De-Victimizing Victims at Bled Strategic Forum 2018
At this years Bled Strategic Forum, ITF actively participated with a panel discussion on De-Victimizing Victims. The theme of 13th Bled Strategic Forum was Bridging the Divide, which was an excellent opportunity for ITF to present its work and the issues that it’s facing in humanitarian mine action, specifically mine victim assistance. In recent years, mine victims assistance has been receiving less and less attention in mine action. This trend is becoming more evident, as mine victims remain restrained by the consequences of armed conflict.
Victim assistance is one of the main 5 pillars of humanitarian mine action, in addition to demining, mine risk education, capacity building and advocacy. It essential to provide victim assistance through a comprehensive approach, including medical rehabilitation and broader reintegration into the society.
During Bled Strategic Forum 2018, ITF prepared a panel with the goal of bridging the division between mine victims and the donor community, overcoming the gap between victims assistance and other fields of humanitarian mine action, and providing solutions for empowering mine victims.
The panel was moderated by Dr Dijana Pleština, active advocate of mine action in Croatia and former Director of the Croatian Government Office for Mine Action. The speakers were carefully selected in order to offer a more comprehensive and holistic view on the matter, as humanitarian mine action has several important elements to its formulation and planning: H.E. Ms Isabelle Poupart, Ambassador of Canada to the Republic of Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, Mr Mirsad Mirojevič, manager at sitting volleyball club “Fantomi” Sarajevo and a mine victim himself, Mr Mohammad Shafiq Yosufi, Director of the Directorate of Mine Action Coordination in Afghanistan, and Ms Sabina Beber Boštjančič ITFs Deputy Director.
Bled Strategic Forum also offered an opportunity to present and display the mine victim situation in Afghanistan. Together with the help of our friend Arne Hodalič, ITF displayed a selected number of photographs at the lobby of the Rikli Balance Hotel, offering a direct view on an everyday life of a mine victim from Afghanistan.