A Successful Opening of the YIHR.hub and Birthday Celebration

A new space dedicated for civil society organisations, informal citizen initiatives and others free of charge – the YIHR.hub at Đorđićeva 8a in Zagreb was officialy launched on November 28. The celebration was twofold: together with the hub opening, we celebrated the 11th birthday of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights. More than 100 CSOs, media, and college staff and students, as well as our associates and volunteers attended the event. The report from the event (in Croatian) in Novosti journal can be read here. The hub opening and the Social Innovators project was also covered on a radio show on Yammat (in Croatian – listen to it here).

The YIHR.hub opening started with the Social Innovators project presentation. The project, dedicated to addressing the unemployment of humanities and social science students, as well as increasing interest in working in the civil society organisations, is the main framework under which the YIHR.hub was launched. This is why we also discussed other project activities complementary to the hub such as the CSO Apprenticeship model and a new educational programme focused on the topic of social innovations, that is developed together with our partners from the National Management School (Bulgaria), PiNA (Slovenia), and Østfold University College (Norway).

After the Social Innovators project presentations, we hosted a panel “Deconstruction of Social Innovations – the return of the underrated!”, moderated by our Nikola Puharić. The panelists were Gabrijela Ivanov (K-zona, FierceWomen), Tena Šojer Keser (Netokracija), and Eugen Vuković (Zelena akcija, Biciklopopravljaona). The panelists shared their formative experiences in civil society organisations and IT sector, discussed the potential for social innovations, and shared their perspective on activities planned within the Social Innovators project.

The dinner was followed by the music programme performed by the Domaćigosti choir, which served as an opening for the Initiative’s birthday celebration. Main speakers were Mario Mažić (Founder), Nikola Puharić (President), and Morana Starčević (Executive Director). The message we sent out was unambiguous: regardless of all difficulties and obstacles, we will not give up the uncompromising struggle for human rights!

We thank all our associates, friends, supporters and volunteers, as well as all others who came to celebrate this important day for us.

An invitation to the YIHR.hub launching event and celebration of Youth Initiative for Human Rights Birthday

Youth Initiative for Human Rights, with regard to its upcoming 11th birthday, officially launches the YIHR.hub – a new, free and exciting co-working space in the Zagreb city center that will be open for civil society organizations, informal initiatives, youth and everyone who wants to change the world!

As a part of the event, the Social Innovators project will be presented, together with a panel discussion focused on increasing the employability of youth with education in humanities and social sciences and popularizing seeking employment in civil society organizations. Youth Initiative for Human Rights will present its work at the reception “11 years of uncompromising struggle for human rights” and mark its 11th year of work.

The event will be held at Đorđićeva 8a (Zagreb), second floor, beginning at 16h.

The representatives of civil society organizations will be able to participate in a discussion about the planned activities of the Social Innovators project, tour the new YIHR.hub and discover ways to get involved. They will discuss how to empower NGOs, increase the employability of youth and develop their skills which will equip them to work in NGOs and alleviate the NGOs in terms of training new workers for the specific challenges of working in civil society organizations.


16:00 – 16:30 YIHR.hub and Social Innovators project Presentation

16:45 – 18:00 Panel discussion: Deconstruction of Social Innovation – the return of the underrated!

18:00 – 19:00 Reception

18:30 – 19:00 Musical performance by Domaćigosti choir

19:00 – 19:30 11 years of uncompromising struggle for human rights – the celebration of the 11th birthday of the Youth initiative for human rights and the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize

We are inviting activists, journalists, NGOs, youth organizations and social entrepreneurs, as well as our associates and friends to join us at one of the events or the whole program, and celebrate with us this important day for the Youth Initiative for Human Rights!


Social Innovators project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. The project is cofinanced by the Government of the Republic of Croatia Office for Cooperation with NGOs. Project partners are Youth Initiative for Human Rights, PINA Slovenija, National Management School from Bulgaria and Østfold University College from Norway.

Václav Havel Human Rights Prize 2019 awarded to YIHR!

The Regional Network of Youth Initiative for Human Rights has the great honor to announce that we have received the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize for our work on peacebuilding and reconciliation in the Balkans. The prize was presented at a special on 30th September at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg, on the opening day of the autumn plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

This honor is even greater considering that we were awarded and nominated alongside two exceptional and important human rights defenders – Ilham Tohti, a prominent advocate of Uyghur rights in China, and co-founder of the website Uyghur Online, which aimed to promote understanding between Uyghurs and Han Chinese; and Buzurgmehr Yorov, a Tajik human rights lawyer, who has represented and defended many political prisoners in Tajikistan, and for which he had suffered severe state oppression.

The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize is a prestigious prize awarded to individuals and non-governmental organizations  for outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond. It is of immense importance to us that the values of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights have been recognized as crucial for a democratic Balkans, but also, for the strengthening of democracy in Europe.

