"Human rights are our common heritage and their realization depends on the contributions
that each and every one of us is willing to make, individually and collectively, now and in the future."

Louise Arbour
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2004 - Activities in the Field: Serbia and Montenegro

“Tree of Life” Project*

This year the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will mobilize small local communities on human rights promotion. In coordination with local human rights organizations the "Tree of Life" project has been organised in 18 towns throughout Serbia:
Belgrade, Nis, Sombor, Uzice, Pozega, Subotica, Vlasotince, Negotin, Vranje, Valjevo, Novi Sad, Novi Pazar, Priboj, Kursumlija, Dimitrovgrad, Bujanovac, Majdanpek, Donji Milanovac.

This project entails public, street events, on the 10 December, with organized media coverage. A real tree will be placed in the main square of these municipalities and citizens will be invited to decorate the “tree of life” with small paper tags on which they will write human rights. After the event, the tree will be planted in one of the public areas with a plaque on it reading "10 December, Human Rights Day". Also, the tags with human rights written on them will be collected from all of the towns and used during next year for the promotional purposes.

In Belgrade, the Office of the High Ccommisisoner for Human Rrights will have a “Tree of Life” situated in Knez Mihailova street, from 1 pm to 4pm. Volunteers from two human rights NGOs, will assist citizens in decorating the “Tree of Life” with human rights messages.

Concert with Djordje Balasevic

The artist, singer and composer Mr. Djordje Balasevic, will perform in a concert on the 10 December at 8pm in Novi Sad in Vojvodina at in the Serbian National Theater. This concert will alsoserve as the launch of a series of concerts, from December to March 2005, to be held in small towns in Vojvodina that have a mixed ethnic composition and promote a message of tolerance.

Human Rights Through the Performing Arts

In Pristina OHCHR will be holding an event at 1700 on 9 December in the Grand Hotel featuring dance and drama on human rights themes
together with partners, the Finnish-OHCHR Human Rights Support Programme (FHRSP) and the Global Motion Project.

Public Service Announcements

In cooperation with UNMIK, public service announcements highlighting International Human Rights Day are being shown on Albanian- and Serbian-language TV channels throughout the week. The FHRSP are also staging a media campaign on radio stations in Kosovo.


In the evening of the 10 December, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will organize a reception in Belgrade from 18.30 pm to 21.00 pm, in the National Museum. The guests, from international and national NGOs, from international organizations and UN agencies, diplomatic corps, media, human rights and peace activists, artists, etc. will also be invited to decorate "Tree of Life" with human rights.

Promotional material

The office of the High Commissioner for HumanRights and its partners have printed pocket calendars, with the drawings of a renowned artist from Serbia, promoting the message of tolerance, to bedistributed in all towns that participate in the "Tree of Life" project.

Round Table – 9 December

The OCHR Mission in Serbia and Montenegro will organize a round table entitled “Human Rights and Reforms”, that will take place on the 9 December, from 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm in Media Centre in Belgrade.


OHCHR will also participate in an International Human Rights Day celebration organized by UNMIK in the northern town of Mitrovicë/Mitrovica
on 10 December and other events organized by local civil society actors during the week.

*We would like to express our great appreciation to all of our partners, without whom the project "Tree of Life" would have not been possible, in particular to: Centre for Human Rights – Nis, CHRIS Network, Committee for Human Rights Majdanpek, Group 484 and Belgrade Centre for Human Rights.