The 2017 Western Balkan Region Genocide Prevention Seminar resulted in the creation of our coalition.
After six years of capacity building, during which we’ve trained more than 80 organizations, CSOs have come to agree that a regional coalition supported by the international community gives rise to new processes for tackling corruption, discrimination, stereotyping, and hate speech. This specialized network consists of over 20 of the region’s leading civil society organizations who work to monitor and report on early warning signs of inter-ethnic violence, mass atrocities, and genocide.
For information about becoming a member or taking part in our activities email us at [email protected]
The HPG is a local NGO in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Founded in 1996, they work on the reconciliation and political empowerment of marginalized groups, as well as promoting, strengthening, and connecting civil initiatives. They aspire to live in a society where there are equal opportunities for all citizens through focusing on three specific program areas: advocacy for gender equality, strengthening Civil Society and the transformation of Public Authorities into the Citizen’s Service, and creating conditions for more intensive inclusion of Youth in public life. ‘X-Press II – Social Inclusion through Media’ is one of HPG’s projects, which was funded by the European Union, to encourage the media to report on marginalized and vulnerable groups in society. The organization has also educated and trained young people in the realm of gender and human rights. Programmes such as ‘Be the Leader of the 21st Century’ have enabled participants to refine their leadership skills and provided resources to access a challenging and globalized environment. For more information, please visit www.hcabl.org.
The HCRS was founded in 1996 in Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is an NGO dedicated to promoting human rights in the Republika Srpska. They target legislative bodies and civil society to ensure the protection of such rights, and focus on educating youths about fundamental human rights. Their main activities are sharing information on practical solutions in the field of human rights protection, providing suggestions on improvements to the state of human rights in Republika Srpska, and establishing cooperation between local and foreign organizations. in 2008-09, the HCRS helped organize public debates and create television programs about war crime trials. In 2010-11, they shifted their focus to education and media, where they have produced television programs and published printed materials. More recently, the Committee has organized conferences with judges and other governmental figures to bring tribunals closer to the local communities where war crimes were committed. For more information, please visit www.helcommrs.org
The Youth Resource Center (YRC) is a network of non-partisan individuals, groups, and organizations established in 1997 in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. They aim to connect youth initiatives from across the country and provide support for their development to help them implement their own initiatives and activities to build democratic values and strengthen civil society. Thousands of young people are part of the youth network and now occupy important roles in public and political life. They often take part in regional and international initiatives that campaign for gender equality, demilitarization, and the rights of, and protections for, minorities. Their initiatives focus on non-formal education, cultural education, HIV/AIDS and drug abuse prevention, human rights and working with youths with special needs. For more information, please visit: http://www.omladina-bih.net
Youth Center Odisej is based in Bratunac in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was founded in 2001 by displaced Bosnian Serbs from Hadzici. They aim to engage estranged communities with each other and facilitate intercultural tolerance and respect. Within a tense post-war environment in eastern Bosnia, Odisej fought against the divisive atmosphere, and they continue to fight nationalist sentiments among youth. They host sporting and cultural events that unite and educate the youth, despite their differences. They also create opportunities for employment and have run projects alongside CARE International aimed at increasing youth awareness about human rights.
Kvart is an NGO located in Prijedor in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its goal is overcoming prejudices and creating a space for young people to express their opinions and contribute to community development. Their core belief is that through communication and forming new friendships, a brighter future is ahead. They provide opportunities for youth to participate in educational activities about transitional justice, overcoming the traumatic past, and working towards reconciliation. Kvart are involved in cultural events such as workshops, public performances, exhibitions, and concerts. Their project ‘Youth for Reconciliation’ endeavored alongside other local NGOs, to increase the number of cultural activities and youth engagement in Prijedor. For more information, please visit: http://centarzamladekvartprijedor.blogspot.ba
The Forum Civil Peace Service (ForumZFD) is a German NGO, established in 1996 with the mission to further the realization of a Civilian Peace Service. They currently work in the Western Balkans, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, Cambodia and the Philippines. They aim to institutionalize methods of nonviolent conflict transformation, especially in the educational sector to strengthen the role of Civil Society Organizations. ForumZFD works in three thematic fields: dealing with the past, community consulting, and peace education. Their work has included organizing an international youth work camp called ‘Dealing with the Past and Jewish History in the Balkans’ and their ‘Ordinary People: Missing Rights – Finding Solutions’ project which involved filming five documentaries and ten research articles about positive stories during the Yugoslav wars. For more information, please visit: https://westernbalkans.forumzfd.org/en.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN BiH) is an NGO specializing in monitoring and reporting on war crime trials. It was formed in 2005 in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It analyzes transitional justice issues and the work of war crime chambers at state and local courts across the country, and then informs the public of their findings. BIRN supports the development of high quality media, a civil society engaged in BiH’s governance as well as securing and exercising democratic rights and obligations. Over the years they have published a substantial body of reports, investigations, and analyses on crucial transitional justice, political, economic and social issues. BIRN has also produced several books and two documentary films which explore the loss of family members due to sexual abuse. They provide training to journalists and media organizations through vocational and workshop-based methods. Starting in 2015, BIRN BiH developed a new sub-programme dedicated to monitoring and reporting on cases of organized crime, corruption and terrorism. For more information, please visit: http://detektor.ba
