Jasmina Lazović

Jasmina Lazović

Coordinator of Transitional Justice Program

  • Former activities:

    Coordinator of Youth Exchange Programs in the region of former Yugoslavia.

  • My organization:
    Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR)

  • Examples of concrete activities I have organized/am organizing in the field of “dealing with the past”:

    As a Coordinator of Transitional Justice Program I organized numerous study visits to locations in the region of former Yugoslavia where war crimes were committed. I was also involved in the organization of various commemorative events in Serbia aiming to raise awareness of the involvement of Serbian forces in crimes committed in Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. I was coordinating YIHR Regional Internship Program through which young people from the region were spending up to six months at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague followed with internship programs in national judicial institutions dealing with war crimes.

  • Concrete challenges I am facing in my “dealing with the past”-related work:

    Since Serbia still has not reached the consensus about the necessity of dealing with the legacy of war past, activists engaged in memory work are usually stigmatized as traitors of the society. In the general atmosphere of war crimes denial, it is difficult to find partners within the state institutions for opening discussion about the involvement of official Serbian structures in commiting war crimes in other parts of former Yugoslavia, to initiate the changes in the educational system in this regard and to commemorate the victims that come from other communities. Although convicted for serious crimes, some persons in Serbia are still being perceived by officials as heroes of the nation.

  • My personal link to/interest for the topic of “dealing with difficult pasts”:
    I was born in Western Serbia near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but I learned about gross human rights violations in this country only at the age of 22. Facing the fact that Srebrenica genocide occurred 130km away from my home town and that I heard of it for the first time in 2006, inspired me to get engaged in raising awareness about war crimes that were committed in former Yugoslavia, emphasizing crimes committed by Serbian forces throughout the region. The work with young people is in my focus, especially because the topics of wars in 90s are rarely treated in Serbian educational system.