Countries covered: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey
Civil Rights Defenders is an independent expert organization founded in Stockholm, Sweden in 1982, with the aim of defending human rights, and in particular people’s civil and political rights, and to support and empower human rights defenders at risk. Our work in the Western Balkans through different human rights projects started in 1995. Starting with the the basic idea that everyone deserves to be valued equally, Civil Rights Defenders works for a peaceful and safe world, with freedom and justice for all. By standing up for our values and committing to providing the right expertise where needed, we aim to contribute to progress towards a better world.
ABOUT THE PROJECT:
Representatives of youth organisations or young human rights defenders from the seven target countries, with an interest in European and international affairs.
The European Union accession process is a long and complex path that offers multiple opportunities for progress when it comes to the functioning of the judiciary, human rights, education and other areas of policy touching upon most aspects of a country’s legal and administrative system, including youth issues. However, many of these processes are out of reach for the general public, including for those who work in civil society organisations. They require a developed understanding of the EU’s mechanisms and processes. Therefore, CRD believes it is pivotal to train young human rights activists and make them aware of these mechanisms and of how to make use of the possibilities to influence the process and engage constructively with EU and national institutions in order to more effectively affect the change in the respect of human rights in their countries.
Following participation in the programme, youth organisations and young human rights defenders from the region will possess the skills and knowledge necessary to engage in dialogue and be involved in advancing and promoting youth participation and human rights in the Western Balkans’ European integration process. They will be more aware of the fora where they can make their voice heard before the European institutions, as well as have the tools to do it effectively.
The initiative encompasses several lobbying and advocacy activities, all aimed at involving young people in processes of creating youth-related documents and policies at the EU level. The overall goal is to raise visibility of young people and of their opinions, placing youth as an important stakeholder in the human rights and rule of law agenda of EU accession processes.
- The first activity is a training for young HRDs from the region focussing on advocacy/lobbying in Brussels and with European institutions in general, as well as on how to write a policy paper (April 2019). One applicant per country will be invited to participate.
- In the second phase, the seven participants of the first phase will be asked to develop a country-specific analysis of the situation of youth in relation to human rights and policy, with the assistance of external mentors. These analyses, once finalised, will be distributed to relevant stakeholders.
- In late 2019, a round-table organised at the European Parliament and involving youth representatives from the region, will discuss youth policy and human rights issues concerning young people from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) and Turkey in the framework of the European integration process.
- The youth representatives from the region will also be invited to participate in two follow-up advocacy visit to Brussels .
The selected participants, one per each of the six Western Balkans countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) and Turkey in the EU accession process will receive a small compensation for their work. Expenses for the participation in the training and the visits to Brussels will also be covered.
WHEN and WHERE?
The project will develop along years 2019 and 2020. The later dates are tentative and subject to change.
Apply to take part in the project by 7 April 2019.
- Workshop on advocacy and policy analysis before EU institutions in Montenegro, 24-25 April 2019
- Drafting of policy papers: 30 June deadline to submit first draft. 16 September 2019 deadline to submit final draft
- Roundtable in Brussels, between 15 and 17 October 2019.
- Advocacy rounds in Brussels: one in first semester 2020, one in second semester 2020.
Please apply by sending an e-mail to Sarajevo.Office@crd.org by 7 April 2019, including the following information: updated CV with a country you are applying from, together with a 1 page analysis of greatest challenges young people in your country face in terms of human rights and EU accession.