Staff and students from the University have returned from a four day visit to Bosnia-Herzegovina where they met with survivors of the Srebrenica genocide. Regarded as one of worst atrocities on European soil since the Second World War, staff and students paid their respects at the site of the genocide and took part in a seminar with academics at the University of Sarajevo.
The University was joined by Philip Sullivan, Gloucestershire Police & Crime Commissioner Lead for Hate Crimes and Rebecca Richardson, Gloucestershire County Victim Support Hate Crimes Lead.
The visit was organised by the charity 'Remembering Srebrenica', a charity which works to educate people about the lessons from the genocide in order to create stronger, more cohesive communities in the UK. Founded in April 2013 the charity has taken over 1,000 UK Citizens to Bosnia-Herzegovina on its' 'Lessons from Srebrenica' programme. Over the last five years, the charity has brought communities together by organising almost 5,500 Srebrenica memorial activities across the UK and has educated 75,000 young people about the dangers of hatred left unchecked.
The genocide in July 1995 was the culmination of a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing, in which men were tortured and killed, while between 20,000-50,000 women were raped. These atrocities were committed against a backdrop of increasing identity-based conflict during the Bosnian war in the 1990s.
Luke Ellwood, Criminology & Psychology student, said:
“My trip to Sarajevo and Srebrenica was as educational towards my soul as it was towards my history knowledge. Insightful, harrowing and thought-provoking, being a member of the delegation has left me with a different outlook on how to go forward, and I will never forget it. Thank you to 'Remembering Srebrenica' for this unmissable opportunity to spread what I've learnt."
Louise Livesey, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, said:
"Taking students and professionals together has helped develop conversations about community integration and tackling hate in new ways. I am deeply humbled by the friendliness and openness of the Bosnian people and the strength of their resolve to bring about change. Our seminar at the University of Sarajevo was an invaluable opportunity to have an insightful discussion about the consequences of hatred".