Western Balkans Coalition for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Crimes Prevention

Outreach activities

NOVEMBER 2017: Zagreb Youth Summit

Coalition member The Youth Initiative for Human Rights organized the Zagreb Youth Summit and cordially invited PCRC, as the leader of the Coalition, to participate in the event. At the official Western Balkan launch of the CGMAP, PCRC’s President Velma Šarić spoke alongside Benjamin Abtan, from the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) on the panel ‘Democracy and Conflict: Ensuring Non-recurrence.’ She presented the Coalition’s work and its current plans. After the Summit, CGMAP connected EGAM with the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, which established a relation for future partnerships. EGAM became an official partner of CGMAP.

NOVEMBER 2017: European Grassroots Antiracist Movement

In November 2018, CGMAP joined the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM). EGAM gathers the most important antiracist organizations from more than 30 countries all over Europe, both inside and outside the European Union. EGAM’s strategy is focused on three types of activities: Europe-wide grassroots actions, lobbying that targets European Institutions, and support for leaders of antiracist civil society. Through EGAM, CGMAP has been a part of several international actions and petitions aimed at combatting discrimination against minorities, fascism, and ensuring quality education across Europe.

DECEMBER 2017: Joint response

The CGMAP joined a CSO initiative to address the issue of collecting court costs from war crime victims. This initiative was started by a CGMAP-trained organization, TRIAL BiH, and aimed to address the issue of courts in Bosnia and Herzegovina requiring survivors who are seeking compensation for damages to pay high court costs if civil courts reject their claims. The initiative was successful and resulted in a decision by the Constitutional Court which found this requirement for survivors to be in violation of the rights to property and a fair trial.

DECEMBER 2017: Peace Insight’s Peacebuilding and Atrocity Prevention Online Seminar

PCRC, in collaboration with Peace Direct’s publication ‘Peace Insight’ and the University of Uppsala facilitated an online discussion about local reconciliation tactics and community healing as methods of preventing atrocities. Within the online community of more than 90 peacebuilding practitioners and organizations (including many from the Balkans), PCRC spoke about the CGMAP and discussed topics relating to collaborative atrocity prevention. Key insights and lessons from these global consultations can be found here.

NOVEMBER 2018: Always use a whistle, never a gun

The CGMAP joined a civil society initiative to address the issue of promotion of convicted war criminals and the political legitimization of their crimes. A social media campaign called ‘Always use a whistle, never a gun,’ started by the CGMAP member The Youth Initiative for Human Rights Serbia, aimed to address the ongoing practice of glorifying war criminals and placing them in the spotlight in public spaces.

THROUGHOUT 2018: Keeping the Promise: Addressing Impunity in the Western Balkans

CGMAP took part in Impunity Watch’s research, which is meant to contribute to the improvement of the situation of countless victims that are trapped in a system of ingrained and widespread impunity that protects perpetrators, a state of affairs which continues to haunt the WBR. According to the research and accompanying report, the Western Balkans continues to be a battleground of conflicting narratives in which each side claims victimhood and blames the other for past abuses.

APRIL 2019: Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes

In 2019, CGMAP joined two organizations. First, the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes (GAMAAC), a global, inclusive, state-led, initiative to prevent atrocities. And second, the Alliance Against Genocide (AAG), an international coalition of organizations that educates the general public and policy makers about the causes, processes, and warning signs of genocide, as well as to create the institutions and political will to prevent and stop genocide, and bring perpetrators of genocide to justice.