From March 15th – 24th  2013, the Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC) collaborated with the Harvard-based International Human Rights Clinic, and assisted them during research being done by four of their members while they were in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Background

The International Human Rights Clinic is run under the auspices of the Harvard Law School in the United States. The clinic gives law students the opportunity to conduct field research, documentation, and human rights advocacy under the guidance of experienced instructors. The group was led by Bonnie Docherty, a Senior Clinical Instructor and Law Lecturer from the Harvard School of Law. They came to Bosnia and Herzegovina to research its armed conflict, focusing on the different roles people assumed in that conflict, and the blurry line between soldiers and civilians. They were carefully directed in the information gathering portion of this project by Ms. Velma Šarić, founder of PCRC.

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The people we set up interviews with came from different parts of the country and different ethnic groups; some were researchers and high officials who provided valuable insight into more complex military and methodological structures of their work, whereas others were ‘common’ people who simply shared their personal stories and experiences. This joint project illustrates what the PCRC is about – diversity and inclusion of all members of the society, as well as telling the story about the armed conflict and work on reconciliation of the society as a whole.

I recently collaborated with PCRC on a field mission to Bosnia, and the organization provided invaluable assistance to my team from Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic. Velma’s background in armed conflict issues helped her understand our project and research needs. She used her wide network of contacts to set up interviews with key experts and witnesses. Our PCRC translator Niđara Pasanović was amazing—she brought a nuanced understanding of English and her empathy put our interviewees at ease. Finally our drivers were always professional and friendly and made our several road trips go smoothly.”

Bonnie Docherty

Lecturer on Law and Senior Clinical Instructor

International Human Rights Clinic

Harvard Law School

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We wish to thank Dr. Docherty and the International Human Rights Clinic for this mutually beneficial opportunity for cooperation and look forward to working closely with them and others on similar projects in future.

 – Post-Conflict Research Center, Sarajevo –