Milan Antonijević

💼 Executive Director, Open Society Foundation Serbia

🎓 Using Democracy for Peace, University of Bradford (2009 Chevening Fellowship)

Milan is a prominent human rights defender and independent expert who specialises in issues relating to prevention of torture, advocacy, and EU integration.

For nearly twenty years, he has been active in the protection of human rights – conducting trainings for civil society organisations, judges, prosecutors, and state institutions, as well as providing free legal aid to victims of human rights violations in national and international courts. Over the course of his career, Milan has worked with a large number of human rights organisations, contributing to the creation of multiple successful campaigns and educational initiatives on issues including media freedoms, war crimes, and LGBTQ rights.

For almost a decade, Milan served as Director of YUCOM, an organisation that provides legal assistance to more than 2,000 victims of human rights violations annually. He is currently Executive Director of Open Society Foundation, Serbia, with the mission of supporting Serbian citizens and institutions to build an open society, equality, and democratic values.

Make sure that you take what you’ve learned back to your home country and use it to broaden your impact.

Milan Antonijevic

What made you apply to Chevening?

Education is one of the key words that people associate with the UK. I wanted to experience the high quality education available there and bring the knowledge back to Serbia.

The fact that Chevening requires scholars to return to their home countries to apply their learnings was actually a big motivator for me. As you can see, many years later I am still in Serbia, and I have dedicated most of my life to developing democracy and human rights in my country.

What advice would you share with the next generation of Chevening Scholars?

Take advantage of the possibilities that the UK offers – the diversity, the education facilities, and the different style of teaching. And make sure that you take what you’ve learned back to your home country and use it to broaden your impact.

Favourite places in UK?

Bradford is one of my favourite places in the UK. It is a very diverse and, in many ways, divided society but the city has been tackling these divides in a very progressive way. I think the University of Bradford is a very positive influence on the area and education can really make a difference in societies like this.

I learned a lot about UK public policy while in Bradford and this has served as an inspiration to me in my work with divided societies in Serbia.

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