Posts Tagged ‘Kosovo’

The documentary “E-TEAM” goes really public via Netflix

May 14, 2014

Yesterday I referred to the upcoming Human Rights Watch Film Festival in June. One of the films shown there will also appear on Netflix and therefore be able to reach a much larger audience. Interesting development for human rights films!!



Winners of 2013 United Nations human rights prizes announced today

December 5, 2013

On 5 December 2013 the six winners announced of the UN Human Rights Prize were announced: Biram Dah Abeid of Mauritania, a son of freed slaves who works to eradicate the heinous practice; Hiljmnijeta Apuk of Kosovo, a campaigner for the rights of people with disproportional restricted growth short stature; Liisa Kauppinen of Finland, President emeritus of the World Federation of the Deaf; Khadija Ryadi, Former President of the Morocco Association for Human Rights; Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice the Constitutional Court; and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban for attending classes and is now a renowned education activist. The award ceremony will take place at UN Headquarters in New York on 10 December 2013, as part of the annual commemoration of Human Rights Day [The Prize, which is bestowed every five years, is an honorary award given to individuals and organizations in recognition of outstanding achievement in human rights.]

via United Nations News Centre – Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai among winners of 2013 UN human rights prize.

New media and art as tools for human rights advocacy: course for HRDs in Montenegro

October 22, 2013

Wallpaper (webb)
Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders is organising a five-day working conference in Przno, Montenegro, from the 22 – 27 October. The conference is entitled “Empowering people – ideas worth spreading“ and will gather human rights activists from Albania, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. The goal of the conference is to increase the participants’ capacities in using new media and technology as well as art in their advocacy work.

We want to truly empower activists in using new media and technology in their work as well as giving them the tools to be more effective. New media and social networks are used everywhere and therefore our advocacy efforts must follow the trend. Art is also a well-known tool for sending a powerful message and engage people in a debate. During the conference, the participants will share ideas, create new projects and be given a „communications upgrade“ to create online and offline communities, thus making them part of the human rights advocacy network“, said Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders.

Through intensive training and workshops, 40 activists from the Western Balkans will learn how to use new media, create communication strategies, learn about video production and theatre as well as civic journalism in advocacy. The participants will exchange ideas and create new ones at the conference, which will provide the foundation for future joint efforts and regional partnerships.

Civil Rights Defenders – New media and art as tools for human rights advocacy.


Visiting Serbia and Kosovo, UN High Commissioner urges political will to solidify human rights and support HRDs

June 21, 2013

In June 2013, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visited former Yugoslavia. In both Serbia and Kosovo she mentioned that human rights defenders have a key role to play:

High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navane...

Read the rest of this entry »

Serbian Nataša Kandić receives first Civil Rights Defender of the Year awar

April 7, 2013

Natasa Kandic, Photo: Markus Junghard

(Natasa Kandic, Photo: Markus Junghard)

Nataša Kandić, founder of Humanitarian Law Center in Serbia and 1999 MEA Laureate, has been awarded the 2013 “Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award” for her “persistent and fearless work on documenting war crimes and the most serious human rights abuses in the former Yugoslavia, and for supporting war crimes trials by providing courts with evidence and witnesses.” Nataša’s human rights work has put her life at risk but her concern has always been with the war crime victims and not her own persona. “Those who choose to work with human rights connected to war cannot be afraid. I have never thought about risks. I am always only thinking about uncovering the truth about the crimes that have been committed and seeking the conviction of those responsible. There is no room for fear”, she stated.  Read the rest of this entry »

Example of transparency in communication between Government and NGO in Sweden

January 26, 2013

In December 2012, the Stockholm-based NGO Civil Rights Defenders wrote a letter to the Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, and urged him to demand stronger protection for human rights defenders in Kosovo. Civil Rights Defender’s letter to Carl Bildt was sent after the attacks against the organisations ‘Kosovo 2.0’ and ‘Libertas’ in late 2012. Read more about the background:

English: Carl Bildt, foreign minister in Swede...

Carl Bildt (Wikipedia)

What is interesting is the frank exchange between the NGO and the Ministry and the fact that the exchange of letter can be made public. I think that in quite a few countries civil society can only dream of this kind of transparency.

For this reason I reproduce the response of 21 January 2013 by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in full:

Dear Robert,

Thank you for your letter about the human rights situation in Kosovo and the information about the attacks in Pristina against human rights defenders, addressed to Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. I’ve been asked to answer you. I would first like to apologize for the late reply.

The events you describe is obviously regrettable and unacceptable, and unfortunately part of a pattern in the Western Balkans where gay, bisexual and transgender people’s rights are not guaranteed and they are subjected to harassments. From a Swedish perspective, strengthening human rights in Kosovo is a priority both on a political level and within the framework of the Swedish development cooperation, where we work closely with the civil society, including Civil Rights Defenders. Improvement of the human rights situation is also crucial for Kosovo’s EU integration.

We are discussing these important issues on a political level with politicians in Kosovo. When Prime Minister Hachim Thaci visited Sweden in October, EU integration and the necessary reforms in Kosovo, including human rights, were major themes. In development cooperation, Sweden is working with great commitment with LGBT issues in several projects in the Western Balkans, including Kosovo. As you probably know the Swedish Institute in 2012 showed the exhibition “Article One” to empower the LGBT movement in Kosovo and make them more visible in the community.

One reason why Sweden wants to see Kosovo as well as the other Western Balkan countries as members of the EU, is the great development of these countries’ societies that comes with the EU integration. Democracy in Kosovo has made considerable progress in recent years, but significant challenges remain, not least in the field of human rights. A clear EU perspective with strict requirements and evaluations with regard to respect for human rights is the best way to drive development in Kosovo. Civil society engagement, both within countries and internationally, is of utmost importance for Kosovo to become a more open and democratic society.


Emilie af Jochnick