The Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) is a regional network established in 2003, operating through independent local organizations in 5 countries – Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia. From its inception, YIHR has based its activities on principles of regional co-operation and establishing/maintaining connections between young people in the region.
Since then, we have developed cooperation among young people in the Western Balkans and supported youth activism across ethnic divides, conducted advocacy on human rights, built support for transitional justice processes and dealing with the past. We have worked on facilitating dialogue between young people, civil society activists, and decision makers on a range of human rights issues. Due to experience gained in conducting Kosovo-Serbia and other regional youth exchange programs, YIHR played an active role in advocating and establishing the Regional Youth Cooperation Office, and is part of many networks and associations at the regional, European and global level.
Within the Reclaim Our Civil Space project, the YIHR engages with civil society on a local level to map, document and raise awareness about the different issues faced by civil society in a local context. YIHR also coordinates efforts to raise the capacity of civil society in Serbia through capacity-building and networking focused sessions and workshops. Additionally, YIHR explores the issues of democracy and populism, EU accession and shrinking civic space in the broader context of Serbia.