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Outreach concludes high school presentations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

(Exclusively for the use of the media. Not an official document)
The Hague, 23 May 2013

Outreach concludes high school presentations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

The Tribunal’s Outreach Programme has successfully concluded its second round of high school presentations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia, having engaged more than 900 students in 26 high schools.

The students were introduced to the Tribunal’s work, its achievements, factual findings in selected cases, and contribution to the development of war crimes jurisprudence. The presentations sparked lively debates among the students and encouraged them to think critically about transitional justice issues that will shape their region for years to come.

Commenting on the value of the presentations, one 17-year old student from Zenica, BiH, said: “Such presentations should find their way into every school in our country, so that young people understand that they should think with their own heads about the consequences of their actions. Those who do evil must understand that they will be punished.

There is a need for more information and debate about international humanitarian law and the role of the ICTY in the process of dealing with the past. Future generations must learn about past events as this is the only guarantee that such negative experiences will never happen again. This can only be achieved if we openly speak about crimes committed on all sides and show consideration for the sufferings of others,” commented Professor Senad Alić from the Second Gymnasium in Sarajevo.

A total of 568 students from 16 high schools in BiH and 358 students from 10 high schools in Croatia participated in the project. Presentations were held in some of the communities most affected by the conflicts. Among these were Sarajevo, Sanski Most, Brčko and Bijeljina in BiH and Knin, Gospić and Vukovar in Croatia.

Such presentations undoubtedly contribute to and promote a sense of justice and tolerance and help foster peaceful and neighbourly relations,” commented Danijela Zekušić, History Professor at “Matija Mesić” Gymnasium in Slavonski Brod, Croatia.

The second round of the Outreach Programme’s youth education project was launched in February 2013, building on the success and lessons learnt from the first phase of the project which was held from December 2011 to October 2012 in which over 3,500 students participated. Presentations are also being delivered to university students, and to date 13 university presentations have been held across the former Yugoslavia for some 700 students.

As the ICTY moves towards the completion of its mandate, the Outreach Programme is intensifying its efforts to increase the access of local communities to information on the Tribunal’s work and achievements. In doing so, the Outreach Programme seeks to promote a greater understanding of the Tribunal’s work and its legacy throughout the former Yugoslavia.

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.

The Tribunal’s Outreach Programme

For further information about the Outreach Programme’s activities, please contact Nerma Jelačić, Head of Communications, at jelacic [at] un.org, +31 (0)70 512 5580, +31 (0)65 357 8006.