In recognition of Ms. Kandić’s excellence, dedication and achievements in the field of human rights as a true advocate and protector of human rights and freedoms, Civil Society of Ferizaj bestowed on Ms. Kandic the title: Contributor to Peace and Protector of Freedom.
This award was handed to Ms. Kandić on June 14th 2009 in Ferizaj/Urosevac.
“Ms. Kandić’s role has been fundamental to enhancing tolerance, equality, democracy and understanding among human races. Her sacrifices and tireless work is an inspiration to the younger generation. Ms. Kandić is an archetype and an icon of freedom”, reads the letter from the Civil Society of Ferizaj, signed by Albulena Sadiku.
On November 13, 2006, the European “Time” magazine published a special edition titled “Sixty Years of Heroes”, with 60 names of those who, by the Time’s standards, have been influencing our lives since 1946. Natasa Kandic, the Humanitarian Law Centre Executive Director was named one of them.
Heroes are grouped into three categories: “Rebels and Leaders”, “Business and Culture”, and “Inspirations and Explorers”. As Catherine Mayer, the editor-in-chief of the “Time” magazine put it “these persons are our heroes and in this special edition we celebrate them and their work”. (http://www.time.com/time/europe/hero2006/opener.html).
Natasa Kandic is entered into the “Inspirations and Explorers” category together with princess Diana, Bernard Kouchner, Pope John Paul II, Christiane Amanpour, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Mother Teresa and others.
An article is written about each hero by a well know person from the field in which they act. Chief Prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia Carla del Ponte says in her article (http://www.time.com/time/europe/hero2006/kandic.html that Natasa Kandic is a tireless human rights defender and the she is especially “impressed and inspired” by her courage, straightforwardness, and concern for each and every victim.
Natasa Kandic, HLC Executive Director, received the Medal of Danica of Croatia on November 7, 2006. This recognition was awarded to Ms Kandic by the President of the Republic of Croatia Stjepan Mesic. She was recognised as an individual who, through her work and commitment, contributed to advancement of moral values.
Ms Kandic received the medal at the Croatian residence in Belgrade from H.E. Mr Tonci Stanicic, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Serbia, who noted that Natasa Kandic “is the first person to establish contact with the victims following armed conflicts and their horrors.” “She demonstrated to Croats as well as everyone else in the region that crimes have no nationality and that one can speak about the crimes committed by others only once they clean up their own back yard,” added Ambassador Stanicic.
Ms Natasa Kandic, Humanitarian Law Center’s Executive Director, has been invited to speak at the inaugural session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on June 22 in Geneva, Switzerland. Ms Kandic has been selected by representatives of 60 non-governmental organisations based in Geneva, in co-operation with a number of regional non-governmental organisations, who also endorsed the invitation. Ms Kandic will be one of only five NGO speakers worldwide to address the historical first session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The United Nations Human Rights Council was founded after a recent adoption of the United Nations’ General Assembly resolution to establish the new UN’s principal human rights body, as a result of a reform of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). Many different opinions were taken into consideration in order to achieve this landmark agreement. Now, all those dedicated to the realisation of human rights throughout the world should join in the common cause to hold every government, big and small, to the highest standards of human rights practices.
The People in Need Foundation (PINF), a nonprofit, non-governmental organization whose mission statement is “to inspire a largeness of spirit in Czech society by helping others in need, and to promote democratic freedoms for all”, awarded its 2004 Homo Homini Award to Natasa Kandic, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Center on 14 April 2004 at the openning of a festival for documentary films on human rights. The People in Need Foundation introduced its “Homo Homini” award in 1995, which the foundation presents yearly to an individual who has made a significant personal contribution to the protection of human rights and the promotion of democracy through non-violent means and has displayed exceptional courage in defense of these values.
The Board of Directors of People in Need decided to present the Homo Homini award to Ms. Kandic and her organization, the Humanitarian Law Center, for her ongoing defence of human rights and her personal courage in bringing to light crimes against humanity committed in the former Yugoslavia. “By this decision,” they stated, “People in Need awards a constant resistence to nationalism, a determination to properly investigate war-crimes and to seek the conviction of those responsible.”
PINF conducts national relief campaingns on Czech Televtion, and complements and supports its relief work with vigorous advocacy for human rights and democratic freedoms, in close partnership with cultural and civic organizations. As part of this effort, in 1999 PINF established the annual ‘One World’ international human rights film festival, the first in Central Europe.
