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The Norwegian Helsinki Committee has monitored and reported on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina throughout the 1990s. We have observed several elections, and we support the two Helsinki Committees in the country. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee also controls a joint project that since 2000 has organized human rights schools for youngsters. We have also organized several reconciliation conferences.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee publishes a new report today, focusing on how universities can play a positive role in peacebuilding processes in the Western Balkans.
Bosnia and Herzegovina:
A regional conference for universities adopted the Sarajevo Declaration on the Role of Higher Education and Civil Society in Education for Peace on 20 March 2014. The Norwegian Helsinki Committee organized the regional conference “The role of universities in peacebuilding” in Sarajevo on 20 March together with our local partners as part of our project Build Bridges, not Walls.
Human rights education:
As part of the NHC project on the role of Universities in peacebuilding, a conference was held 19-20 April in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aim of the conference was to initiate a dialogue on how universities can contribute to build and promote peace in the region. The University of Tuzla is one of five partner universities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo, that participates in the project Build Bridges not Walls: the Role of the Universities in Peacebuilding.
Bosnia and Herzegovina:
As a part of the Norwegian Helsinki Committees efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we are implementing the project “Peace Education on Location”, in cooperation with the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Republika Srpska. The project is supported by USAID.
The film festival Human Rights Human Wrongs, Scandinavia’s only film festival dedicated to human rights, was arranged for the fourth time February 6-10. Speakers included Alma Masic from the organization Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina and NHC staff Akhmed Gisaev and Inna Sangadzhiyeva. In cooperation with the Center for Studies of Holocaust and Religious Minorities, the NHC also arranged visits by Alma Masic to two high schools to promote and inform about the project “Srebrenica: Mapping Genocide”.
Universities and peacebuilding:
The role of universities in peacebuilding has been dicussed in the Western Balkans as part of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee program “Building bridges not walls – The role of universities in peacebuilding”.
Invitation to the seminar::
In the Bosnian war ethnic cleansing was directed not only against civilian populations, but also against religious buildings and other traces of existence of the cleansed groups from captured areas. After the war there has been a struggle between the idea to resurrect and reconstruct the symbols of the past and the idea to erect novel symbols and buildings reflecting the politics of identity and the cultural supremacy of the dominant group. In other Western Balkan states there seems to be an upsurge in religious and nationalist symbols demarcating a particular territory for a dominant nation.
Srebrenica seminar Thursday, April 21:
(19/04-2005) The massacres in Srebrenica constitute the first genocide in Europe to be recognised by an international legal mechanism since World War II.
Final report released:
(17/08-2005) During the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-1995), the town of Stolac became a symbol of "cultural murder": the attempt to blot an entire ethnic group out from public memory by systematically destroying their cultural heritage.
Police failed to protect:
(23/02-2007) Dusko Kondor from the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bijelina, Republika Srpska, was shot dead on his doorstep in the late evening of 22 February 2007.
(19/12-2007) Regional and local human rights school coordinators from the West Balkan countries are gathered in Oslo this weekend to discuss and plan their work for the upcoming year.
(29/09-2009) This years Human Dimension Implementing Meeting is currently taking place in Warszaw, Poland.
(29/03-2010) The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina reports on monitoring of the execution of criminal sanctions in the country.
(13/09-2010) Mr. Jan Braathu, the Norwegian Ambassador in Bosnia Herzegovina, took part at the conference Intercultural understanding and human rights at Universities in Bosnia Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina:
(15/11-2010) On Saturday, November 13, 2010, Vera Jovanović was elected as the new president of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia:
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee held a regional meeting in Sarajevo about the program Build Bridges not Walls that has been
initiated at the universities in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia.
The aim of the meeting was to discuss the role of the universities in peacebuilding with all interested parties in the program, including university professors, student union representatives and NGOs.
Norwegian Helsinki Committee has written a letter concerning a forthcoming lecture by Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Colombia University. The letter points to Colombia University's responsibilities to challenge Mr Dodik on his denials of genocide in Srebrenica as well as his obstructions of war crimes prosecutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is actively and well represented at this years' OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw. In our interventions at the meeting we will focus on freedom of religion in Central Asia, rule of law in Azerbaijan, Belarus and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and freedom of expression in Macedonia, Bosnia and Serbia. We are organising a side-event on lack of justice after major human rights violations in Russia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Additionally we organise a side-event on strikers' rights in Kazakhstan and we are also co-organising a side-event with particular focus on Ales Bialiatski and the release of political prisoners in Belarus. Below you will find links to the HDIM webpage, all documents from our side-events and interventions and other relevant links.