, an activist who works through Social Centre Rog in Ljubljana, Invisible Workers of the World and Civil Initiative of the Erased Activists is announced a 2012 winner of Živko Pregl Award
, established to acknowledge accomplishments in civic activism in Slovenia.
Although Irfan Beširević has been engaged in defense of human rights of the erased residents of Slovenia for many years, his recent account of civic engagement is impressive for being extensive and diverse, but consistent in aiming at social justice and equality. In the announcement of the award winner dr. Tanja Rener, president of the selection committee, highlighted some of the actions in which Irfan Beširević took part recently: he organized a series of direct actions and protests in the last year to draw attention to the rights of people hospitalized in mental institutions, to the rights of asylum seekers and people without health insurance; he protested against greedy banks, co-organized the protests against governmental policy of austerity and "belt-tightening"; he was among those who occupied the platform in front of the Ljubljana stock-exchange; he co-organized rallies in support of the new Family Code which attempted to grant equal rights for all families; within the group of the erased residents he took part in the public hearing of the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg in the case of the Erased against Slovenia; he protested in front of the Slovenian Embassy in Sarajevo as a member of the Invisible Workers of the World drawing attention to violation of labor rights of Bosnian migrant workers in Slovenia and encouraging the workers to self-organize in their struggle.
Presentation of the Živko Pregl Award
, held on 5th June 2012 in Ljubljana
, was part of the event marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Open Society Institute – Slovenia
, a non-profit foundation which operated between 1992 and 2000 as a part of the global network of Soros Foundations, providing support to civil society, arts and culture, high education, publishing, independent media and other areas in Slovenia.
Živko Pregl Award was presented for the first time; it was established on the initiative of a group of staff members of the Peace Institute, the Slovenian Philanthropy and former Open Society Institute – Slovenia. Živko Pregl was co-founder and Vice President of the Slovenian Philanthropy and president of the Board of the Open Society Institute – Slovenia. At the occasion of 20th anniversary of the establishment of both organizations, in memory of Živko Pregl and with the aim to promote and support civic activism in form of work of NGOs, informal civic groups and individual activists, the initiators established the award that bears his name.PHOTO GALLERY
Photos by Borut Krajnc.