New website to report hate crime

Our colleagues from the ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for the Western Balkans & Turkey launched “You Are Heard“, an LGBTIQ hate crime reporting website, in partnership with Stonewall. This new service provides a safe space for LGBTQ+ people and allies to report incidents.

You Are Heard has been developed with expert civil society organisations, members of ERA, to allow individuals to report anti- LGBTIQ incidents, such as harassment, violence and hate speech.

Users can remain anonymous when reporting, or add contact information if they wish to receive support from trusted local LGBTIQ organisations. Individual reports won’t be shared with the police or governmental bodies – instead, local LGBTIQ support organisations will receive the information and data to manage and analyse. They’ll then lead on advocacy work across local regions within the Western Balkans and Turkey.

The anonymous statistics created from the data will be used to show governments and policy makers which policies and support systems for LGBTIQ communities must be introduced or improved. Crucially, the website has been built with the safety of LGBTIQ individuals in mind, so that users making reports can be sure that their personal information will remain private.

By creating a strong bank of evidence on hate crimes against LGBTIQ people, advocacy groups will be empowered to create meaningful changes in legislation at a governmental level. ERA also hope that members of the LGBTIQ community feel confident using You Are Heard to report incidents, since the platform will provide routes for survivors to access support in their area.

Visit You Are Heard following this link>>> and help spread the word.

 

The Role of the Civil Society in the EU Accession Process

In the framework of the EU-funded Technical Assistance to Civil Society Organisations in Western Balkans and Turkey (EU TACSO 3) project, we are pleased to invite you to participate in the P2P on-line event under the title: “The Role of the Civil Society in the EU Accession Process” that will take place on 25 and 26 October 2021.

This event is organised in cooperation with the European Policy Institute (EPI) from North Macedonia and the Think for Europe Network (TEN).

Aiming to discuss the needs for improved CSO inclusion in the EU accession process and IPA programming and particularly to share the current practices, a regional P2P event will be organised. The purpose of the event is threefold:

  • To discuss the importance of CSOs involvement in the EU accession process and IPA (III) programming;
  • To share challenges and to learn about upcoming potential changes in the EU accession process;
  • To learn from best practice examples.

The four main topics of discussion will include:

  • General overview of the mechanisms for CSOs involvement in the EU accession process
  • Mechanisms for CSO involvement in the IPA programming structures
  • Key challenges for meaningful CSO engagement in the EU accession process
  • Challenges posed by the new methodology for accession in terms of the role of CSOs in EU accession

The on-line event will gather up to 60 CSOs, public institutions representatives and experts, mainly those who are members of various platforms for CSO inclusion in the EU accession process in the enlargement region.

If you are interested in attending the P2P event, please register at the following link>>> until Thursday, 21 October till 15:00 hrs CET.

The event’s official language is English, with simultaneous translation provided in Albanian, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Montenegrin, Macedonian and Turkish.

The Zoom link to join the event, along with the agenda and other details, will be sent to all registered participants prior to the event.

 

Non-Paper on the IPA III CSF and Media Programme 2021-2023

Closely following the development of the IPA III Civil Society Facility 2021-2023 Multi-Beneficiary (Regional), the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN), in consultation with several CSOs and networks from the region (see list of contributors/endorsing organizations below), prepared joint comments on the Action Document, presenting the views and positions of these organizations regarding the support to civil society in the IPA beneficiary countries.

DPNSEE is one of the regional networks which endorsed the non-paper.

Along with the lack of consultations on a national and regional level and limited access to information on the process, the document contains worrying and dissatisfying proposals that undermine instead of support CSOs in IPA beneficiaries. There is a lack of support for the enabling environment for CSOs, as the focus is greatly on freedom of expression and media, and the document does not address the importance of operational grants and the allocation of core and long-term support to CSOs. The EU plans to provide only 25 out of the 93 million EUR for grants to CSOs in the region, while the rest is to be implemented through direct contracts with UN Bodies, Member states, and international agencies, which jeopardizes the capacities and local ownership of CSOs’ of the processes.

The main points of the document are the following:

  • Consultations with and inclusion of CSOs are key for the success of the IPA III CSF and Media Programme, and should be structured, timely, and transparent;
  • The EU should continue to firmly support a more enabling environment for civil society development, as a precondition for the existence of a strong and accountable civil society;
  • The implementation modalities of the IPA III CSF should support the development of capacities of CSOs and local ownership of the processes in the region. Predominantly assigning the management of the facility to international agencies undermines WBT civil society and would be a great obstacle to the overall vision of enhanced regional cooperation;
  • The EU should put a stronger focus on core and long-term support for CSOs rather than short-term project support;
  • Regular assessment against the targets set in the Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in Enlargement Countries is important for ensuring the effectiveness and impact of the EU support for civil society.

The full document is available following this link>>> and is open for endorsement. Please contact executiveoffice@balkancsd.net if you are interested to endorse the document and join the advocacy efforts.

