BHS / ENG
Western Balkans Regional Program Officer
Youth Initiative for Human Rights BiH, CRS, Tuzla Community Foundation, Humanitarian Organization Prijateljice, OSCE, OXFAM organization, etc.
ICMP launched the project on dealing with the past and truth, justice and reconciliation as a pilot initiative in 2003. Goal of the ICMP Transitional Justice project was to create a space for dialogue, to increase awareness and closer links between associations of families of missing persons, other victims- survivors groups, and other NGOs on transitional justice themes, and policy recommendations to decision makers.
Topics and specific themes that had been arisen from this project and activities were: paths to reconciliation, mechanisms for truth seeking and documentation, international models of transitional justice, reparations for war victims, conference on missing and memorials, low key consultations on memorialization, regional and international conferences of memorialisation process, memory and remembrance, youth study tour and visit to memorial sites, study trip to Berlin with group of families of the missing from the Western Balkan, etc.
I consider that everything that ICMP is doing, especially through the work Justice and Civil Society Initiative department, present a big challenge in term of dealing with a past and transitional justice. Victims groups, particularly associations of families of missing persons, are poorly informed about existing and possible mechanisms of transitional justice. In addition, linkages between victims groups and other NGOs and decision makers are insufficient, thus creating a weak and uncoordinated voice of civil society on the topic of pursuing truth, justice, and reconciliation in the former Yugoslavia. A particular problem has become apparent, which is a gap between various victims groups and so-called “elite” NGOs who are focused on topics of human rights, democracy, and dealing with the past, which creates lack of trust toward the “elite” NGOs.
Further, it is hard to influence on victims of torture, families of the missing and other victims groups and to convince them that a dialogue is essential if they want to change something and to better advocate for their right. It is very important to assure them about importance of finding the common interest together with other stakeholders in aim to actualize their effort in pursuing the truth and justice, to lobby for the adoption and implementation of laws and other activities that are important for them.