The Prize is awarded in memory of Václav Havel, playwright, opponent of totalitarianism, architect of the Velvet Revolution of 1989, President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic and an enduring symbol of opposition to despotism. The first-ever Václav Havel Prize for Human Rights was awarded in 2013 to Ales Bialiatski (Belarus), followed by Anar Mammadli (Azerbaijan) in 2014, Ludmilla Alexeeva (Russian Federation) in 2015, Nadia Murad (Iraq) in 2016, and Murat Arslan (Turkey) in 2017 and Oyub Titiev in 2018 (Russian Federation).

As Ivan Đurić, who accepted the prize on behalf of Regional Network of  Youth Initiative for Human Rights offices, stated in his speech:

The future we hope for and work towards is one where opinions of others will not be formed through prejudice and lies, but through personal, authentic experiences and knowledge. We want to make it possible, normal, natural for young people to meet, travel, work together, create, make exchanges and fall in love across the countries in the Balkans; just as they do across Europe.”

With this prize, this is something the Youth Initiative for Human Rights will strive to achieve – we will continue to create opportunities for regional exchanges and dialogue through strengthening our regional network as the main platform for youth reconciliation processes in the Balkans. We will continue to build peace and fight any attempts at renewed warfare and hatred.

In this moment in history, when state actors and nationalist rhetoric threatens to destroy our peace, we are immensely grateful that our work is recognized as important and necessary for a peaceful, European Balkans.

We thank those who have supported us and nominated us for this award.

We dedicate this award to the hundreds of Youth Initiative for Human Rights’ present and former activists, volunteers, exchange participants and leaders.


Working together to inform about progress in combatting youth unemployment

The official launch of the Youth Employment Magazine is announced on the UN International Day of Friendship. Nearly 200 institutions from 26 European countries implementing projects financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway unite to share results of their initiatives aimed at combating youth unemployment in Europe.

Launched on July 30, the Youth Employment Magazine (https://youthemploymentmag.net/) will function as a content resource for all projects implemented under the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment. Its editorial team consists of experts implementing the projects themselves, who are regularly developing materials about the progress and results of each project. The platform is established by the Fund Operator,a consortium of JCP Italy and Ecorys Polska.

The burning question for Europe

According to recent data shown in the Eurostat database1, approximately 15 million young people aged 20-34 were neither in employment, nor in education and training (NEET) in the EU-28 in 2018. In Italy and Greece, with the highest youth unemployment rate, more than a quarter of young people were out of the labour market. To promote sustainable and quality youth employment in Europe, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway launched in 2017 the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment amounting to 60 million euros. The 26 large-scale projects selected to receive funding are now implementing their initiatives that aim to help around 25 000 young people find a job or create new ones.

Vulnerable youth often fall outside the formal education and training systems as well as the ordinary labour market, and there is a great need for innovative solutions, transfer of good practice and impact studies on which interventions work and which do not. The 26 projects will develop, pilot or adopt almost 100 new approaches, methods and practices, underlining the innovative nature of the Fund for Youth Employment,” quoting Mrs Grethe Haugøy, Senior Sector Officer for Regional Funds and Global Fund for Social Dialogue and Decent Work at the Financial Mechanism Office, the Secretariat of the EEA and Norway Grants.

One platform beyond borders

Compared to other initiatives of the EEA and Norway Grants, the added value of the Fund for Youth Employment is its transnational focus. This is in line with the Europe 2020 strategy and the EU cohesion policy that takes account of the crucial role regions and cross-border cooperation play for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Although the range of the Fund is enormous (project consortia bring together 195 entities from various sectors covering their activities
in 26 countries), disseminating results at the level of countries where projects are implemented and the flow of information beyond borders faces significant challenges. This is the main reason why a common communication platform in the form of an online magazine is created. It is not accidental that the official launch of the “Youth Employment Magazine” falls on the UN International Day of Friendship, since consortia implementing projects remain in harmonised, constant relations with each other, sharing good practices and exchanging experiences.

Local activities, global information

The newly created magazine will aggregate content prepared by all projects: not only news about current achievements and information on their progress, but also longer substantive articles and various multimedia. Furthermore, the constantly updated calendar will allow the audience to follow all events organised by projects across Europe and the Donor States.

The online magazine will serve as a platform to inspire, connect and raise awareness among young people in Europe and will become an online hub for all the entities involved in the Fund,” said Raquel Torres Prol, Communication Officer for the Fund for Youth Employment at the Financial Mechanism Office, the Secretariat of the EEA and Norway Grants.

About the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment

  • 60.6 million in funding.

  • 3 donor countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.

  • Supporting 26 transnational projects that promote quality youth employment.

  • Intends in particular to reach the long-term unemployed in the age group 25-29, to be complementary to existing EU funding.

  • More information: http://eeagrants.org/fundforyouthemployment.