CoE supports youth voices on BHIGF!

 Ana Gascon Marcen, CoE

In 2016, Council of Europe not only proved to be a friend and supported of local Internet Governance Forum of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BHIGF), but also an immense support to voices of youth all over Bosnia and Herzegovina. Globally, there is a rising initiative to include voices of youth into policy making around internet, as it is innovative force that defies status quo. Locally, we strive for the same thing.

We wanted to provided students all over Bosnia and Herzegovina a chance to join and have a conversation with biggest stakeholders that have a say in Internet Governance of BiH and with the support of Council of Europe, we have. During the two day event,  young people from Bihać, Banja Luka, Visoko, Bosanska Krupa, Sarajevo, Novi Travnik, Bijeljina, Oštra Luka, Šamac were part of conversation on issues around internet in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Students visiting the Parliament, 2016

 BHIGF was formed out of three panels;  1. Universal access – Are we all equal?, 2. Countering violent extremism online, whilst protecting the right to freedom of expression, 3. Human Rights and Business in internet Economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Prior to BHIGF itself, students had the opportunity to hear from Gabriella Schittek from ICANN on the NextGen initiative. Ana Gascon Marcen from Council of Europe held an interactive presentation called “What is Internet Freedom? The response of the Council of Europe” in the Parliament building, together with Comm


unications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Press Council in Bosnia and Herzegovin

a.  Later on, they met with organizations that are part of Associations for Progressive Communications netw

ork, where they discussed Internet Governance from the perspective of civil society.”Participation in the second BH forum on Internet governance was an excellent opportunity for networking and the exchange of new ideas. Despite the relatively short period of time and  a large number of participants, I was able to collect a lot of information relevant to the work I do. Skills and expertise of lecturers at the panels opened new questions, which are still ongoing, but little attention is paid to their resolution. One of those topics is the inclusion of the blind, visually impaired and deaf and dumb in a society that has virtually no convenient medium for them. I appreciate the opportunity and the ability of this platform, which will allow for further cooperation and support to projects, ideas and information”, said Sara Velaga from Banja Luka, one of the student participants.




Belma Kučukalić

Virtual nomad and storyteller. Passionate lover of social media and potential that it provides. Interested in education on ICT sector, its intersection with women’s rights, believer in visual power of transmitting the message. Loud activist when it comes to all forms of cyberbullying.


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