On 7 March 2019, EULEX hosted an event called “Women empowerment and reintegration: support to victims of violence service provider, NGO Women’s Rights”, which aimed to support the important work carried out by the NGO ‘Women’s Rights’.
The NGO ‘Women’s Rights’ operates in northern Kosovo as service provider for women and children who are victims, or potential victims, of violence. The Director of the NGO, Ruzica Simic, together with project manager, Tijana La Valley, explained the vital assistance provided by the NGO ‘Centre for Preventive Treatment and Protection of Women from Violence’ (CPPW) to victims and potential victims of violence, by offering free legal aid, psychological counselling, economic help and assistance. Three survivors of domestic violence were also present at the event and gave powerful, brave and emotional testimonies of how the Centre had helped them throughout the years.
The panelists and the audience, composed of Ambassadors and other representatives of the international community, local institutions and civil society, discussed the importance of legally recognizing NGOs operating as service providers for victims, as well as calling for the support of the international community and local authorities in helping to ensure sustainability and continuity in their work.
The Deputy Head of EULEX, Bernd Thran, who chaired the event, reiterated the commitment of EULEX towards gender equality and the fight against gender-based violence, a commitment that the Mission carries out by monitoring and assisting throughout the entire chain of institutional and non-institutional responses to domestic violence cases.
“Bilateral funding from Embassies and other international organizations can help this important project going in the short-run – and that would be most welcome”, emphasized Mr. Thran.
“But in the long-run, legislation needs to be amended so that centres such as the CPPW are recognized as legitimate service providers. This would allow the Kosovo institutions to fund this centre in the future to ensure that vulnerable women and children who are victims of violence have somewhere to go, to seek help, and to seek support”, concluded Deputy Head of Mission, Bernd Thran.