Peace Institute wins PASOS Think-Tank Achievement Award 2012

November 9, 2012

A Slovenian think-tank whose work on behalf of thousands of people stripped of their legal status after the breakup of Yugoslavia yielded a victory in the European Court of Human Rights was awarded the PASOS Think-Tank Achievement Award 2012.

The award to the Peace Institute was announced November 9 at “Open Government, Deeper Democracy,” an international think-tanks’ and policymakers’ conference organized by the Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) and the Policy Association for an Open Society (PASOS).

On 26 June 2012, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Slovenian government had violated the rights of ‘The Erased,’ a group of 25,671 residents of Slovenia, most of whom had been born in other Yugoslav republics and who were deleted from the legal register. The Peace Institute has been advocating for the restoration of their rights for 10 years, and worked closely with the legal team that pursued the court case that drew the ruling.

“The project of the Peace Institute is for me a shining example of the way how any civil society organization should function within a society and for the benefit of the society,” said award juror Gabriel Svárovská, a member of the board of the European Partnership for Democracy and former director of the Human Rights & Transition Policy Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.

“It should stand for the values constitutive for a given community – rights of the ‘rightless’ people in this particular case – and it must capable of challenging both the authorities and the public opinion if these values are neglected. On the top of that, the Peace Institute approached its mission in a very complex way, combining a variety of tools, while making the best of think-tank work by building on a solid base of research, documentation and a great deal of strategic thinking and planning.”

Svárovská was joined on the jury by Kálmán Mizsei, a co-chairman of the Roma Policy Board at the Open Society Institute and chairman of the Making the Most of EU Funds for the Roma, and Bohdan Krawchenko, director general of the University of Central Asia.

The jury also recognized the work of the Institute of Public Affairs in Warsaw, which was honored with Second Place in the competition, for the project “Gender Equality Campaign.”

In this video, Peace Institute Director Neža Kogovšek Šalamon accepts the award.

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