War child trafficking between Bosnia and Italy

1 March 2010

War child trafficking between Bosnia and Italy

Jagoda Savic found some of the victims of child trafficking after 14 years, with the address protected by Court's sentence and among 61 millions of citizens in Italy. She organized a meeting betwen some victims and their biological parents and presented the allegation about child trafficking in front of Special Department for Organized Criminal within State prosecution of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1992 initiated the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Approximatelly 130 children, entrusted to state institutions, were transfered abroad to save themselves from war danger. They belonged to orphanage of Zenica and orphanage of Sarajevo and to a group of children, born by raped women, who were first transfered to Zagreb. 46 of them, from orphanage of Sarajevo, were sent to Italy on 18. 07. 1992. All others were transported to Malaysia, Pakistan, Libia and Spain.

Their previous legal status was „ temporarily collocated“ in orphanage, due to serious family difficullties. They were not abandoned by their parents. But, 29 of them were adopted in Italy without agreement of their biological parents.

Violation of article 8 of European Convention for Human Rights, a right to have family life, was officially recognized in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnian Human Rights Chamber and it's successor , Commission for human rights within Constitutional Court judged on 08. 09. 2004 in cause CH/ 03/ 14689 that Bosnia and Herzegovina did neither well timed action nor all appropriate actions to unify some of parents with their children.

Violation of article 8 of European Convention for Human rights was never officially recognized in Italy.

The investigation about this war child trafficking between Bosnia and Herzegovina was conducted by Special Department for Organiyed Crimes within the State prosecution of BiH. The investigation was closed after two years in November 2007. The prosecutor declared a lack of evidencies.

These evidencies could be provided by Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Italy but this Ministry refused to give them to Bosnia and Herzegovina after official State request. Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs answered that requested documents are secret of office but it is not true. The documents that could help to Bosnian prosecutor were 36 "empty documents" with their data of delivery and a signature of receiver.

Bosnian prosecutor in fact needed copies of international court's orders sent from Court for minors in Milan to Sarajevo in order to have declarations of biological parents if they would give their children for adoption or not, a data of their delivery by Italian Embassy in Sarajevo to Protocol Office of Bosnian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and identification of persons who received these documents in order to find their carefully hidden traces in Bosnian Ministry.

I) First family re-union

daughter Sedina and father Uzeir Kahvic

meeting on 22. 10. 2006

Among these 29 adopted children there was also Sedina Kahvic. The opening of her dossier in September 2005 in a Court for minors in Milan, showed a lot of irregularities committed during adoption procedure. A case of Sedina Kahvic is only one case available to justice, that can offer giuridically valid evidencies about possible child trafficking. All other traces regarding adoption procedure of other 28 children have been hidden.

1)First evidence

First legal evidence is a testimony of Sedina Kahvic. In her dossier in Court for minors in Milan there is also her declaration that she received a letter from her father in December 1995 with his and his brother's photo. In that letter father asked Sedina if she wants to return home.

Sedina forgot her native language and a letter was translated from Bosnian to Italian to her. Then she wrote her answer and it was translated fromitalian to Bosnian language. She gave it to a nun of staff of Center „ Mamma Rita“ in Monza, where she was living last four years , to send the answer to her father to Sarajevo. It was his address written on the back side of the envelope. Italian nun never sent a letter and in such a way she provoced artificial disconnection between Sedina and her biological father.

2) Second evidence

Second legal evidence is a testimony of Giovanna L. In December 1999 Uzeir Kahvic, a father of Sedina, asked Italian non governmental organization „ Amici dei bambini“ to find his daughter in Italy. Mrs. Giovanna L. called social service in Milan and informed social worker that father is searching Sedina. A social worker Natalia Banfi decided to not transfer this information neither to Sedina neither to a family with which she was living. In that period Sedina was not adopted and such information could block adoption procedure. So, italian social worker provoked second artificial disconnection between Sedina and her biological father.

