At a meeting held at the beginning of January with the Vice President of the Government of Montenegro Rafet Husović, the regional network of Youth Initiative for Human Rights presented an initiative for institutionalizing a youth exchange program in the countries of Western Balkan.
This programme is supposed to engage Governments of the countries in the region to establish a body responsible for youth exchange with an aim to contribute in reduction of prejudices among post-conflict generations.
The representatives of the YIHR from Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro spoke of their ten years of experience of cross-border youth connecting and presented problems they stumbled upon in their communication in the region. These problems are most easily dealt with if the Governments of these states were to dedicate their attention to the opening of official channels for communication among young people which would include exchanges between primary and secondary schools, universities, young artists, athletes, NGO activists.
Mr. Husovic agreed that it was essential to have bigger mobility not only between the countries in the region but also within the countries themselves. He fully supported the establishment of this programme and added that he would help in ensuring budget funds for an exchange program in the following year. At the meeting they concluded that it was desirable to make use of good neighborly relations that Montenegro cherishes with all countries in the region,so that this initiative could get supported in other states also.
This visit to the Government of Montenegro was organized during the time of a regional meeting of the representatives of five YIHR offices in Podgorica with the aim to speak of possibilities of establishing a regional exchange programme for young people, potential drawbacks, but also the advantages of fulfilling this goal.