CSSP Training on Monitoring and Reporting the Implementation of the Istanbul Convention held in Montenegro

The training titled ‘Istanbul Convention – Monitoring and Reporting’ was organized by SOS Niksic, of Montenegro, as part of the project: Support the establishment and strengthening of regional platforms of CSO (with a special focus on organizations representing women from minority and disadvantaged groups) to advocate for the development and implementation of laws and policies and improve the accessibility of women’s NGOs regional network for all women who experience gender-based violence in line with CEDAW and the Istanbul Convention, under the Programme “Ending Violence against Women: Implementing Norms, Changing Minds”. The training welcomed an overall of 20 participants from countries such as: Austria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and USA. The three-day training took place from the 25 – 27th of March 2019, the first two days being open to the public, and the third day being dedicated only to CSSP partners.

The first two days of the training focused on sharing experiences in relation to court monitoring, the example of Montenegro being highlighted through the lens of a judge of the Misdemeanor Court in Podgorica. Furthermore, best practices were shared regarding the follow-up process after receiving GREVIO’s country recommendations, as an example the ‘Protocol on Action, Prevention and Protection against VAW and DV’ was presented by the focal point for GREVIO representing the Government of Montenegro. The accessibility of women’s specialist services to women from minority groups was discussed among participants and presented from the perspective of a women’s rights activist in Montenegro but also from the Council of Europe office in Montenegro. Participants also received an introduction to the essential components of a court monitoring and documentation process, by Rosalyn Park, the director of Advocates for Human Rights (USA). Ms. Rosalyn Park took the participants through an in-depth presentation about the effective collection of information about VAW standards auditing processes, verification of sources, conducting interviews with different stakeholders, identifying important aspects in national laws (e.g. when it comes to protection orders, emergency barring orders), and how to use the collected information for advocacy purposes.

The last part of the second day, involved a presentation by partner Gorica Ivic, Foundation United Women Banja Luka Bosnia and Herzegovina, who presented a toolkit developed for women’s NGOs for monitoring the implementation of the Istanbul Convention. Finally, the last day was reserved for the CSSP partners to discuss pending project activities, such as: the upcoming social media campaign, the on-going assessments, but also to identify priority issues in partner countries, such as the need to build the capacity of women’s NGOs to effectively support women survivors of sexual violence.

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