3) Third evidence

Third legal evidence is a testimony of Silvia M. She is italian lawyer and Uzeir Kahvic gave to her a mandate to open Sedina dossier in a Court for minors in Milan. Mrs. Muto found a couple of very embarassing facts:

a) on 14. 07. 1996 tutelary judge sent a false report to Court for minors that Sedina Kahvic is abandoned child, in order to open the procedure for her adoption. In is not officially verified if this report was based on false declaration of center „ Mamma Rita“ that in four years neither family membres nor relatives searched for Sedina.

b) On 14. 12. 1996 Sedina declared in front of psychologist of Center „ Mamma Rita“ her wish to return home. A judge ignored her wish and gave order to collocate her in Italian family.

c) A judge had three written declarations of Sedina's father regarding his wish to return back his daughter to Sarajevo. These declarations were made on 16. 01. 1997 and on 11. 03. 1997 in front of Bosnian social worker and third was made by Bosnian council in Milan. The fourth was a report of Mrs. Giovanna.

Beside all these facts, the sentence of adoption of Sedina Kahvic was pronounced.

4) Fourth evidence

Fourth legal evidence is a testimony of Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. According to Italian Ministry, a Court for minors in Milan sent from 1996 to 1999 about 36 international court orders for the audience of biological parents. Bosnia authorities were not obliged by international law to answer because there were no bilateral agrements to regolate a matter. But in such a circumstancies, Bosnian Ministry for Foreign Affairs could express their wish with nota verbale to block procedure of adoption and to protect interests of that children. Instead of that, Bosnian Ministry for Foreign Affairs hide all international court orders and left Italian Court without any answer.

According to a Court for minors in Milan sentencies for adoption were caused with a lack of answer of Bosnian authorities. A head of office for Consular Affairs and international legal aid is now in diplomatic mission in Bruxelles. Bosnian state prosecutor is enabled to investigate involvement of Bosnian Ministry's staff. Three months ago a prosecutor sent one giuridical expert in graphology with state court's order to evaluate books of protocol and to try to find traces of 36 italian international courts orders. But, Ministry's staff forbade to this expert free access in Ministry's building. Italy officially declared the importance of international court's orders but eight months doesn't sattisfy Bosnian official request to have copies of this documentation.

But, on the other side, according to Silvia M., a lawyer, this international court orders were addressed to Bosnia institutions that doesn't exist. For example, one of titles was " Ministero grazia e affari sociali" doesn't exist, or "Commitato per i bambini presso Consiglio dei ministri Bosniaco" that was founded five years later after sending of court order, or adressed in 2000 to Sedina's mother who is dead in 1986 what Sedina's judges in Milan perfectly knew .

5) Fifth evidence

Fifth legal evidence is a testimony of Pier Attilio T. This Italian journalist from Monza, found about 133.000 euro of unknown origin on the bank account of Center „ Mamma Rita“, where Sedina was living for four years. This money was depositated two days after the pronounciation of the sentence of Sedina's adoption. But it is very strange that this money has no contractual obligations with a bank, but Center „ Mamma Rita“ for five years spends only the amount of interest.

6) Sixth evidence

Sixth legal evidence is an unofficial information that needs to be checked. There was a bank account nr. 5260394-2 in „ Credito Emiliano“ bank in via Andegari 14 in Milan, from which a money was sent to Bosnia and Herzegovina, always with purpose " adozione a distanza“ , adoption on distance. There are no informations in which way this money was spent. When children arrived in Italy with help of Bosnian NGO „ Prva djecija ambasada“ , First childrens' embassy, their secretary general Dusko Tomic left children to Italian authorities without any written document that could regolate their return home.

7) Seventh evidence

Seventh evidence is composed by official documents from Ministry for human rights of BiH, of Council of ministers og BiH and from Presidency of State of BiH, tapes and transcripts of two important sessions.

According to Dayton agreement, Ministry for human rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina is implementor of decisions od Human Rights Chamber and it's successor, Commission for human rights within Constitutional Court. Instead of to realize Court's decision, this Ministry even didn't prepare a base for it's implementation. On the occasion when Council of ministers of BiH were discussing a matter, on 26. 01. 2006, Ministry for human rights , who prepared written report and proposals how to go on, didn't propose to implement Court's decision. Beside that, this Ministry hide a letter from Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, although it is letter of a high importance. Dr. Amir Pilav said simply „ There arrived some other informations that cound't be included in text because they arrived too late.“ But a truth is that aletter from Farnesina arrived almost two months before this sesion of Council of ministers of BiH.

