Gender differences in war-related disappearance: Croatian experiences, 2005

Slavica Jurcevic, James Allen, Solveig Dahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to assess gender differences in disappeared persons and the circumstances of their disappearance. The method involved the completion of a semistructured interview and questionnaires by individuals searching for missing and disappeared persons in Croatia (1991-1995) as a part of the nationwide disappeared persons registry of the Croatian Commission for Detained and Missing Persons. A total of 6,183 informants provided information on characteristics and circumstances of 2,563 disappeared persons, 84% of the total number of 3,052 disappeared persons. The results indicated an important gender difference in the patterns of disappearance in the Croatian war; most disappeared men were of combatant age, employed, and similar to the general population in terms of key demographic characteristics, whereas most disappeared women were rural, less educated, and elderly. This type of information was critical for guiding postconflict policy decisions, planning treatment and prevention efforts for the families of victims of human rights abuses, and holding perpetrators accountable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-375
Number of pages6
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007

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