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Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo, during the period 21 February to 19 May 2012, has organized the 3rd Young Leaders School. The programme of the School accomplished through lectures, interactive discussions, cultural activities and study visits, offered the opportunity to 20 students to increase their knowledge and understand the issues and challenges facing Kosovo and the region currently.

Through being part of this programme, the participants of the School had the opportunity to:
– familiarize with modern concepts of human rights, rule of law and democratic principles, as interrelated essentials of democracy building and a tolerant and peaceful society;
– encourage critical thinking about creative and practical alternatives or options of good governance and political transparency;
– strengthen their knowledge in the field of transitional justice;
– gain the necessary theoretical knowledge of direct democracy by analyzing the best practices around the world;
– understand the complexity and implications of prejudice, stereotypes and discrimination in our social life;
– familiarize with the concepts of nation, nationalism and identity;
– educate on the idea, historical, political and economic characteristics of the European Union (EU), EU’s legislative framework, policies and policy processes, Europe as a global player and the prospects of the region and Kosovo for European Integration; and
– strengthen and develop their academic writing skills.

In addition to lectures, seminars and workshops, students of the Young Leaders School, also participated in local and regional study visits.

During the local study visits, the students had the opportunity to visit and meet with representatives of different international organizations working in Kosovo including: the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE – Mission in Kosovo), the Council of Europe (field office in Prishtina), International Commission on Missing Persons – Kosovo (ICMP), the International Committee of the Red Cross – Kosovo (ICRC) and the Human Right Review Panel. Additionally, students visited local institutions such as the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Kosovo and the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo, as well as local non-governmental organisations such as the Humanitarian Law Centre – Kosovo.

Whilst during the regional study visit, held in Belgrade during the period 17 to 19 of May 2012, students had the chance to visit a range of non-governmental organisations such as the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, the Humanitarian Law Centre – Serbia and representatives of Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Serbia. Additionally, institutional visits also took place such as at the National Parliament of Republic of Serbia and meetings with representatives of political parties and trade unions, such as Judita Popovic from Liberal Democratic Party and the president of the Social Democratic Union – Zarko Korac.

During this regional study visit, a lecture from Professor Jovan Teokarevic in the Faculty of Political Sciences, at the University of Belgrade was organized for the students from Kosovo. The lecture centred upon Regional Cooperation and European Integration. Moreover, students also visited the Belgrade Open School and had the opportunity to meet with its students.

The third generation of the Young Leaders School has been supported by the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) and Soros Foundation through Kosovo Foundation for Open Society.