A Trip to Kosovo to Get Practical Insights into a Transitional Justice Process

Group photo of MTJ students during the study trip Group photo of MTJ students during the study trip

6 March 2020

Students of our Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Transitional Justice, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law (MTJ) spent, as part of the programme’s annual study trip, four days in Kosovo where they met with a wide range of experts and institutions involved in post-conflict reconstruction and the rule of law.

‘The study trip forms an integral part of the programme and allows students to learn about how, in a specific context, institutions are dealing with the past, victims’ representation or the re-establishment of the rule of law’ explains Frank Haldemann, Co-Director of the MTJ.

‘As the study trip takes place at the beginning of the second semester, students already acquired the necessary tools to analyse a specific situation and ask the right questions. As they are directly involved in the organization of the trip, they also come well prepared and with a good understanding of the challenges and dynamics at play’ stresses Thomas Unger, Co-Director of the MTJ.

Exchanges with Parliamentarians and the Minister of Justice

In meetings with government officials and parliamentarians, students could discuss and exchange around transitional justice issues and challenges in Kosovo.

Parliamentarian Saranda Bogujevci shared with students her personal experience as a survivor of the war and her path to representing her fellow citizens and survivors as a member of the Parliament.

The Speaker of the Parliament Vjosa Osmani – the first woman to hold such a position in the Balkans region – notably exchanged around preparatory work to establish a truth and reconciliation commission.

Students also had the opportunity to meet with Abulena Haxhiu, Minister of Justice and discuss with her Kosovo's agenda for transitional justice and dealing with the past. In the meeting Nazlie Bala, a prominent women's rights defender now working at the Ministry also shared her experience providing support to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

‘This study trip to Kosovo has been an eye-opener. We had the privilege to meet representatives of the government and civil society. We met with the speaker of the parliament Ms Vjosa R. Osmani as well as the minister of justice Ms Albulena Haxhiu during their first days of office. We also heard personal stories of war's survivors and their experiences in the aftermath of the conflict in particular with international justice. It was a unique opportunity to put in perspective what we learned in class ’ says Jessica Guez.

Master in Transitional Justice Study Trip Kosovo Minister of Justice

Learning about Civil Society Work

Students met with staff from the Kosova Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims, an organization that provides psychosocial support to survivors of torture and sexual violence and carry out campaigns to tackle the stigma around it.

They also visited the exhibition ‘Once Upon a Time, Never Again‘ organized by the Humanitarian Law Center in memory of the children killed as a result of the war.

‘It was inspiring and fascinating to see the active involvement of women in parliament, justice institutions, civil society organizations, who faced the war and are now contributing to accountability, memorialization, victims’ recognition, gender equality, and truth-seeking processes in Kosovo. The school notes, shoes, clothes, marbles of children at the ‘Once Upon a Time and Never Again‘ exhibition deeply touched the hearts of each and everyone and delivers a clear reminder that children are particularly vulnerable in situations of armed conflict and that documenting and memorialization actions can play a vital role in avoiding the return of violence‘ says Cholpon Kainazarova.

Master in Transitional Justice Study Trip Kosovo Torture NGO

A Day Trip to Prizren

Students also visited Prizren to explore the country a little bit and unwind after the meetings in Pristina and the exam session that took place prior to the trip.

‘Prizren is a beautiful old town located two hours drive away from Pristina. Prizren's old town is filled with Ottoman-era architecture. At the time of our trip, trees in the streets of Prizren were wrapped in knitwear made by women to support the victims of sexual and gender-based violence‘ explains Ana Theresa Corzanego Khatounian.

Master in Transitional Justice Study Trip Kosovo Prirzen

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Imagre of the online meeting of the Advisory Board of the Geneva Human Rights Platform News

First Meeting of the Geneva Human Rights Platform Advisory Board

8 June 2020

The Advisory Board of the Geneva Human Rights Platform (GHRP) – composed of leading human rights experts and practitioners from different regions and backgrounds – provides guidance to the GHRP Executive Director regarding the Platform's strategy, priorities and activities.

Read more

Name plate of the UN Secretary-General News

Treaty Bodies, States and NGOs Discuss the Last Report of the UN Secretary General

19 March 2020

At a meeting of the Geneva Human Rights Platform, diplomats, members of UN treaty bodies (TBs) and civil society representatives discussed and exchanged around this document and the upcoming review of UN TBs by the UN General Assembly.

Read more

Nepal,  Bardia district, Gulariya. Families of missing persons mark the 29th International Day of the Disappeared. Short Course

Human Rights and Transitional Justice

15 September - 14 October 2020

This online course aims at unpacking the nature and scope of international human rights law in transitional contexts.

Read more

Data connections with a man's shadow on the back Project

HUMAN RIGHTS, BIG DATA AND TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

Started in May 2016

We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.

Read more

ICC Trial Chamber VIII declares Mr Al Mahdi guilty of the war crime of attacking historic and religious buildings in Timbuktu and sentences him to nine years’ imprisonment Project

Modes of Liability for International Crimes

Completed in January 2015

This project intends to clarify the conditions of accountability for international crimes by providing a detailed assessment of the customary international law status of, in particular, the actus reus and mens rea elements of modes of liability: planning, instigating, conspiracy, direct and indirect perpetration, co-perpetration, the three forms of joint criminal enterprise, the doctrine of common purpose under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, command responsibility and aiding and abetting.

Read more

Cover page of the manual Publication

#ESCR AND #SDGs: Practical Manual on the Role of UN Human Rights Mechanisms in Monitoring the SDGs that Seek to Realize Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

published on July 2020

Christophe Golay

Read more