Bridging The Gulf Copyright (c) 2011, Bridging The Gulf nl Bridging The Gulf RSS-feed Bridging The Gulf RSS 144 30 Bridging The Gulf RSS Fri, 19 Dec 2014 18:25:10 +0100 Regional course on Advocacy and Policy Influencing for project monitoring partners From 17 until 19 November, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee organized a course on advocacy and policy influencing, which took place in Skopje, Macedonia, as part of the project “Improvement of Prison Conditions for Reintegration of Juvenile Detainees in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo”. This training aimed to improve advocacy and lobbying skills of monitoring partners in the project, so they can all successfully advocate in their countries for changes that will contribute to a better prison regime for juvenile inmates. Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Minister Koenders meeting with human rights defenders ahead of OSCE Ministerial Council On the eve of the Ministerial Council meeting of the OSCE in Basel, Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders met with civil society human rights activists from a.o. Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. NHC director Harry Hummel also presented him with the outcome documents of the Parallel Civil Society Conference that took place ahead of the Ministerial Council meeting. Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Dutch trainers introduce resocialization method for juveniles in prison in Kosovo The NHC communication team spoke with Patricia Meijer and Peggy Esajas of the Dutch youth penitentiary institution Teylingereind (Forensisch Centrum Teylingereind), who are conducting training sessions for staff of the Lipjan Correctional Center for Juveniles in Kosovo as part of the project “Improvement of Prison Conditions for Reintegration of Juvenile Detainees in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo”. Tue, 02 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0100 EU-Russia civil society contacts to be further strengthened The potential of cooperation of independent civil society organisations across Europe needs to be exploited more fully. This was a leading thought at the 5th General Assembly of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, held from 26 to 28 November in Tallinn, Estonia. As a member of the Forum, the NHC presented its work on stimulating advocacy on EU-Russia relations and on developing work on trans-border corruption affecting both Russia and European Union countries. Mon, 01 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Tajikistan: Drop draft legislation restricting NGO access to funding Almost a hundred civil society groups called on the government of Tajikistan to drop new restrictive draft legislation on NGOs and to respect the right of NGOs to have unhindered access to funding for their work. The NHC also signed this joint statement. Wed, 26 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Regional Conference "Access to the right to compensation for victims of human trafficking in the region" On 17 and 18 October, the regional Conference "Access to the right to compensation for victims of human trafficking in the region", was organized by ASTRA Anti-Trafficking Action from Serbia and its partners from the region, France and the Netherlands. The event was held in Belgrade in the small hall of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. Thu, 20 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Donations from NHC staff related to flooding in Bosnia-Herzegovina Continuous, heavy rainfall in May 2014 resulted in the worst floods ever in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, causing several deaths and forcing tens of thousands of people to leave their home. The NHC’s partner organization IFS-Emmaus asked for support to distribute basic emergency packages with food and other necessities to the most vulnerable areas and families in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In September, it received donations from staff and the board of the NHC to assist people with the reparations of their homes. Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100 BAN Human Trafficking mobile application out now! We are excited to inform you that our mobile application BAN Human Trafficking is available for the Android and iOS platforms. As part of the project Balkans ACT Now!, anti-trafficking organisation ASTRA from Serbia, together with its partner organisations from the Balkans, NGOs in France and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, created a preventive and informative anti-trafficking mobile application to educate young people about the phenomenon of human trafficking and the risks of becoming a victim of human trafficking. The app aims in particular at young people in the Balkans, but also in Western Europe and hopes to help prevent more teenagers and young adults becoming victims of human trafficking now and in the future. It also aspires to create more awareness around the problem of human trafficking. Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100 EU-Russia Civil Society Forum enhances contacts with EU institutions Today, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum adressed a number of requests to the new European Commission on its work in the coming period. In policies towards Russia as well as in accession and association and internal EU policies, maintaining and maximizing freedom for civil society organisations to operate should be a key issue. In reviewing EU-Russian relations, the Forum emphasized that the European Union should expand support to civil society initiatives in Russia and seek expansion as well as direct contact between citizens. Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Bulgarian lawyers trained in providing legal aid and representation to victims of trafficking in Bulgaria On 21, 22 and 23 October, 23 lawyers were trained in Sofia to provide legal aid to trafficked persons and defend their interests and rights during criminal and other legal proceedings. This training took place in the framework of the project “Promotion of the Rights of Trafficked Persons in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia with Emphasis on Legal Support - A Human Rights-Based Approach”. Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Expert meeting "Trafficking in human beings: impact on the victim" On October the 9th and 10th in Jahorina, Bosnia-Herzegovina, experts in issues related to human trafficking came together for the meeting “Trafficking in human beings: impact on the victim”. The meeting took place in the framework of the project “Promoting a Victim-Centered Approach in Trafficking Cases in Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina”. Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Study visit for Macedonian prison staff Between October 6th and October 10th, 16 Macedonian representatives from Ohrid Prison and the Educational-Correctional Institution Tetovo visited the Netherlands. Their visit is part of the project: ‘Improvement of prison conditions for reintegration of juvenile detainees in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo’. The aim of this study visit was to give the Macedonian representatives an impression of how education, treatment, labor and vocational training are integrated in the Dutch juvenile justice system. Sat, 11 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100 NHC and CILC Present Road Ahead for Probation Service Project in Montenegro On Wednesday 8 October, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and CILC presented the results so far of the project on probation and alternative sanctions they are jointly implementing in Montenegro. This was done at an event in Podgorica to mark the mid-term of the project. Fri, 10 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Focus on Azerbaijan at OSCE Human Dimension Meeting The increasing repression of independent and opposition voices in Azerbaijan was highlighted on several occasions during the first week of the 2014 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the OSCE. The NHC, together with the Polish Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, held a side event with speakers from Azerbaijan explaining the severity of the crackdown on civil society. NHC Executive Director Harry Hummel spoke about the range of options available for international actors to stimulate changes in the repressive policies of the Azerbaijani government. Fri, 26 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Hungarian Government's Harassment of NGOs Criticized at HDIM In their interventions before this year's Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, several speakers referred to the Hungarian government's steps towards limiting freedoms and the rule of law (see e.g. the Opening Session's key note speech by Elisa Massimino, President of Human Rights First). A side event held by several Hungarian NGOs focused more extensively on a number of these problems. Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0100 More Action Needed against Enforced Disappearances At this year’s Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee co-organized a side event on enforced disappearances in the OSCE region. The event was initiated by the delegations to the OSCE of the European Union and Norway and had the support of Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina and Moldova. Wed, 24 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0100 NHC to participate at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting As in previous years, the NHC participates in the annual OSCE ODIHR Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, which is held in Warsaw from 22 September to 3 October. The NHC will be active twofold during this year’s meeting. Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0100 NHC Launches Essay Contest on Prevention of Torture The Netherlands Helsinki Committee launches an essay contest on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). The contest is open for students and recent graduates across Europe, who have a chance to win €1000 by submitting a 2000-4000 words essay by 15 December 2014. The prize winner will be announced at a conference on the prevention of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in Europe, which is being organized by the NHC in January 2015. Sat, 06 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Shocking new arrests of human rights defenders in Azerbaijan The Netherlands Helsinki Committee calls for a review of policies by European governments towards Azerbaijan after the shocking arrest last week of two prominent Azerbaijani human rights defenders, Leyla Yunus and Rasul Jafarov. Both are in pre-trial detention. The arrests mark a new low in official policies towards independent civil society voices, which have become gradually more repressive in recent years. Tue, 05 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Promotion of Implementation of European Human Rights Court Verdicts in Georgia Last week, NHC took part in several events in Tbilisi focusing on improving the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Georgia. The events, a conference and two training sessions, were organized by NHC partner NGO Unity of Judges of Georgia. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0100 UN Committee supports concerns raised by Kyrgyz civil society The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) has published its Concluding Observations for the Kyrgyz Republic. The Netherlands Helsinki Committee has worked together with, and actively supported, Kyrgyz organizations, and especially our partner Child Rights Defender's League, in their advocacy at the level of the UN CRC in order to raise a multitude of concerns about respect, protection and promotion of Rights of the Child. We are pleased to see many of the concerns raised have been included in the Concluding Observations as a result of this advocacy. Thu, 26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Ales Bialiatski is free! The NHC congratulates Ales Bialiatski, his family members and all his friends and colleagues with his early release from prison on Saturday 21 June 2014. Ales Bialiatski is Chairperson of Human Rights Centre "Viasna" and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights. On 4 August 2011 he was detained by police representatives of the Department of Financial Investigations and on 24 November, he was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment on charges of "concealment of income on a large scale" (article 243.2 of the Belarusian Criminal Code). In previous campaings the NHC advocated for his release. Mon, 23 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Statement on OSCE Guidelines on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders The Netherlands Helsinki Committee welcomes the Guidelines on the Protection for Human Rights Defenders, issued on 10 June 2014 by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE. During the launch conference of the Guidelines in Bern, NHC Executive Director Harry Hummel announced a new campaign for the release of Ales Bialiatski. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Promotion of the Right of Trafficked Persons: Reports from Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia The NHC is proud to present three individual country reports on the current situation in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia with regard to the legal position of trafficked persons. These reports have been written as part of the three-year project "Promotion of the Rights of Trafficked Persons in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia with Emphasis on Legal Support – A Human Rights-Based Approach". Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Call to sign the Balkans Declaration on Trafficking and Exploitation of Human Beings As part of the Balkan Act Now! Project, lead organization ASTRA Anti-Trafficking Action from Serbia and its six partner organizations, one of which is the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, call upon all civil society organizations in Europe to sign the Balkans Declaration on Trafficking and the Exploitation of Human Beings and help bring about a better protection of the rights of victims and a more effective prosecution of human trafficking in the Western Balkans countries. Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Civic Solidarity Platform Publishes Appeal to OSCE to Counter Enforced Disappearances The Civic Solidarity Platform published the following appeal to the OSCE on the occasion of the International Week of the Disappeared. Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Campaign for the release of Ales Bialiatski -Human Rights activist Ales Bialiatski is Chairperson of Human Rights Centre "Viasna" and Vice-President of the International Federation for Human Rights. On 4 August 2011 he was detained by police representatives of the Department of Financial Investigations an on 24 November, he was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment. we campaign for the immediate and unconditional release of AlesW Wed, 28 May 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Partner NGO IFS-Emmaus needs support to deal with effects of flooding The Netherlands Helsinki Committee and the Center for International Legal Cooperation call for support to NHC's partner organization IFS-Emmaus in Bosnia-Herzegovina to help deal with the consequences of the catastrophic flooding. Wed, 21 May 2014 00:00:00 +0100 NHC speaks at parliamentary hearing on rule of law in European Union NHC Chairman Ian de Jong was one of the speakers at a round table discussion of the Dutch parliament on the rule of law in Europe. The NHC pleaded for stimulating the role of civil society in pushing for a full implementation of standards for the rule of law, for example with respect to judgments of the European Court of Human Rights. Tue, 29 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0100 NHC and CILC: Quality standards in project acquisition More than a year ago, the NHC and the Center for Internation Legal Cooperation (CILC) have initiated a joint trajectory to professionalise the way we (jointly and separately) design and implement projects and programmes. Under this umbrella, we regularly organise joint workshops to brainstorm and discuss the further professionalisation of our project acquisition and management. Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0100 To Watch: An Interview With Andrei Sannikov & Irina Khalip On March 25th, Belarusian political activist Andrei Sannikov and journalist Irina Khalip hosted a public discussion event on behalf of the NHC and Amnesty International. After the event, the couple sat down with NHC director Harry Hummel for a brief interview. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Joint NHC and CILC mission to Mali In February, Servaas Feiertag (CILC) and Jan de Vries (NHC) completed a second mission to Mali, in the context of the Studies of Criminal Justice in Mali and Development of Special Mechanisms to Support the Criminal Chain project. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Public discussion with Belarusian opposition leader Andrei Sannikov and journalist Irina Khalip Amnesty International and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee will jointly organize a public discussion with former Belarusian opposition leader Andrei Sannikov and his wife, journalist Irina Khalip. This event will take place Tuesday, March 25, at the offices of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee in The Hague. Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0100 NHC to enhance work in support of human rights defenders in post-Soviet countries The Netherlands Helsinki Committee, in partnership with its Polish sister organization the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, is starting a four-year project to support human rights defenders in a number of countries in the former Soviet Union. In many parts of the world, space for the defence of human rights is under threat. This does not only affect human rights NGOs, but a much broader group of persons and organisations working on environmental issues, against unjust government or business decisions and for equal rights for minorities. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0100 First Judgment Awarding Compensation for A Victim of Trafficking in Serbia Issued and Executed In February, the Court of Appeals in Novi Sad confirmed the judgment of the Novi Sad Basic Court in civil proceedings ordering four individuals sentenced for trafficking in human beings to jointly compensate the plaintiff, victim of human trafficking, to the amount of RSD 1,000,000 (approximately €8620) on account of non-material damages. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0100 New juvenile facilities planned in Albania After a recent visit to Albania, representatives of the Netherlands Helsinki Committee and Dutch Custodial Institutions Agency were happy to report on promising news. In recent talks, the General Director of Prisons Mr. Artur Zoto committed to creating an improved independent unit for juvenile detainees by April 1st 2014 in Shën Koll Prison (Lezha). Tue, 18 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Supporting the probation service and alternative sanctions in Montenegro Last week NHC conducted an inception mission to Montenegro for the start-up of the recently accorded project Support to the probation service and the system of alternative sanctions in Montenegro. The project is funded by the Matra CoPROL-Programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is implemented by NHC and our Dutch partner, the Centre for International Legal Cooperation (CILC). Wed, 05 Feb 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Editorial Manager client Security and Human Rights now live The staff of Security and Human Rights is pleased to announce the launch of SHR’s very own Editorial Manager client. Editorial Manager is an online browser based manuscript submission and peer review system used by over 5000 journals worldwide. The use of Editorial Manager will streamline the communication between authors and editors, while offering authors the unique ability to track the progress of their manuscripts. Fri, 31 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Alarm at Growing Violence in Ukraine The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, of which the Netherlands Helsinki Committee is a member, is calling on the Ukrainian government to repeal recent repressive legislation and end its brutal response to the massive protests in the country. Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0100 A brighter future for juvenile detainees: Needs assessment Albanian, Kosovar and Macedonian prisons Between October and November 2013, representatives of the Custodial Institutions Agency (DJI, Dienst Justitiële Inrichtingen) and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee, visited a number of juvenile prisons as part of the project ‘Improvement of Prison Conditions for Reintegration of Juvenile Detainees in Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo’. Tue, 07 Jan 2014 00:00:00 +0100