Minister for foreign affairs of BiH, Mladen Ivanic, hide a content of letter of italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs from members of Presidency of State of BiH. As a consequence, Presidency of State decided to open a revision of sentencies of adoption of Italian Court. This decision was made against the will of biological father Uzeir Kahvic because 14 years ago it could be according to his interests, but now it is not a case. This biological father evaluated that it such decision doesn't contribute to well-being of his daughter Sedina.

Italian minister for foreign affairs, Massimo D' Alema was informed about whole story in July 2006, but he didn't support a justice. Mr. D' Alema gave priority to diplomatic relations between two countries instead of to help to Bosnia prosecutor's investigation against possible organized criminal. Italian minister for foreign affairs didn't even protect the immage of president of Republic of Italy, who received a request for justice of Uzeir Kahvic and sent it to Farnesina to be answered according to international rules of communications. In fact, Farnesina declared to have important documentation and neved delivered it to whom it may concern. On the other side, Bosnian prosecutor sent giuridical expert in graphology with regular order by State Court to examine protocol books in Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This expert should try to find traces of international court orders after their receiving from Italian Embassy in Sarajevo. To this giuridical expert it was forbidden to enter in Ministry's palace. In this way two ministers for foreign affairs, Bosnian and italian, completely blocked collection of evidencies in this delicate investigation.

8) Touching meeting after 14 years

Sedina Kahvic was found thanks to italian TV transmissison „ Chi l' ha visto“ by RAI 3, that is searching missed persons for fifteen years. „ Chi l' ha visto“ broadcasted a service about Sedina and Uzeir on 19.12. 2005. She was found on 08. 01. 2006 in one small village in Tuscany. A Court for minors didn't authorize his meeting with his daughter and he was waiting until October. But, as Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs didn't respect the Law and didn't assist investigation of Bosnian prosecutor of state, who could oblige Uzeir Kahvic to respect italian court's sentence? Sedina accepted his meeting proposal and father and daughter met each other on 22. 10. 2006 in Italy.

II) Second family re-union

daughter Admira and mother Refia Besic

meeting on 22.12.2006.

Admir and Admira Besic are brother and sister from the same group of children , to whom Municipality of Milan offered hospitality. After the end of the war Admir and Admira also did not return home to Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to testimony of Admira, she didn't know where is their mother and if their mother would like to take care about her children. In short, they did not know what they can expect in Bosnia and it was safer to them to decide to remain in Italy. Admir and Admira also didn't know if they have other alive relatives in Bosnia.

So, their declaration if front of the judge is not valid because it was based on lack of indormations.

They were searching for their mother in Bosnia and Herzegovina and social worker from orphanage "Ljubica Ivezic" told them that their mother is dead. Refija Besic was ill from 1989 and one specialized institute took care about her. In early months of 1992 she was in hospital Kasindol with diagnosis of cancer.

Futher analysis showed that it was heavy form of TBC and she survived. But Bosnian law of health care protect the identity of users and social worker from orphanage "Ljubica Ivezic" couldn't know where she is. With such health conditions Refija Besic was not able to search for her children. According to social worker in institute Fojnica she always asked for her son and her daughter, but he was not sure if she was immagining to have children or they really exist.

Refija Besic gave a mandate to Jagoda Savic to find her children. Jagoda Savic presented her request to police station Kula-Istocna Ilidza who sent it to main police headquarters of Republika Srpska. Following international procedure this request was sent to INTERPOL BiH . On 07. 12. 2006. Italian INTERPOL received Refija's request and sent it to police in Milan. Twelve days later, on 19. 12. 2006, policemans from Milan informed brother and sister Besic about their mother's search. Four days later, on 23. 12. 2006, Admira arrived in Fojnica and met her mother.

So, after 14 years Admir and Admira became to know that their mother is alive.

