4 July 2008 – After obtaining information from different sources about the way in which the Roma community live in the northern part of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica and after the suspicions raised that members of this community live in an environment with considerably high toxic components, the Ombudsperson Institution has initiated ex-officio investigations.

The information which are available to the Ombudsperson Institution show that in the majority of the populations’ blood living in Mitrovicë/Mitrovica can be found considerably high components of lead, including also the NATO peacekeeping members. On the other hand, Roma community is by far the most endangered one, as they live near places where lead is disposed of from the Trepça mine.

The level of lead in their blood is estimated to be 3-4 times higher than in the other part of population. There are alleged suspicions that the number of Romas passing away as a result of the high presence of lead in their blood is huge and are mainly young people whose immunity is weak.

The Ombudsperson Institution’s investigation results shall be made public at the earliest opportunity together with the recommendations for the competent authorities in order that they take adequate measures.

Source: Ombudsperson institution