2001 Oak Fellow: Sevdije Ahmeti
Ms. Ahmeti co-founded the Center for the Protection of Women and Children in Prishtine in 1993. The Center, of which she is currently Executive Director, now operates nine branches. Highly regarded by human rights practitioners familiar with her work, she has worked tirelessly to document hundreds of human rights abuses in the Kosovo region of the former Yugoslavia. She has published extensively, and collaborated with regional and international organizations and networks to promote greater protection for human rights across ethnic lines.
While her courageous work has focused on protection and rehabilitation and documentation of ethnic Albanian women and children victims of rape, torture and enslavement, she does not advocate nor practice discrimination based on ethnic origin, and has found treatment for many other human rights victims as well. The crimes carefully documented by Ms. Ahmeti and her colleagues have been used as evidence by the International Criminal Tribunal on Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Because of her outstanding record, Human Rights Watch chose Ms. Ahmeti as one of four Human Rights Monitors for 1999. The Oak Institute was honored to have Ms. Ahmeti join the Colby community to teach about her work and to share her on-the-ground perspective concerning human rights and civil war in the Balkans region.