Western Balkans Civil Society Organisations will Monitor Femicide and Gender-based Violence court cases in 2023

28 March 2023, Belgrade, Serbia

AIRE Centre, FemPlatz, and five partner civil society organisation from the Western Balkans, Human Rights in Democracy Centre from Albania, Centre of Women’s Rights from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Women’s Right Centre from Montenegro, National Network to end Violence against Women and Domestic Violence from North Macedonia and Victimology Society of Serbia, will monitor court proceedings in the cases of femicide, attempted femicide and other forms of gender-based violence in 2023. Beginning of this cooperation was marked by a two-day training programme held in Belgrade on 27th and 28th of March 2023. During the training, monitoring methodology was discussed, including topics such as the selection of cases to be monitored, the course of the monitoring process and monitoring reports.

“Monitoring of femicide and gender-based violence is crucial for deeper understanding of what goes behind courtrooms’ doors and to gain knowledge and perspective on how these proceedings are conducted. We believe that this is one of the first steps required for effective fight against gender-based violence, as it will not only improve our understanding of this topic, but also provide us with ideas for targeted actions to be implemented in the future”, said Sabina Đapo, project manager of the AIRE Centre.

Main findings gathered by this monitoring process will be presented in a comparative report for Western Balkans.

“Countries of Western Balkans have similar legal, political, and societal backgrounds, and therefore they are facing similar issues concerning fight against femicide. Our joint actions toward monitoring court proceedings in the cases of femicide, attempted femicide and other forms of gender-based violence will bring this topic from national to regional level, as it will not only empower national advocacy but will also provide a platform for regional action”, said Biljana Janjić, executive director of FemPlatz.

In January 2023, the AIRE Centre launched a multi-year project „Gender Equality and Fight against Gender Based Violence and Femicides in the Western Balkans“, supported by the Government of the United Kingdom. The goal of this project is to increase access to justice for the victims and survivors of gender-based violence by improving the understanding of gender issues among the judiciary of the Western Balkans. Project activities will focus on alignment of the case law on gender-based violence and femicides with good practices and international standards. In addition, the aim of the project is to increase the knowledge and awareness of gender issues, as well as to build the capacity of judges and other court practitioners. Find out more at Gender and Judiciary in Western Balkans Platform.

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