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Serbian Parents Of Missing Children Stage Protest, Call For Investigation

Serbian parents who say their newborn children were illegally taken from them in maternity hospitals protested in front of the parliament in Belgrade on April 11.

The demonstrators called on lawmakers to vote against draft legislation aimed at establishing the facts on what happened to their children, arguing that the legislation is inadequate.

Hundreds of parents in Serbia claim that their newborns were pronounced dead at hospitals and that the bodies were never handed over.

The cases, which go back to the 1970s, have generated theories that the children were actually alive and were stolen by criminal gangs operating illegal adoption rings.

Five years ago, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Serbia is obliged to resolve the fate of the missing babies, but no law has yet been adopted.

The government sent a proposal to the Assembly in March, but the parents of missing babies say it does not go far enough.

The protesters say the draft legislation does not do enough to establish a thorough investigation.

They say the goal of the law should not be material compensation to the parents but conducting an independent investigation and the finding the truth.