Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) works in building connections between young people across the Balkans, from different ethnic groups, regions and countries, to enhance the participation of young people in the transitional justice process, work together for human rights and to build links that will prevent the re-emergence of the ethnic conflict that devastated the region for so many years.
YIHR's other work includes supporting the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) by informing the public about its work; monitoring and documenting human rights violations; and working to establish a more open and robust media environment, for example in Serbia and Kosovo, YIHR organises meetings for journalists with political leaders, representatives of civil society and the media, in attempts to bring journalists closer to relevant information sources and help them include 'the other side' in their reporting.
YIHR also provides support to local organisations running programmes consistent with their core values and goals. Through the Balkan Foundation, the regional office gives small grants.
Young Professionals Exchange Programme
This initiative arranges exchange visits between young people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo. Participants meet professionals in their field of interest, take part in cultural activities, and see the sights of each other's cities. The aim is to create an open-minded generation of young people who are used to collaborating with those from neighbouring areas.
The goal of this programme is to foster a culture of dialogue and mutual cooperation among persons from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo, and to create an open-minded generation of young people who will be willing to work and cooperate with their neighbours in the region, contributing to the creation of a more peaceful and stable political situation in the region.
Human Rights Schools
From 4 to 11 of August 2007, in Veremice, near Prizren, the YIHR organised two human rights schools for over 100 high school and university students. These schools aimed to introduce basic concepts of human rights and advocacy to the youth of Kosovo. For six days, participants had the opportunity to attend lectures and to participate in conversations with lecturers involved in human rights and transitional justice. New Human Rights schools will be held each autumn, and the participants of the first schools will join the My Initiative (Nisma Ime) movement.