Friday, 26 June 2015

Organisation of the Month: Documenta from Croatia

Documenta – Centre for Dealing with the Past was founded in 2006 by Centre for Peace, Non-Violence and Human Rights Osijek, Centre for Peace Studies, Civic Committee for Human Rights and Croatian Helsinki Committee with an attempt to encourage the process of dealing with the past and establishing factual truth about the war and to contribute to shifting of the discussion from the level of dispute over facts towards a dialogue on interpretations. The key reason for making this attempt was the silence and falsification of war crimes and other war-related events in the period from 1941 to 2000, which has influenced the recent past of Yugoslavia, as well as post-Yugoslav societies.

Since its establishment, Documenta contributes to the development process of dealing with the past on individual, social and institutional level, with a mission to build sustainable peace in Croatia and the region. This tasks is being conducted by deepening the dialogue and initiating a public debate on public policies that encourage dealing with the past, collecting data, publishing research on war events, war crimes and violations of human rights, and monitoring war crimes trials at the local and regional level as a contribution to the improvement of court standards and practices in the war crimes trials.

In order to achieve its goals, Documenta cooperates with its founding organizations, associations of families of the missing people, other civic initiatives, governmental institutions, international institutions and organizations, institutions of state and local government, academic institutions, religious groups, the media and other interested individuals. Structure of Documenta’s programs consists of three units: Public dialogue and public policies, Documenting, Improvement of court practices and standards.

In April 2015, Documenta published data they gathered as part of the research "Human loses in Croatia 1991 - 1995" (Ljudski gubici u RH 1991 - 1995. godine). They started this research in 2009, focusing on Western Slavonia region in Croatia, they interviewed 6150 people, gathered 25 000 documents and made a digital database. The data they presented had a great public response, and they will continue with this research which is important for the process of reconciliation in Croatia.

For more information please visit the website

In the photo: Vesna Teršelič and Slaven Rašković during their presentation of the research, taken at Human Rights House in Zagreb.

Information provided by CROSOL

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