High school students from the municipality of Jajce won the “Max van der Stoel” award for 2018. The award was handed over as an acknowledgment for their extraordinary courage and inspirational activism, which led to prevention of further segregation in schools in Jajce, as well as all over the country, as stated from the OSCE Mission in BiH.
In the summer of 2016, high school students in Jajce decided to raise their voice against the cantonal decision to establish a new school for Bosniak students only. The practice of “two schools under one roof” would be continued with this decision, and it would deepen segregation and divisions between the communities. The jury made unanimous decision to give the “Max van der Stoel” award for 2018 to students from Jajce, which were represented by the Council of Students of the Vocational School Jajce. Members of the jury praised them for their persistence, moral authority and courage.
The Award – named after the distinguished Dutch statesman and first OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities, Max van der Stoel, – in the amount of 50,000 euros was established by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2001. It is awarded biennially to an individual, group or institution in recognition of extraordinary and outstanding achievements aimed at promoting integration and social cohesion in the OSCE participating States. The award will be given on November 9th.
Max van der Stoel Award will be received by an informal group of high school students who initiated protests, including Azra Keljalic, Ajla Vrebac, Nikola Rimac and Tarik Sehic, professors Amela Kavazbasic and Josip Bogic, as well as activist Samir Beharic.