Civil society

A lesson in queer

05/09/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrade

In Belgrade the second edition of the queer studies course just ended. It discussed unconventional perspectives, marginal identities, and emancipatory practices. Osservatorio met with philosopher and activist Dušan Maljkovic, coordinator of the course

Armenian homophobia

14/08/2013 -  Onnik Krikorian Yerevan

Proposed anti-gay propaganda legislation raises human rights concerns in Armenia, where violence against sexual minorities is supported by representatives of the institutions

Mir Sada, twenty years ago

13/08/2013 -  Nicole Corritore

Marching to Sarajevo to contribute to peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina and promote popular diplomacy and non-violent interposition. This was the goal of over two thousand Italian and foreign pacifists who took part in "Mir Sada - Peace Now" in August 1993. One of our journalists participated

Sejdić-Finci, a judgment ignored

19/07/2013 -  Andrea Oskari Rossini

Jakob Finci, president of the Jewish community of Sarajevo, has been expecting for four years for the application of the judgment by the European Court of Human Rights that bears his name. An interview

Bebolucija: spring delayed

16/07/2013 -  Rodolfo Toè

A month after the beginning of the protests, the 'bebolucija' already seems to have betrayed its original intentions. Low interest of citizenship, confusion of the protesters, weaknesses of the organization: the Bosnian spring is postponed to a date to be determined

Croatia, the new, "EU-indifferent" member

24/06/2013 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

On July 1st, Croatia becomes the 28th member of the EU. According to Professor Dejan Jović, adviser to president Ivo Josipović, while the country's political and economic elite celebrates, the public opinion shows indifference and does not hide some fear

Turkey-Azerbaijan: from #occupygezi to #occupyfountainsquare?

11/06/2013 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

What impact have the protests in Turkey on neighboring countries? Azerbaijan certainly can not give lessons in democracy, and yet ...

A Memorial on the Diamond Road

27/05/2013 -  Andrea Oskari Rossini Gornji Vakuf

Friends and family members have placed a memorial stone on the site where three Italian pacifists, Guido Puletti, Sergio Lana and Fabio Moreni, were murdered on May 29 twenty years ago while carrying aid to the Bosnian population

Elva, crowd-sourcing conflict in the South Caucasus

15/05/2013 -  Onnik Krikorian Tbilisi

Elva is a platform developed in Georgia that allows to easily receive feedback from local communities via SMS. Successfully used to map local needs along the ABL with South Ossetia, it could soon be used elsewhere

Land of blue gold

07/05/2013 -  Andrea Oskari Rossini

Bosnia Herzegovina is one of the European countries with the richest water resources. Projects to build a series of hydroelectric power stations in Republika Srpska, however, are endangering a delicate environmental balance. Report

Kosovo: my son Tonibler

06/05/2013 -  Marjola Rukaj

For ten years Alban Muja of Kosovo has been doing research into the names of towns, places and people; at the moment he has an exhibition in the centre of Tirana in a small gallery called “the fly”

More complications for NGOs in Azerbaijan

08/04/2013 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

A new law in Azerbaijan that introduces new fines on NGOs has entered into force. Top government representatives accuse local NGOs, western donors and the social media of radicalizing youth

Belgrade and its street children

10/04/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrade

There are more and more children living and working on the streets of Belgrade. The institutions are having a hard time dealing with the phenomenon. A temporary daycare center that has become a model for the whole region, the Svratište, recently risked shutting down

Little Nora brings Croatians together

19/02/2013 -  Drago Hedl Osijek

In just a few days, the Croatian civil society raised a million Dollars so that a seriously ill 5-year-old girl could get treatment. Now there is not a single person in Croatia who does not know who little Nora Šitum is

One billion rise in Serbia too

08/03/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrade

Cases of family violence, particularly against women, are not decreasing in Serbia. Now, however, the fight against abuse can count on two more forces – the Museum of violence that just opened in Belgrade and the many people who danced for One Billion Rising

Riots and protests in Azerbaijan

07/02/2013 -  Arzu Geybullayeva

People turned to the streets in the Northern town of Ismayilli, while different protests took place in Baku. Arrests, including of opposition figures, have been the answer of the authorities

