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CROATIA
PHASE 1

1. Raising awareness on human rights among the general public

Still in FRY, the Serbian Democratic Forum provided legal aid and services to refugees mainly for their return to Croatia.  800 persons benefited from the project and 200 people were able to return to their country of origin.

3. Informing on children's rights

In Croatia, all three grant recipients organized events involving art and culture (exhibitions, theatre performances and concerts) along with seminars, round tables and lectures on the topic of human rights and the UDHR, targeted at youth.

PHASE 2

Croatia

1. The Centre for Peace, Legal Advice and Psychological Assistance (Vukovar) prepared radio programmes on human rights as described in international standards, focusing on women's and children's rights. Sixteen programmes were broadcast during one month on two popular radio stations. The themes were: presentation of the individual articles of the UDHR, presentation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, presentation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, presentation of human rights protection mechanisms, and presentation of the role of civil society in the promotion and protection of human rights. The grant recipient reports that the number of phone calls received by their offices increased sharply during and after the broadcasting of the programmes. On the one hand, people wanted more information about their basic rights, and, on the other, the NGO had an opportunity to learn about human rights violations.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

2. The Civic Initiative Centre (Porec) raised awareness of children's rights in all schools and local institutions in Porec county (Istria) by: informing children and teachers about human rights through interactive lectures; evaluating children’s understanding of human rights through their paintings and drawings; and printing and distributing selected paintings and drawings. Ten child-related rights were chosen by the NGO representatives for presentation and discussion with the children. The grant recipient reports that “although human rights form part of school curricula, involving an NGO in the process gives more content and depth to the programmes.”

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

3. The Association of Human Rights and Citizens’ Freedom set up an information centre for the promotion and protection of human rights in the municipality of Srb (Zadar county), especially for returnees. Its aim was to help them, to inform them about their rights, to lobby the authorities, to increase the number of returnees, and to generate awareness of the living conditions and property rights of returnees. Basic humanitarian aid (clothes, food) given by citizens of Istra county was distributed to 36 families. Among 78 lawsuits related to returnees' rights, 63 persons received legal assistance from the applicant. The lobbying activities were a key issue: the NGO met with the President of Croatia, with many national and local authorities, and with representatives of intergovernmental bodies and of the Japanese Government. Partnerships were also established with other NGOs.

Allocated grant: US$ 3,000

4. The Association MI (Split) organized three meetings and a four-day workshop on issues related to minority and returnees' rights. All the activities involved representatives of various NGOs active in the region but also representatives of the local authorities and the OSCE. All those invited came from war-affected communities of Croatia. The success of the discussions led to the establishment of a working-group, which now meets on a regular basis.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,800

5. The Centre for Peace, Non-Violence and Human Rights (Osijek) produced, printed and distributed leaflets and brochures on basic human rights to women, children, retired people, Croatian defenders, returnees, refugees and minorities. The focus was on the European system of protection of human rights. More than 5,000 people received a brochure and each person was asked to share the information with his/her friends, families, etc. The NGO reports that “the majority of young people are very badly informed or not informed at all about conscientious objection”, an issue raised during the activities.

Allocated grant: US$ 2,900

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