Youth Initiative for Human Rights - Serbia


The Youth Initiative for Human Rights was founded in 2003 by youth from the ex-Yugoslavia region
with the aim of advancing peacebuilding and initiating youth cooperation within the region through
conflict resolution and overcoming of inter-ethnic tensions, as well as monitoring human rights
violations and advocating for accountability, proper treatment of war victims and the rule of law.
Throughout its work as a regional network with representation in Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro,
Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, YIHR has worked with youth in the Western Balkans region
to provide quality education about the conflict past, hence empowering young people to become
peace activists and advocates for regional solidarity.
Our office is in center of Belgrade which is the capital city of Serbia. In our office, we have ground
floor which is called NGO Hub where we host talks, conferences, and exhibitions. It is safe space
for young people to meet and create ideas.



Who are we?

We are a team of young people with a passion for truth, peace and reconciliation. Most of us are between
20 and 30 years old and we are all feminists and activists.
YIHR has three main program and they are:

  • Transitional justice
  • Human Rights
  • Democratization


Transitional Justice Program

The transitional justice program promotes the anti-fascist heritage and the culture of remembrance,
contributing to the social and institutional recognition of the victims of war conflicts in the former Yugoslavia
(1991-2001), the fight against war crimes’ denial, and the glorification of war criminals.
The program specifically focuses on the active involvement of young people in building lasting peace and
reconciliation through networking, education on the past, and commemorative activism, to strengthen
preventive practices as the guarantees of non-repetition. The basis of the program is the creation of
comprehensive activities that contribute to the prevention of manipulation and instrumentalization of
historical narratives and the past for inciting hatred and xenophobia in the region.

Human Rights Program

The human rights program promotes and advocates respect for the highest human rights standards in
Serbia by educating young people, improving the protection mechanisms for, and supporting vulnerable
groups and individuals while reporting on human rights and freedoms violations.
The program mainly focuses on protecting human rights through case management including - the right to
freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, fair trial, and the fight against discrimination
and violence.

Democratization Program

The democratization program empowers young people to actively participate in social and political
processes related to building democracy while creating new spaces for developing progressive ideas,
critical thinking, and media literacy.
The program is set to strengthen institutions, increase the transparency and responsibility of their work, and
introduce young people to the rule of law. Further, it promotes democratic values, multiperspective, and a
culture of dialogue through knowledge and experiences exchange, on a local, regional, and international

What do we do?

We are connecting young people from all over the Western Balkan 6, especially young people from Serbia
and Kosovo, for them to meet and learn from each other and also to combat stereotypes and prejudices that
follow us after the wars in the ‘90s. We do that through educational programs, exchanges, festivals like
Miredita, dobar dan, public events, documentation, advocacy, and artivism.

Activism and Volunteering

We have a network of volunteers called My initiative. Their role is to help us create and realize different
programs that we are doing. They are participants in educational and exchange programs, they can be
speakers because we want to raise up voices of young people. They are our support in everything that we
do. Sometimes that means writing reports of workshops or conferences, sometimes is just bringing water
and taking care of other volunteers for Pride for example. Most of the time is being creative and proactive.
All of the time is learning about our past and reconciliation processes for everyone on WB to have a
peaceful future.

What can we promise?

We can promise you that our program will make you ask yourself a lot of questions and it will change your
perspective on conflicts and ex-Yugoslavia history. We can’t promise that it is going to be easy, most likely
it is going to be challenging and emotional. We can promise you that you will learn a lot, have fun and meet
amazing people from all over Western Balkan.
Join us in making the world a better place.

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