At the openning of the film festival, Ms. Kandic received her award from the main sponsor of the festival, former Czech president Vaclav Havel. Upon recieving her award, Ms. Kandic reiterated the main point of the film “Kidnapping”, directed by Ivan Markov (produced by B92) which openned the festival, namely that normal people are afraid to speak out about crimes that they have witnessed, and stated that “. . .it is so important to speak the truth. Everyone who has empathy with other people must tell the truth.”
A prominent advocate for human rights and democratic reform in Serbia, Natasha Kandic, will receive the annual Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative Award from the American Bar Association during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Kandic is founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Law Center for Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo (HLC), a nongovernmental organization aimed at promoting human rights for minorities as a fundamental prerequisite for democratization in Serbia and Montenegro.
HLC, a vocal reporter of human rights abuses under Slobodan Milosevic’s regime, came into being in 1992 when it presented a report on police repression against Muslims in the Sandzak region to the Serbian parliament and demanded the establishment of a commission to investigate the unlawful conduct of the Serbian police.
HLC also won a crucial legal victory against the Republic of Serbia on behalf of Serb refugees arrested by Serbian police and incorporated into the Bosnian Serb and Croatian Serb armies. In response to an HLC petition, the first municipal court in Belgrade ruled that Serbia was violating the refugees’ basic rights.
HLC has also been a vocal supporter of the establishment of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and has emerged as a leading authority on the development of political and human rights in Kosovo.
Kandic had a long history of reporting human rights violations before founding and directing HLC. She orchestrated countless actions against the human rights violations of Milosevic’s regime. From late 1991 to early 1993, for example, she organized the Candles for Peace campaign, a nightly vigil outside the Serbian presidency building at which the names of those killed during the war were read aloud and candles were lit in their memory.
During that time, Kandic also initiated the Anti-conscription Petition, which fought against the conscription of Serbian citizens for war in Croatia and called for a referendum on the issue. Some 78,000 people signed the petition.
She also wrote pro-peace columns in Belgrade’s first independent daily, Borba, and in May 1992 organized the Black Ribbon March, the most massive protest in Serbia against the suffering of civilians in Sarajevo. Some 150,000 people took part in the march.
Kandic has received numerous other honors, including the Human Rights Watch Award, the EU-U.S. Democracy and Civil Society Award, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights Award and the National Endowment for Democracy Award.
The CEELI Award recognizes leaders and their countries for their willingness to take bold steps toward the introduction of democratic and economic reforms. Past CEELI Award recipients have included presidents Guntis Ulmanis of Latvia, Petar Stoyanov of Bulgaria, Emil Constantinescu of Romania, Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic and Stjepan Mesić of Croatia.
Kandic’s award will be presented at the CEELI luncheon on August 9 at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. The award luncheon also honors the legal professionals who have supported CEELI in providing pro bono legal assistance to 23 countries during the past 11 years.
CEELI is a public service project of the American Bar Association that advances the rule of law by supporting the legal reform process in Central and Eastern Europe countries and the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union. Through its
programs, CEELI makes American and European legal expertise and technical assistance available to emerging democracies as they modify and restructure their laws and legal systems.
CEELI has offices in 23 countries across Central Europe and Eurasia. Since being founded in 1991, more than 5,000 judges, lawyers, law professors and legal specialists have contributed pro bono assistance to CEELI programs promoting the rule of law in the region.
The American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership association in the world. With more than 410,000 members, the ABA provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, information about the law, programs to assist lawyers and judges in their work, and initiatives to improve the legal system for the public.
Šef Odeljenja za ljudska prava pri desku Stejt dipartmenta za Južnu i Centralnu Evropu razgovarala sa predstavnicima FHP
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The University of Valencia, Spain, has conferred an honorary doctorate on Natasa Kandic, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Center, in recognition of her longstanding work in the field of human rights and her humanitarian activities.
The University also awarded an honorary doctorate to Dr Manuel Castells Olivan, Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley. The degrees will be presented to Ms Kandic and Dr Castells Olivan on 31 May at a ceremony marking the 500th anniversary of the University, in the presence of prominent figures in the political and cultural life of Valencia province.
Natasa Kandic, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Law Center, is the recipient of this year’s Pen of Truth award of the HAS magazine and Damad Cultural Center in Novi Pazar.
Previous laureates of the award, given for results achieved in affirming truth and democracy in society, are authors Milika Pavlovic and Husein Basic, and Sefko Alomerovic, the Chairman of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in the Sandjak.
The plaque and cash prize will be presented to Ms Kandic at a ceremony in Novi Pazar later this month.