According to testimony of Salvatore V. there were five the most rich persons who pretended to adopt Bosnian children from Center Mamma Rita in December 1995, when Bosnian authorities came to Monza to transport children to Sarajevo. They collected more than 100.000 .000 of lira and gave it to suora Rakela. Mr. A.D. told to Salvatore V. that he by himself gave about 20 millions to protect children he wanted to take. This persons gave precise order to suora Rakela to non answer the phone calls and to be careful what to say. Admira Besic testimony that she was hidden out of Center " Mamma Rita" for a couple of days to be sure that nobody will take her to Sarajevo. Someone told to these aspirants for adoption that there is terrible and dangerous situation in Sarajevo and that children will be for sure killed if they return back.

III) Third family re-union

Third family re-union , of Ademaj family is in preparation.

Mehdi Ademaj, to whom four children has been adopted in Italy, has juridical procedure against the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina in front of Commission for human rights within Constitutional court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Amina Ademaj is one of four children of Mehdi Ademaj who also presented allegation against Sate of Bosnia and Herzegovina in front of Commission for human rights within Constitutional Court because of adoption of his four children in italy. She finished secondary scholl of hotels and restorants management. Amina was first in one family and she didn't adapt herself successfully. Instead of to study her low adaptional capacities and to propose some adeguate solution, according to law, social workers decided to give her to another family to be adopted. Amina was unsattisfied also in her second family. She wanted to abandon them and she asked Mrs. Luciana B. to offer to her accomodation and food until she arrange herself. Mrs. Luciana refused because she was scared to violate the law ans Amina tried to find another family. At least, Amina found a job in one restaurant in Umbria region and left her adoptive family. Her father has no temporary stay in Sarajevo and it was difficult to find him. Finally he became to know that his daughter has been found. Amina told us where are her two sisters, Fatima e Aida and her brother Mustafa. So, whole family of four children has been found.

IV) Smajlovic female

Three days after departure of convoy with 46 children from the orphanage " Ljubica Ivezic" one three months old baby also left this institution. Italian journalist Franco Di Mare asked permit to transport her to Italy to save her life. As mother of the baby was not available, the staff of orphanage couldn't take responsibility for her departure. A baby was officially under custody of Center for social work. Due to emergency situation, minister for social work signed permit to this baby to leave the country. But, there was another problem with baby's departure. She was left to the orphanage by her mother after a birth and she didn't have personal name. A baby was registered in the orphanage's documents as " Smajlovic, žensko", which means Smajlovic, female. It is not clear under which circumstances how one baby can have passport and necessary war exit permits issued for a person without a name? Beside that, minister Martin Raguz wrote a permit for Smajlovic, female to leave the country adding his racomandation for adoption of some children from the orphanage " Ljubica Ivezic". In July 1992 all civil laws were put out of use and substituted by war laws. So, also Family law was not valid and no one adoption proposals couldn't be made. Some members of the State parliament, who saw a copy of this document, confirmed that it was not verified by big seal of the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that was according to rules, but with a small one, which is in use for financial state affairs. The delivery of baby Smajlovic to Franco Di Mare happened in hotel " Holliday Inn". Beside social worker who was dealing with a case, Ermin Terko, also a secretary general of First childrens' embassy, Dusko Tomic was present there. His role in this matter is not clear.

V) Merima Ajandzic

Centro Mamma Rita

Merima Ajnadzic is ninth child from the orphanage " Ljubica Ivezic" that had been found in Italy. She remained in Center " Mamma Rita" after that the last Bosnian child left this Center and was send to be accomodated in Italian families.

She was taken away from her biological family by Court's order after a sentenced case of violence committed by her father. Merima was very obedient child and she learned Italian language very quickly. She remained with nuns in center " Mamma Rita " and she joined their religious group " Suore Carmelitane" and made all necessary steps to become a nun. Being a Bosnian Moslim, there are no indications that this catholic religious group applied any form of violence of hidden persuasion to convince her to join their group. Merima got another name and she is now in one of the instituts that belong to a subgroup " Minime Oblate del Cuore Immacolato di Maria". It is strange in which way the Court for minors in Milan regolated her status in Italy because in official report presented in front of Bosnian Council of ministers Merima Ajnadzic is presented as adopted child and this catholic group could't make legal procedure of adoption. Beside that, in her dossier in Court for minors in Milan it has been found also her social and family anamnesis sended from Center for social work " Stari grad" from Sarajevo without Court's order. Merima Ajandzic was not contacted directly because of respect of her own life's choice and of respect of monastery as institution. Nobody has a right to disturb her there.

