Research and Documentation Centre Sarajevo

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise

The Research and Documentation Centre Sarajevo has expertise in a range of areas, including:

Main Aims and Objectives

The Research and Documentation Center (RDC) was formed in April, 2004, with the aim to collect documents and establish facts about the war and war atrocities in Bosnia and Herzegovina during 1992-1995. RDC is an independent, professional, nongovernment, nonprofit and nonpartisan institution that collects and analyzes documentation related to international humanitarian law and human rights violations regardless of the ethnic, social, political, religious or racial background of victims. The RDC’s mission is to contribute to the process of dealing with the violent, past and affirming justice and peace through truth – seeking and truth keeping, while at the same time participating in the improvement and development of democratic civil society.

The RDC in last several years has been implementing a number of projects which aim to present a fact-based and impartial record of war events, reduce the foundations of tension, and facilitate dealing with the past. These include: Human Losses 1991-1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Memories and Memorials, Living with the Legacy of Genocide: Dealing with the Past in Affected Communities in Guatemala and Bosnia and Herzegovina,, Oral History – Positive Stories 1992-1995, Bosnian War Crime Atlas (BWCA Digital memorial), Conflict Prevention Public Debates and Capacity Building, Trial Monitoring and Cooperation with the Prosecutor’s Office and Courts (ICTY and Bosnian Special Chamber for War Crimes), Capacity Building and Protection of the RDC Archives, Information Systems Seminar for Human Rights Organizations from Guatemala, Indonesia and Columbia, Bosnian Book of the Dead, The Women Support Program, Information System Project Implementation, Regional Trial Monitoring, Workshop: Dealing with the Past.

Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation

Public dialogue and debate based on results of scientific research and fact-based truth about of deep root causes and consequences of conflict/war.

Where and with Whom

All around Bosnia and Herzegovina and Western Balkan region.

Main Activities in the Field of Conflict Transformation

1.Conflict Prevention Public Debates and Capacity Building

The strategic, long-term goal of the project is to recognise identity and reduce the causes of instability and diminish the chances of potential conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina by contributing to managing the conflicts and promoting the efficiency of the state. This can be done if we conduct a research that will enable us to recognise and understand the potential causes of conflicts. We want to ensure that guidelines are made, as well as recommendations for governments and local authorities about promoting cooperation, communication and overcoming the challenges on the path of securing sustainable peace. Further, by researching potential causes of conflicts, we will try to identify challenges to sustainable peace and human security in the future.
Implementation of this activities started in 2007.

2. “Bosnian War Crime Atlas“

The Bosnian War Crimes Atlas (Atlas) is digital memorial which uses Google Earth technology and documentary evidence from the RDC Archive and other sources to build a complete, browseable and geographically precise picture of the locations of war crimes, war damage, and of all human casualties. Anyone who has access to Internet can visit the RDC’s web portal, get the Atlas’s file and using Google Earth zoom to the map of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and then zoom further to all areas of the country to see locations of mass graves, mass killings, locations of destroyed religious, cultural and historic facilities, economic facilities and locations of memorials and monuments, all connected to the 1992-1995 war.

The RDC team has so far visited more than 2,500 mass crimes’ locations in order to geo-reference them. The current locations and documentation made accessible through the Atlas so far is only a drop in the ocean of crimes and their documentation that needs to be made public. This project shall require at least three or four years more of intensive work in order to digitalize, preserve and present all the documents gathered by the RDC in the Atlas, as well as to geo-reference necessary locations, with aim to extend the variety of material presented in the Atlas. In the future, there will be the possibility of presenting audio and video statements of survivors, books, texts and other articles and analysis.

Main activities in 2012 will be focus on: analysis of the existing RDC archive and data base; identifying the relevant events, locations and objects; field researches and establishing contact with local stakeholders (media, NGO representatives, local authorities and other interest groups); geo-referencing the locations of the mass murders, crimes, mass graves, destroyed religious objects, objects of cultural heritage and similar; collecting victims statements, photos, audio-video data, books and documents and bring them back to the Central Office in Sarajevo where the Archive and Database are located; additional of training RDC employees on entering data using the new Information System; archiving of collected documents. Data analyzing and Entering in the RDC data base; extracting data from the RDC data base and Atlas editing; translation and creation of the English version of Atlas etc.

3.The Bosnian Book of the Dead

This is very important and historical project and final result of seven years long research. All activities concerning preparation of The Bosnian Book of the Dead were finished (text, graphs, expert evaluation, data cross-checking etc.). Until the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 RDC plan to print, organise promotion and dissemination of the book. Edition will be organized in four books which would contain detail analyses of research results and all the names (with personal details) of people-citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who were killed or went missing during the 1991-1995. In 2009. was finished. In addition, the research into indirect victims of war was conducted and we are planning to include these victims in the book as well.

4. RDC web portal

Online access is the easiest and most effective way of presenting results to the large number of people. The access to clear, impartial and credible information about war events in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a crucial way to activate citizens to dialogue based on RDC’s facts, which prevent manipulative nationalist rhetoric. RDC’s research has a social impact on the public. This can be measured with the number of visits to RDC’s site. The Web Portal fulfils the prerequisite for the further development of the RDC program activities and tool for improving project of Bosnian War Crime Atlas, where citizens can access the Atlas and through the forums or mail surveys can give their opinion about the project. The portal has fully responded to the given goals and during the 2011/2012 we will continue to work on further updates and visibility as well as on increasing the number of registered users.

5. Digitalization and preservation archive of RDC

Digitalization of 11,500 folders of the old archive was finished in 2010. By separation and establishment of a new system of the archive’s organization 17,240 new folders have been formed and new archive numbers have been assigned to them. In the same period, 3,521 folders were entered into the Protocol.

6. Library

In the framework of general mission and program activities RDC established (2007) specialised library which contain over 5000 book and magazine dedicated to facing with the past, transitional justice, peace building and conflict transformation.

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