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Improved implementation of Istanbul Convention in Western Balkan region

Implementing organizations: 

  • SOS Hotline for Women and Children Victims of Violence Niksic – Lead applicant – Montenegro
  • Woman Forum Elbasan – Partner – Albania
  • Women’s Wellness Centre – Partner – Kosovo

Summary of the project

This project will strengthen the capacity of NGOs in Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo to monitor the implementation of international and domestic agreements in the field of gender equality and protection of women’s human rights, which is directly related to priority: Stronger, more sustainable, and vibrant NGOs in the three countries of the Western Balkans region. Also, this project will establish and strengthen cooperation and coordinated response to violence against women and domestic violence between NGOs and professionals (government, police, courts, prosecutor offices, centers for social work, health institutions), which stems from one of the specific objectives of this competition: Developed strong regional partnerships between civil society organizations from the region of the Western Balkans themselves and with their EU counterparts and public authorities.

Project goals

Overall goal (impact): To contribute to the faster integration of Western Balkan counties to the EU, by empowering Woman NGOs for stronger and active role in monitoring of implementation of the Istanbul convention.

Specific objective 1: Strengthening the capacity of local WNGOs for advocacy before the institutions with focus on effects and importance of gender equality in process of joining to EU.

Specific objective 2: Strengthening the responsibility of Government and Local Governments in implementation of the obligations undertaken by ratifying Istanbul Convention.


Direct beneficiaries of this Action are local WNGOs, young people, especially students, future providers of specialized services and women and children survivors of violence.

Indirect beneficiaries of this Action are all women and children survivors of DV and all citizens of Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo.

Main activities

  • Conducting research among Woman NGOs, students and representatives of relevant institutions (especially the Government in 3 targeted countries) on Istanbul Convention. From public in general implementing organizations will gain information on the basic issues: how familiar they are with the Istanbul Convention, its meaning, articles and the opportunities it provides them. The public will be informed for the convention, the laws and under laws prepared as an obligation from the ratified convention from each country, its penalties for the abusers and the opportunities provided for the survivor and her children.  From the Woman NGOs implementing organizations will gain information on level of cooperation with the state around Convention, monitoring of the implementation and dialogue with the institutions on improving cooperation for the batter achievement of gender equality in their municipalities. From the representatives of institutions implementing organizations will gain information about how familiar they are with the obligations of the state that it undertook by ratifying the convention, and to what extent they are really respected and used in everyday work. Research will be conducted directly by written channels; by in depth interviews and face to face meetings.
  • Organizing workshops for the Woman NGOs in 3 targeted countries in order to improve their capacities how to engage effectively in dialogue with governments, with focus on raising awareness of these actors about the gender dimension of the EU accession process, about its importance in the roles; In total, 3 three day workshops will be organized in Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo for at least 50 activists.
  • Conducting continuous campaign on Istanbul Convention and its importance and significance for the Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo and their citizenship, especially women, especially in the process of joining to the EU. The Campaign will be conducted online through the social media posts as well as in direct communication with the citizens.
  • Organizing 9 Public events (classes) in Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. Every Event will be organized on different topic (Article from the Convention) and will be recorded. Video materials from the public classes will be used published and presented to the public by social media. We will invite representatives of Government Secretariats and Bodies for Gender Equality and members of Gender Equality and Coordination Committee to take active part in these public events in order to introduce the citizens with the responsibilities that the state has assumed by ratifying the International conventions and the benefits that their application has in the process of joining the EU.
  • Organizing short, half-hour presentations of Convention, in Universities with the previous approval of the management. Within this presentations we will introduce the students, future service providers with the Convention and her articles, what further will lead to a better protection of women, better public awareness of the problem of violence against women on available services; obligations on which Government has obliged by ratification of the Convention in order to protect women in general and especially women survivors of violence.

Related news: 

SOS Niksic: Cooperation with centers and the police