ZAGREB, October 1 (Croatia Sun News) – The Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) Balkan regional network has won the prestigious Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, which has been awarded by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe since 2009, the network said on Monday.
A representative of the YIHR was presented with the prize at a ceremony in Strasbourg on Monday, and YIHR shares the prize with Ilham Tohti, advocate and defender of the rights of the Uyghur minority in China.
The programming director of the YIHR chapter in Serbia, Ivan Djuric, said at the award-giving ceremony that YIHR would continue to work across the region on creating a future and societies in which views would not be based on prejudice and unreliable information, but on personal experience and competence.
YIHR sees the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize as a motive to even more strongly oppose the nationalist rhetoric with which leaders of the Western Balkans attempt to undermine peace in the region, as well as to create even more possibilities for citizens to strengthen cooperation between the region’s societies and states through regional exchanges and dialogue, said Djuric.
YIHR will also continue to encourage the process of coming to terms with the past, without which societies in the region cannot achieve a lasting and sustainable peace, the NGO said.
The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize, which honours the former president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, has been awarded since 2009 to organisations and individuals for their outstanding contribution to protecting and promoting human rights in Europe and beyond.
Until 2013 it was called the Human Rights Prize of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.