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Human Rights School for Youth

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia

Kovacica, July 2010


Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia held a Human Rights School for Youth (The School) between July 11 and July 19, 2010 at hotel Relax in Kovacica. Both levels of The School (Basic and Advanced level) were held at the same time, but with separate programmes and lectures.

Forty scholars who were chosen from 80 applicants, came to Kovacica from secondary schools in Novi Pazar, Novi Sad, Beograd, Kikinda, Zrenjanin, Leskovac, Knjazevac, Sabac, Krusevac, Cacak, Jagodina, Smederevska Palanka, Loznica, Kragujevac, Negotin, Raska and Sokobanja.

The aim of the school is to introduce schoolars with the theory of human rights and its ideas, principles of democracy, tolerance, solidarity, non-violent communication and to develop and improve participants' critical thinking skills.

On the first day at Basic level of The School, which lasted between July 11 and July 19, Pavel Domonji, head of Helsinki Committee for Human Rights office in Novi Sad was lecturing on human rights concept and its development. The second day participants listened lectures on European Union (System and values; Conditions for Serbia's integration to EU) which were held by sociologist Ivan Kuzminovic, Executive Director of Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia. Nebojsa Tasic from the Anti-Corruption Agency was lecturer on third day of The School on topic Facing the past/truth. On fifth day Marija Savic from Labris presented LGBT rights and position of LGBT persons in Serbia. During the sixth day, historian Latinka Perovic held a lecture on topic The History of Political Parties in Serbia. Afterwards, Srdjan Milosevic from History Departement of Belgrade's Faculty of Philosophy held lectures on topics Historical myth and scientific knowledge and Hyphens from the history of Yugoslavia. On seventh day of The School, Marko Ceperkovic has conveyed his experiences about activism at school parliament. The last day, after Pavel Domonji's lecture about Fascisation of everyday life (lack of empathy, indifference, non-condemnation of violence and crime) the Basic level of The School ended with the lecture on Interreligious relations in the Balkans held by sociologist of religion Srdjan Barisic.

Advanced level of The School which was held between July 11 and July 17, started with lecture by journalist Svetlana Lukic from Pescanik. She spoke about The role of independent media in the democratization of society. The second day started with journalist Ljubomir Zivkov who lectured on topics My art of commentary and How to resist the laziness of the mind. On third day, Ivan Kuzminovic and Nebojsa Tasic lectured on Fight against the corruption. Sonja Biserko, president of Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, lectured on topics The international community and Kosovo and The international community, Serbia and The Hague tribunal. During the last day of The School historian Latinka Perovic held lecture on topic The History of political parties and social ideas in Serbia.

This is an open-concept teaching where along with theoretical lectures scholars were introduced with other teaching methods such as watching films and documentaries. In Kovacica, scholars from both levels of The School watched documentaries "Who's This Song By" by bulgarian director Adela Peeva and "Srebrenica - mapping of the genocide" by Suada Kapic. Also, scholars attended forum theatar on daily basis, and they had a special time for using a library and writing essays.

One of the participants, Vladimir Gerginic from Belgrade, describes his stay at school in Kovacica: "The school was very interesting! Beside possibility to listen very interesting lecturers, we had a chance to exchange impressions and personal experiences. Tolerance and respect of opposing opinion were an integral part of the school, and those principles were very easy to adopt and implement - we should just stop and listen each other. Ten days ended much faster than any of us could have conceived - in the blink of an eye!"















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