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ICTY Legacy Dialogues: From the Tribunal to the Classroom

The Hague |

As part of the ICTY Legacy Dialogues series, the Tribunal’s Outreach Programme yesterday held a public discussion entitled From the Tribunal to the Classroom at the Museon in The Hague, in co-operation with the European Association of History Teachers (EUROCLIO). The aim of the event was to facilitate a discussion of the ways in which the Tribunal’s legacy could be used in educational settings. Its target audience was educational professionals who are faced with the challenges of teaching students about the recent violent history of the former Yugoslavia.

The Tribunal Registrar John Hocking opened the event. Addressing the visiting teachers, he said: “When our doors are closed, yours will always be open, and will welcome hundreds, and hopefully thousands, more students year after year. You will be there to help them not to forget, not to re-write, and not to repeat. Where divisiveness grows, you will continue to sow inclusion, justice and tolerance."

The two panel discussions that followed revolved around the questions “Why should, and how can, the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia be addressed in history education?” During the first discussion, a panel composed of curricula specialists, formal education experts and textbook developers from the Balkans discussed the challenges and lessons learned in teaching the recent history of the region. The second panel, co-organised by the Dutch NGO PAX for Peace, focused on how the events in Srebrenica in July 1995 and the role of the Dutchbat have been addressed within Dutch history education, and the possibilities teachers have to integrate such issues within their lessons.

This public discussion was part of a comprehensive multi-day workshop, the first two sessions taking place at the Tribunal on 28 and 29 January 2017. The workshop provided 30 history teachers and educational professionals from the countries of the former Yugoslavia a unique opportunity to discuss best practices in teaching the history of the 1990s conflicts and using the wealth of material contained in the ICTY archives.   

The Tribunal considers this project to be especially important because of its potential impact on a high number of students in the region, and is committed to continuing to pass on its know-how and information resources to teachers and other educational professionals.

The ICTY Legacy Dialogues consist of a series of public events in 2016 and 2017 aimed at ensuring that the Tribunal’s contribution to accountability for international crimes will endure after its doors have closed, in particular by enabling others to build on the work and achievements of the Tribunal. 

The Outreach Programme benefits from the continuous support of the European Union and its work with young people is generously supported by the Finnish government.