In 1996 the Dutch government commissioned NIOD to investigate the fall of the enclave Srebrenica in Bosnia and the Dutch role in the conflict. For the general public it was the first time that NIOD presented itself in a different field of research than the one for which it was renowned. The investigation offered NIOD an opportunity to address social and international issues about ‘Srebrenica’ on the basis of intensive scholarly research.

The final report Srebrenica. A ‘safe’ Area - Reconstruction, Background, Consequences and Analyses of the Fall of a Safe Area was published on 10 April 2002. Its conclusions were the prelude to the fall of the second government led by Prime Minister Kok. The House of Representatives subsequently commissioned a parliamentary enquiry into Srebrenica.

Apart from Srebrenica, NIOD extended its research activities in other ways: the number of academic and social partners in the Netherlands and abroad increased significantly.