 

Consultancy Services to Develop a Monitoring and Evaluation System

Our colleagues from Labyrinth opened a request for proposals for Consultancy Services to Develop a Monitoring and Evaluation System. The call is part of the project Response to Social Protection Challenges of the Marginalized communities Led by Innovation, Education and Functionality (RELIEF), supported by the European Union, represented by the European Union Office in Kosovo.

Purpose of the service is to develop a Monitoring and Evaluation System for the EU Funded project REsponse to social protection challenges of the marginalized communities Led by Innovation, Education and Functionality – RELIEF. The main purpose of the service is to develop the M&E plan that will accompany the project Action Plan together with the project Log Frame to facilitate the effective monitoring of the programme.

The closing date of the Call is 02 November 2021. For More infomation, please visit the Labyrinth’s webpage following this link>>>.

 

Harm Reduction Lab on Funding and Sustainability challenges for HR services in Europe

Correlation offers Harm Reduction Labs as a space for collectively imagine what harm reduction can be. The Harm Reduction Labs will offer the possibility to explore collective solutions, as well to imagine what harm reduction can be. In addition to exploring current themes and approached within the harm reduction movement, each Lab will offer space to come together and to identify common and urgent future questions that address broader topics of social justice, bodily autonomy and care, among others. You can find more about this interesting serial following this link>>>.

During the Lab on Funding and Sustainability challenges for HR services in Europe that is offered for Thursday 14 October, Correlation want to address different problem areas and challenges, covering:

  • The lack of funding in different European regions (CEE, SEE and SE)
  • Lack of funding for community-led programmes
  • Lack of funding for advocacy and civil society engagement
  • Causes and impact of the funding challenge
  • Opportunities and needs for advocacy and action
  • Good Practice Examples
  • Innovative approaches

Our Executive Director will be part of the panel, as well as a few other colleagues from the region. The link to the Lab is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85989331796.

 

Curriculum and Project Closing

The Project Team meeting of the “No risk, no borders for young people” project was held online on 11 October 2021 via Zoom.

The Project team members summarised comments made on the first draft of the Curriculum on working with youth at risk. The experts which prepared the draft had the opportunity to discuss with young participants gathered in a focus group.

Deadlines, reporting documents and tasks until the end of the project were presented to the Project team, who will meet in person on 21 October and promote the results of the project the day after in Belgrade.

 

Global Health and Drug Policy Course

The Graduate Institute of the Global Health Centre in Geneva hosts the Global Health and Drug Policy Executive Course from 11 to 13 October 2021. The Course participants are about to benefit from the course:

  • Gain insight into the key concepts and current issues related to the international drug control regime and its intersection with public health and human rights
  • Identify the different stakeholders of the current drug policy debate and international processes
  • Prioritize public health based approaches to drug policy at national level.

They will enhance their skills on

  • Critical thinking – Strengthen stakeholders mapping skills for better analysis of the different roles of Geneva and Vienna- based agencies in international processes
  • Introduction to negotiating skills – Negotiate and influence the design and the implementation of drugs policies nationally and internationally

This year’s hybrid course is highly participatory, drawing on the national and international experiences of participants through a multi-disciplinary learning process. It includes lectures by internationally-renowned experts and negotiators, case studies, and working groups. A negotiation simulation exercise will complement the learning experience.

 

Focus group with young people

The experts for preparing the Curriculum focused on work with the youth at risk have held a focus group with young participants of the “No risk, no borders for young people” project on 7 October 2021. The aim was to get their feedback on the content of the Curriculum that is currently in drafting stage.

2 young participants were invited to an open online call. The experts commented that “the participants were very active and had things to say” and that “the focus group went beyond expectations as the group was very interactive and gave us really good feedback”.

DPNSEE presented and the CSFD – HDG meeting

The new Civil Society Forum on Drugs 2021 – 2023 (CSFD) held meeting with the Horizontal Drug Group on 7 October 2021.

The Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG) is a coordination body responsible for leading and managing the European Union Council’s work on drugs. This group, including national representatives of each EU country, meets on a monthly basis and prepares all relevant legislation and political documents adopted by the Council, such as the EU drugs strategies and action plans. In addition, the members of the group, under the leadership of the presidency, elaborate EU statements on drug-related aspects to be presented at international fora, such as the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Currently, HDG is chaired by Slovenia, which holds EU Presidency in the second half of 2021.

Topic of the meeting included Implementation of the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2025, role of the CSFD and Drug-related deaths and how to best prevent them.

On request of the Slovenian EU Presidency, the DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević presented the Network, including presentation of the situation with services for people who use drugs and drug strategies in the region.

First meeting of the new CSFD

The new Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD) held its first meeting on 6 October2021. This was the first meeting of this important EU expert group where DPNSEE participated.

CSFD had an exchange with the representatives of DO Home and DG Sante. Discussion was mainly about lack of funding for full capacity of the Forum’s work.

CSFD agreed on the working group framework. As the results, four working groups are created

  • WG1: EU drug policy
  • WG2: International drug policy
  • WG3: National drug policy
  • WG4: Emerging drug policy issues and cross-cutting issues

Forum elected DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević as Chair of the Working group 4.