VI) Jasenko and Amela Hasecic

Jasenko and Amela Hasecic are brother and sister. He attends four class of secondary school of Arts. She finished school for being a secretary and she works now in one electronic company. Their third sister Muniba was entrusted to one family in Sarajevo and, not being in the orphanage, she was not transfered to Italy at the beginning of the war. In August 1994 Muniba came to Italy and visited her brother Jasenko and her sister Amela. Muniba, nick named Biba, was accomodated 21 days in Centro "Mamma Rita" a Monza. It is very strange that in sentencies of adoption it is written that " in four years of the war there were no contacts between Jesenko and Amela and their family of origine " and how the adoption can be justificated with a lack of this contact when there are some photos of Jasenko, Amela and Biba altogether, made in Monza.

Jasenko was entrusted in a couple of families in which he didn't adapt himself successfully. Instead of to examine carefully the reason of his adaptive problems, the Court for minors in Milan gave him in adoption. His adoptive father was drinking a lot and beated him severely. His brother Carlo took a boy in his house to take care about him and to protect him of his aggressive brother. Violence in family is very serious professional error commited by Center for social work in Milan and a Court for minors.

Amela didn't want to change her Bosnian name into Italian name Letizia but her adoptive parents forced her to do it.

VII) Elmir Sehovic

Elma and Elmir Sehovic

Elmir Šehovic went to Italy at the same time when his sister Elma went to Germany. But to his grandmother someone told that both her grandsons were together in Germany. After the end of the war Elma returned home without Elmir and then his grandmother became to know that Elmir is in Italy. She insisted in front of various institutions to return him back but without success.

Elmir often talked to his friends about his sister, being convinced that also she was adopted like him. When though one his firend he got the information that his sister is searching him for a very long time, he sent to her a photo when he was at the age of three, because all his relatives in Bosnia remembers him in that way. Elmir was keeping this photo for 16 years, hoping to find his family of origine. But someone cut the contact between brother and sister in artifocial way, changing his phone number. After one month his friend contacted again SOS helpline 1209 and sent Elmir's photo as he looks like now.

Elmir finished this year secondary school , countability books department. He has no negative emotions and a feeling of being rejected by their parents, because almost all adopted children know the truth about a procedure of their adoption.

VIII) Visible violation of adoption procedure

Third transparent case is a case of Vedrana Hastor. This girl, born in 1986, is adopted in Italy although in Bosnia and Herzegovina she officialy doesn't exist. She has neither civil code nor certificate of citizenship and her adoption was made without official verification of her identity.

Vedrana Hastor has three personal names and two family names that represent three different persons. Her names were Vedrana Hastor, Arijana Hastor and Maja Ivezic. In documents of Municipality of Milan she was named as Vedrana Hastor, while in Sarajevo she was named Maja Ivezic. Request to Register of birth of Sarajevo showed that there is no Bosnian citizen registered under name Vedrana Hastor and that she is officialy registered under name Maja Ivezic. She also had two different data of birth. In letters sent to Sarajevo behind her name it was written "father unknown, mother unknown" although it is not true. Bosnia social workers knew perfectly who were her father and her mother. There are, for example, certificate of birth under name Maja Ivezic, issued in 2004 by Municipality authorities in Sarajevo, some documents in her dossier in orphanage "Ljubica Ivezic" ( now Dom " Bjelave"), in which her mother Marcela Merdzanovic signes "as mother" that she took her daughter from oprhanage for a certain period of time, in which her father Samir Hastor presented a court request for establishing of paternity. A trial in court was stopped due to absence of a father, accusee, and this request remained without valid court's sentence.

Secret of office regarding adoption sentencies within Court for minors in Milan doesn't permit anybody to see in which way Vedrana Hastor was adopted without valid certificate of birth.

It can be also possible to make adoption accepting this identity confusion under certain circumstancies. For example, if Bosnian authorities sent to Court for minors valid social and family analysis and original agreement for adoption signed by biological parents of Vedrana Hastor. In such a case, certificate of birth looses it's importance as a violation of the law.