Helsinki Committee for Human Rights Skopje

Summary of organization’s strategic orientation

The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights is a civic association registered in 1994. The Committee monitors the situation with human rights, provides legal assistance, co-operates with other organizations and state bodies for the purpose of improving the promotion, respect and protection of human rights and freedoms. The Committee’s goal is protection and promotion of the human rights and freedoms guaranteed with the Constitution of the Republic of North Macedonia, the international instruments and the Helsinki Final Act from 1975, as well as building democratic conditions in which they can be exercised based on the rule of law. The Committee sets off from the premise that all people should have the possibility to enjoy and practice their basic rights and freedoms and should be able to protect them in case of violation or limitation. This is the basis of the rule of law, human rights and democracy.

In its persistent efforts to promote and protect human rights and harmonize the domestic legislation and practice with that of the European Union, the Helsinki Committee: Organizes systemic monitoring of the situation of human rights in the country; Provides free legal assistance and protects the individual, collective and rights of other legal entities on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia and before international organizations; Prepares monthly, annual and special reports on the situation of human rights; Prepares analyses and other specific documents related to the situation of human rights; Organizes conferences, seminars, panels, public actions and other legal forms of civic engagement; Promotes and aids the development of democracy, rule of law and civic society; and Performs other activities of public interest pursuant to the Law on Citizens’ Associations.

Summary of the supported project:

The increasing use of technology and the use of social networks by young people carries certain risks for misuse of their data, violence, and harassment. It also has negative consequences on the mental health of young people, especially victims of bullying and trafficking as well as stalking. Considering the age, with this proposed project we would like to influence the increase of knowledge among young people about the safe use of the Internet network, but also the Internet tools that young people use but do not have enough knowledge about the full functioning of them.

The action proposed by this project will act in the area of prevention, that is, the need for risk recognition, protection and safe behavior in the digital space. The activities will be implemented on the basis of risk based and human rights approach. The Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (MHC) will first investigate the current needs and knowledge of young people, train them accordingly and contribute to greater protection in the digital space. Regarding the problems in the context of state institutions, the MHC will develop materials that will be delivered to relevant stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Information Society and Administration (MIOA) and will advocate for the inclusion of digital literacy in education programs, as well as the inclusion of MIOA in the prevention section. With a long-term goal for action in this area, the Helsinki Committee will be dedicated to increasing the knowledge of its employees so that we could adequately continue to provide legal assistance to citizens and appropriate monitoring of institutions.

Project goal(s):

General goal: Advancing the knowledge of young people, especially those who belong to particularly vulnerable groups, for safe use and protection in the Internet space.

Specific goals

  • Increasing the capacities of MHC for digital security and protection of personal data in accordance with the Law on Protection of Personal Data and international standards
  • Increasing the awareness of young people about personal protection when using the internet space
  • Information and involvement of the relevant institutions for action in prevention and education for cyber security and protection of the right to privacy
  • Increasing the general public’s awareness of digital security and the importance of personal data protection


The target groups of this action are:

  • Young people from secondary schools, primarily the membership of youth organizations and unions, with a special focus on vulnerable categories, such as girls, Roma, LGBTI+ and people with disabilities
  • Providers of free legal assistance and representation – employees of the MHC
  • General public using social networks.

And the expected results in order to influence the above-mentioned users are:

  • Increased capacities and knowledge of MHC employees on digital security, who work to protect human rights
  • Strengthened mechanisms for the protection of young people, with a special focus on those who belong to different vulnerable categories, for personal safety in the internet space
  • Increased awareness of the general public about digital security and the importance of personal data protection

Main activities:

  • Implementation of a two-day expert training for MHK employees
  • Conducting basic research on the current knowledge among young people about the use of online tools/behavior in the online space
  • Implementation of two schools for youth
  • Creation of digital security materials
  • Organizing a panel discussion with relevant institutions
  • Developing a campaign to raise awareness among the general public.