Armenia-Azerbaijan: crossing to “the other side” in times of ceasefire

31/01/2013 -  Arzu Geybullayeva Baku

Armenia and Azerbaijan are in a bitter conflict. Dialogue between the sides is difficult, but some visits across the border are still happening. The story of an Azerbaijani journalist in Armenia

Sex Education in Croatia. The war between the Church and government

04/02/2013 -  Drago Hedl Osijek

It is open clash between the Croatian Catholic Church and the center-left government. The disputed issue is sex education in schools, recently introduced in the broader context of civic education and health

Why Slovenia took to the streets

21/01/2013 -  Franco Juri

Demonstrations in Slovenia have been going on for weeks and a public sector strike is scheduled for January 23rd. The analysis

Serbia: education, the market and democracy

17/01/2013 -  Federico Sicurella Belgrado

What principles should underpin Serbia's educational system from now to 2020? The answer lies in the Strategy for the Development of Education, recently adopted by the government. The document, however, does not appeal to many intellectuals denouncing it subjects education to nationalism and the market economy

Baku, where “Internet Governance” doesn't sound good

21/12/2012 -  Arzu Geybullayeva Baku

Last month the UN Internet Governance Forum (IGF) was held in Baku. Amidst doubts on the choice of the host country, the distribution of reports on freedom of expression at the venue was blocked and the computers of assistants to vice-president of the EU commission Neelie Kroes were hacked

The 1800 inmates of Moldova's psychiatric hospitals

03/12/2012 -  Natalia Ghilaşcu

Psychiatric patients in Moldova are often forced into huge facilities, where freedom is restricted more than is necessary and the sick are vulnerable to abuses. A report by our correspondent

Russia, NGOs become "foreign agents"

21/11/2012 -  Irina Gordienko* Moscow

Today, a new federal law on NGOs enters into force in Russia. All associations working on human rights will have to register as "foreign agents", and could stand accused of high treason. The Russian government, apparently frightened by the wave of protests against electoral fraud, introduced the new law to restrict the activities of organizations researching the election process, but the law will affect all NGOs, especially in the Caucasus

Montenegro, a country to change

06/11/2012 -  Francesco Martino Podgorica

Montenegro: a country that has not seen a change of government for 23 years, stifled by corruption and organized crime. This is what Vanja Ćalović, director of MANS (Network for the affirmation of the non-governmental sector), struggles to change. The elections of October 14th have opened up spaces for hope, but much more needs to be done, including by the EU. Our interview

Albania: the boom of private schools

02/10/2012 -  Marjola Rukaj

Private schools of all levels have flourished over the last ten years. A report about a failing public system, teachers struggling with the laws of the free market, and families struggling with their wallets

Slow Food Turkey: Wheat Rites

26/07/2012 -  Francesco Martino Istanbul

A few kilometres off the coast of Istanbul, in the Sea of Marmara, the Princes' Islands are the tourist destination for those who want to leave behind, at least for a few hours, the frenzy of the immense metropolis on the Bosporus. These islands have been for millennia a laboratory of cultural contamination, as testified by recipes, smells, tastes, and words – suspended between memory and oblivion

Time for summer clean-up after Eurovision in Azerbaijan

23/07/2012 -  Arzu Geybullayeva Baku

As soon as the Eurovision song contest ended, Azerbaijan was once again out of the world media spotlight. Baku's authorities did not lose any time getting back to cracking down on international human rights organizations and local activists

Kosovo, where ideas bring value

28/06/2012 -  Veton Kasapolli Pristina

A Minister for marketing? Why not? Promoting the country's image is something a new generation of musicians, sports people and artists is already working on, awaiting politics also to take its course

The false myth of sustainability

20/06/2012 -  Risto Karajkov

The section on sustainability is a fundamental part of development project proposals. But why is it so important for the donor? And is it always necessary? A comment

Croatia on the Balkan migration route

07/06/2012 -  Francesca Rolandi

Croatia is on the so-called Balkan route of migration that runs from Serbia to the countries of the EU. How does the country, soon to become the 28th Member State of the Union, deal with migration issues? We have asked Julija Kranjec, expert in asylum and migration policy of the Centre for Peace Studies in Zagreb