Human rights in south-east Europe

Problems and solutions

From the 21st to the 25th of January 2005, a seminar took place in Skopje, Macedonia, more exactly in Hotel “Vodno”, 7 km from the centre. The seminar with the topic “Human Rights in South-East Europe – Problems and Solutions” was organised by the “European House – Skopje” in partnership with NGOs from 5 other countries of South-East Europe: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosova and Serbia & Montenegro. I was the leader of the Kosova Team in this seminar, represented by four students of the Law Faculty of the University of Prishtina, who are also members of the Law Students Association, that was the partner from Kosova in this seminar.

The journey from Prishtina to Skopje was not that easy, even though it’s only 2 and a half hours travelling by bus. First, when we arrived at the bus station in Prishtina we saw the bus leaving to Skopje, and we couldn’t catch it on time, we took the bus to Ferizaj in order to catch the bus to Skopje in next station, but once again, we just achieved to see the bus leaving from the station. Then we tried a taxi, to catch the bus, but we weren’t lucky in choosing. The taxi driver was not a good one and his car was not fast enough to catch the bus, so we gave up. We told him to stop in a village, and then we waited for more than an hour for the next bus to Skopje.

The seminar was designed to determine common problems of human rights and freedoms that youngsters of these six countries face in day to day life, and to try to find solutions by acting together in order to improve the current situation.

It was nice to meet some friends again who we had met in a previous seminar organised by the “European House – Skopje” last year in Ohrid, and it was nice to meet new friends too. Each team had to do a research in its own country and on this basis prepare a report about human rights and freedoms in its country. During the seminar each team had to give a presentation of the report. Then in working groups we tried to define common problems in order to create a platform for future projects and actions which was one of the aims of the seminar, and the most important point of this seminar was the agreement for establishing the YouthAction Network, which is an informal network of NGOs that participated in this seminar. The agreement was signed on the 24th of January 2005, and the platform is still under construction. The outcomes of the seminar will be published soon in a handbook, and it will be distributed to national authorities and NGOs which deal with human rights and freedoms in these six countries: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Kosova and Serbia & Montenegro.

Even though we had days filled with activities, we achieved to arrange time for having fun. During the nights we went to some nice pubs and clubs in city of Skopje and enjoyed listening to live music of local bands. Unfortunately, the time to stay there was limited, because taxi’s that drove us to hotel didn’t work after midnight, so we had to continue our parties at the hotel.

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