Removing blinders on war crimes and e-accessibility in the former Yugoslavia
By Danjela Babic for ZaMirNET
ZAGREB, Croatia, 14 May 2009
APC member ZaMirNET has been working hard on uncovering the truth about war crimes committed during the Yugoslav wars, between 1991 and 2001. In late October, they joined an initiative to establish a regional body that will expose the truth about war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, which will help serve justice and guarantee that these crimes will not be repeated in the future. More recently, they have also made important headway in e-inclusion initiatives and access to public services for those who cannot see, including the launch of a new web portal for IT professionals and a general audience.
War crimes exposed: New initiative for a regional truth-telling body on war crimes
On 29th of October 2008, in Prishtina, ZaMirNET joined the Initiative for establishing a regional body for truth-seeking and truth-telling about war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, which would be able to serve justice and guarantee non-repetition of crimes.
Regional partners, the Humanitarian Law Center, Reserach and Documentation Center and Documenta are facilitating a process of civil society consultation on mechanisms of truth-seeking and truth-telling about war crimes in the former Yugoslavia.
The consultative process with civil society began in May 2006 when they jointly organised the first regional forum titled Post-conflict Truth-seeking in Sarajevo. A consultation with artists from the region took place in Belgrade in December 2006. The second regional forum was held in Zagreb in February 2007, and in 2008, the forum was held in Prishtina. National and regional consultations with youth, journalists, and human rights organisations followed. National and regional consultations involve associations of victims, women leaders, associations of war veterans, and professional groups as well.
The objective of the debate was to find a truth-seeking and truth-telling model, including HLC, RDC, and Documenta’s initiative for establishing a regional body for truth-seeking and truth-telling about war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia, which would be able to serve justice and guarantee the non-repetition of crimes. ZaMirNET will share the civil society recommendations with national governments on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, the UN, the European Commission and Council of Europe.
E-inclusion: Making public services available to everyone
ZaMirNET is also working towards e-inclusion and e-governance. As a part of their “Network of Inclusive e-Government” project, ZaMirNET organised a workshop on e-inclusion back in 2007, with representatives from the academic and governmental sector, as well as several civil society and associations for the blind and disabled. Representatives from neighbouring countries Serbia and Macedonia were also there to share the status of online public services in their countries. The main focus was on the availability of public services online, particularly accessibility to the persons with disabilities.
Now, together with the Association of the Blind of Istria County (Pula), ZaMirNET are working towards improving the accessibility to public e-services in Croatia. As one of the key activities, a web portal www.pristupacnost.net (pristupacnost means accessibility in Croatian) will be launched. It will provide information related to e-accessibility to IT professionals and wider audience.