Balkan Diskurs is an independent multimedia platform that was founded in 2014 and is a project of the Post-Conflict Research Center, based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It provides young citizen journalists, activists, and academics in the Western Balkans a space free from censorship to publish their opinions, analysis and impressions of the region that they live in. Their central mission is to advocate a free and independent media which is essential for a democratic transition in the Western Balkans. Through ‘Youth Voices’, Balkan Diskurs educates young citizen journalists in journalistic best practices and provides the resources, training, and space young people need to be heard. With training and the opportunity to publish, young journalists can work with internationally-acclaimed investigative journalists. Thus, laying the foundations necessary for them to become the media makers of the future. For more information, please visit: http://www.balkandiskurs.com
The ‘PRONI’ Center for Youth Development is an NGO based in Brcko and Bijeljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was established in 1998 as a CSO for human rights, peace building and activism at a local level. Their vision is to identify and fulfill the needs of young people, assist them with self-development, and provide opportunities for them to contribute to a democratic and just society. Their work focuses on community youth initiatives, social education, and the promotion of EU integration. The ‘PRONI’ Center for Youth Development has implemented hundreds of projects over the years, which have included training over 350 youth workers at a university level between 1998-2004, the construction of a network of youth clubs in Brcko, and the Festival Youth Work ‘FORA’. For more information, please visit: http://www.pronibrcko.ba
United Women is an NGO which was founded in 1996 and operates in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its core objectives are to improve the social position of women and their right to live free from violence in both the public and private spheres. The activists behind United Women share a vision that women should be aware of their power and able to live as equal, respected and happy citizens in society. Therefore the Foundation is committed to the prevention of violence against women and to strengthening their role in decision-making contexts. Their work focuses on providing services to female victims of gender based violence through free and legal counseling, an SOS telephone line, and a shelter for women and children who are victims of violence. They are responsible for initiating and implementing numerous public advocacy programs aimed to improve laws and public policies in the area of protecting women’s human rights and gender equality. For more information, please visit: http://unitedwomenbl.org
Youth Volunteers is an apolitical, non-profit, and volunteer and charity organization based in Visoko, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its mission is to create positive change and a democratic society with equal rights for all through providing opportunities for education, civil participation as well as humanitarian and voluntary engagement. Youth Volunteers is committed to strengthening, promoting and empowering young people to be the originators of democratic change. Its activities promote education, volunteerism, environmental preservation, humanitarian aid, Bosnia’s EU integration and the prevention of discrimination. It operates a soup kitchen for some 1,000 vulnerable people and istackling youth unemployment through providing English courses and workshops to develop professional skills. For more information, please visit: http://www.mladivolonteri.org
Humanity in Action Bosnia & Herzegovina is an essential part of a collaborative, international, learning community of university students and young professionals in Europe and the United States. The organization is committed to liberal democracy, pluralism, social justice, and human rights, particularly in the transatlantic context. Their work promotes these values through education and forms of civic engagement shaped by the specific historical and cultural contexts of Bosnia & Herzegovina and partner organizations in Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the United States. Small but international, the organization connects carefully selected young leaders of diverse backgrounds and identities to support them in acting socially responsibly through understanding other social groups’ perspectives. For more information, please visit: https://www.humanityinaction.org/bosnia-herzegovina-about/
CURE Foundation is a feminist-activist organization that promotes gender and sex equality and works for positive social change through educational, cultural and research programs. By organizing affirmative collective actions, CURE celebrates the strength and power of women, and helps to empower individuals to become initiators of social change in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the world. The feminist activism has created a safe space where women are strong, fearless, competent, and united with all their differences. CURE is an organization of professionals and volunteers who take to the streets to protest against violence, discrimination, violation of laws and basic human rights. Furthermore, CURE organizes art performances against violence, inviting artists, scholars, lecturers, activists, and citizens to act, participate, and contribute to the creation of a better, sounder Bosnian-Herzegovinian society. For more information, please visit: http://www.fondacijacure.org
