriate assistive devices. The aim of development of psycho-social assistance is to provide conditions for mine victims and members of their families to face the newly-arisen situation and numerous psycho-social adjustments more easily in order to reoccupy their position within the community and maintain healthy and positive attitude towards the world. With economic reintegration, mine victims will be given access to professional counselling and life-long learning regardless of age, education and employment status. The plan is to strengthen capacities of subjects acting within the framework of assistance during employment of mine victims. In the sphere of laws and public policies, it is planned to revise the existing laws, policies, plans, legal frameworks and solutions with the purpose of adequate meeting of needs and realization of basic human rights of mine victims, especially in the light of their harmonization with EU standards and European practices reached.

The plan has been completely integrated into the institutional forms of care for persons with disability based on the existing laws.  The plan should contribute to improvement of overall care for mine victims in the Republic of Croatia. Members of Co-ordination have so far been representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integrations, Ombudswoman for persons with disability, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Ministry of Family, Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity, Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, Croatian Public Health Institute, Ministry of Interior, National Protection and Rescue Directorate, Croatian Health Insurance Institute, Croatian Pension Insurance Institute, Croatian Employment Institute, City Office for Health and Veterans of the City of Zagreb, Office for Human Rights of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Croatian Mine Action Centre, Mine Aid Association, Association of Mine Victims of Karlovac County, Union of Associations of Civil Victims of Homeland War of Croatia, Association for the Promotion of Equal Opportunities and ITF Enhancing Human Security. Reorganization of Co-ordination has been carried out considering the newly-arisen situation relating to changes within the institutions. Funds for the implementation of the Croatian Action Plan of assistance to mine victims are planned to be ensured from regular funds of state administration state budget beneficiaries, donations and European Union funds.

 

NEWS

The 14th International Symposium Humanitarian Demining 2017

MINE SITUATION

Mine suspected areas in Croatia:
416,40 km2

The Office for Mine Action
Cluster for humanitarian demining