The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) in Sarajevo is unique in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the first organization of its kind to be established in Balkans. CIN is dedicated to investigative reporting, aimed toward providing fair and unbiased information, based on evidences and solid proof, to BiH citizens who need to make educated decisions. CIN puts out investigative projects and stories on topics that include education, health, sports, employment, politics, illegal trading in tobacco and drugs, illegal drugs and documents, and financial fraud. For more information, please visit: https://www.cin.ba
The network for building peace was established in February 2010 with a vision that the whole country needs a comprehensive pressure aimed at restoring the quality of social and economic life in BiH, as well as increasing the capacity of the entire BiH in the long term. Their goal is to influence and take concrete initiatives related to education, security, regional development, protection and promotion of human and minority rights, dealing with the past and transitional justice. For more information, please visit: https://www.mreza-mira.net
Association ‘’BH Journalists’’ is a non-political, non-profit organization whose members are journalists, freelance journalists, journalism students and other media professionals whose core profession is journalism. The basic goals of ‘’BH Journalists’’ is: to protect and improve the freedom, rights and responsibilities of journalists, and to protect the reputation and dignity of the journalism profession and to improve the public’s right to be informed about developments in the society, as well as the right of every person to freedom of opinion, expression and access to the media. For more information, please visit: http://bhnovinari.ba
TRIAL International has been active in BiH since 2008. Since then, the NGO has strived to put the law at the service of war victims. By making their voices heard, our organization works towards bringing them long-awaited justice. TRAIL International offers free comprehensive legal support to victims of international crimes before the European Court of Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Committee. For more information, please visit: https://trial.ba
Association Bona Fide is an NGO based in Pljevlja, Montenegro, which was founded in November 1999. The organization’s mission is to eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and children, deconstruct patriarchy to economically empower women and girls to expand their autonomy, and create a safe space for women’s activism. Their four core areas of operation are (1) the promotion of women’s rights, (2) public resistance to violations of human rights, (3) education of youths to raise awareness of their role and responsibilities in society, and (4) supporting self-help groups for female victims of violence. Association Bona Fide has run a large number of projects, such as opening a Reception Center, a Woman’s Center, and an Emergency Hotline for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/bonafide.pljevlja
The Center for Civic Education (CCE) is an NGO based in Montenegro that focuses on the country as a democratic society with responsible citizens. They contribute to the development of a civil society and encourage the participation of citizens in shaping policy and decision-making through the education of various actors in the fields of democracy, human rights and European integration. CSE works on monitoring anti-corruption policies, documenting and advocating for the collection of evidence of human rights violations, and conducting research that leads to the further democratization of Montenegro. Over the past fourteen years, they have been active in publishing books–some are on their third edition. For more information, please visit: http://cgo-cce.org/en/#.WLWKfm_hDIU.
The Center for the Protection of Human Rights and Tolerance is a non-profit association based in Serbia. They focus on educating young people and national minorities in Serbia who are exposed to discrimination. Their mission is to conduct research on human rights, hold educational training, and raise awareness of the protection of human rights, tolerance, and inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue. Through their work, the Center collaborates with universities and professional associations that specialize in the field of human rights. As part of the Center’s ‘Say No to Extremism’ campaign, they conducted an educational workshop for high school students which focused on the identification and prevention of violence and radical behavior. They also held a three-part workshop on civil activism, stereotyping, and prejudices as part of the School of Human Rights’ ‘Young Leaders for Human Rights’ program. For more information, please visit: http://nasepravo.org.
The Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR), formed in 2003, is a regional network of NGOs with programs in Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were founded by young people seeking to engage local youth in the democratization of society and empower the rule of law in the former-Yugoslavia, post-conflict. Their aim is to protect victims of human rights violations, create connections among Balkan youth, and incorporate youths in the process of transitional justice. YIHR Croatia is currently in partnership with the municipal government of Petrinja, a town outside of Zagreb which was heavily destroyed during the war. They plan to open a museum to memorialize civilian victims, regardless of their ethnicity. For more information, please visit: http://yihr.hr/hr/
The Documenta Center for Dealing with the Past is an NGO founded in Zagreb, Croatia. They are dedicated to building and strengthening a regional coalition of civil society organizations from the post-Yugoslav countries, which advocates for the establishment of a Regional Commission for establishing the facts after the war in the region (RECOM). Documenta focuses on three main programs: documenting and investigating pre-war, war and post-war developments, public dialogue and policies, and the improvement of judicial practices and standards. Examples of their work include organizing public debates on the processes and problems of documenting human losses in wars between 2006 and 2010, monitoring 37 war crimes trials against 117 defendants in 2015, and collecting and analyzing 120 filed claims for the compensation of damage caused by the loss of victims’ close relatives during the war. For more information, please visit: https://www.documenta.hr/en/home.html.
The Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo (HLC Kosovo) continuously contributes to Kosovo’s ability to establish the rule of law and implement transitional justice mechanisms, in order to develop a just society that faces the past and respects the rights of each citizen. The HLC Kosovo is working to document facts that will assist Kosovo’s society in dealing with its violent past. The organization seeks to counter the denial and political manipulation of human losses, and to ensure the integrity and transparency of war crimes trials. HLC Kosovo will continue its efforts by monitoring the judicial procedures related to the consequences of the recent conflict. Specific focus will be paid to Kosovo’s Specialist Chamber, which is expected to be operational in the near future. Besides monitoring and reporting on trials, HLC Kosovo will actively try to locate victims and their families, and then represent them in the courts of Kosovo and Serbia. The third essential element of HLC Kosovo’s activities will be spreading knowledge about transitional justice within professional and non-professional communities.
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of North Macedonia (MHC) is an NGO that works towards protecting and promoting human rights with no political and religious orientation. They stand for the position that everyone should be able to exercise their fundamental rights and freedoms, and have the opportunity to protect them. MHC’s work focuses on organizing the systematic monitoring of human rights in North Macedonia and providing free legal aid to citizens whose rights are being restricted and violated. They also draft, translate, prepare and distribute materials related to the theory and exercising of human rights, as well as organize conferences, seminars, public events and other legal forms of civil action related to the protection of human rights. One of their many projects was preparing commentaries and recommendations for the new Draft Law to amend the ‘Law on Police’ and remarks on the Draft Law on ‘Prevention and Protection from Discrimination’. For more information, please visit: http://www.mhc.org.mk.
Founded in 2012, the LGBTI Center is located in Skopje, North Macedonia. Its vision is a society free from discrimination, in which everyone enjoys universal human rights and freedoms, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other trait. Their aim is to strengthen the self-advocacy of the LGBT community and change their social and legal status in the Republic of North Macedonia. In addition to its political activism, they provide free legal aid, medical examinations, social counselling, and assist in community-building within and outside the LGBT population. In cooperation with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association – Europe and Transgender, they’ve held several training sessions for transgender people residing in the Western Balkans. The organization has also published monthly reports on the human rights situation in the Republic of North Macedonia, which focus on gender, age, and LGBTI discrimination. To read more about the center, please visit www.lgbti.mk
The Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) in Serbia, which operates in Belgrade, recognizes truth, justice, responsibility, and equality as the core values of society. Their vision is to unite young people and allow them to benefit from regional networks of NGOs with programs across the Western Balkans. The organization enhances youth participation in the democratization of society and empowerment of the rule of law in the post-conflict region of former-Yugoslavia. The YIHR in Serbia publishes monthly newsletters and reports such as the ‘The ‘Rights of People Deprived of Liberty in Serbian Prison Systems’. They have also monitored criminal and litigation proceedings before local courts in the Republic of Serbia, and have implemented training and educational programs for young people in the field of human rights. For more information, please visit: www.yihr.rs.
The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) is human rights NGO located in Belgrade, Serbia. It was established in 1992 to document war crimes perpetrated in the former Yugoslavia. It supports the promotion of the rule-of-law and acceptance of the legacy of human rights violations in the former Yugoslavia, and works to establish the criminal responsibility of perpetrators, serve justice, and prevent the recurrence of such violations. The HLC operates primarily in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo, and implements six programme units: documentation, justice and institutional reform, education, initiative for RECOM, memorialization, and outreach. Currently, the Center is focused on publishing bi-annual files on those who commit crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. Examples can be found in published material such as the Kosovo Memory Book, which captures the narratives of victims of war. By 2015 around 1,019 narratives were collected and finalized for publication. For more information, please visit: www.hlc-rdc.org.
YUCOM is a voluntary NGO based in Belgrade, Serbia and was founded in 1997. It is dedicated to protecting and promoting human rights in accordance with universally-accepted international conventions and national law. YUCOM divides its activities into three main areas: an advocacy program, a Human Rights Resource Center, and a Documentation Center. These activities aim to improve the human rights situation through public advocacy. Some of YUCOM’s most celebrated accomplishments are victories in cases against Serbia before the European Court of Human Rights. They also provide free legal aid to those who have had their human rights violated, lead campaigns to monitor the implementation of the ‘Freedom of Information Act,’ and publish books and reviews related to human rights. For more information, please visit www.yucom.org.rs.
The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia (HCHRS) is a volunteer, non-profit organization concerned with human rights issues in Serbia. It was formed in September 1994 as one of many national Helsinki Committees for Human Rights, which were organized in the now-defunct International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights. The mission of the HCHRS is to promote equality and observance of human rights of all minorities and sensitive groups, and to advocate active and responsible citizenship through respect for freedom of association, assembly and speech, tolerance and anti-discrimination. As a grassroots and think-tank organization, the HCHRS has focused on mass infringement of human rights in Serbia and the region. and advocates. For more information, please visit http://www.helsinki.org.rs/