AEFC Successfully Completes the “Istanbul Convention and National Strategy Against Domestic Violence” initiative

On March 11, the Association for Education and Family Care (AEFC) held a roundtable to discuss the findings and recommendations collected during the implementation of the Istanbul Convention and National Strategy Against Domestic Violence initiative. 

Present at the roundtable were members of AEFC, representatives of women’s organizations, as well as stakeholders and officials of Gjakova Municipality. The need to raise awareness about and the lack of knowledge surrounding the Istanbul Convention was discussed during the meeting, as well as the legal and practical interpretation of this convention in the direct work of NGOs that deal with victims of gender-based violence in Gjakova, Junik and Rahovec. 

Bahrije Vehapi, project coordinator, emphasized that the aim of the project is to provide access to rehabilitation and preventive services for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence. It will also serve to implement the National Domestic Violence Strategy 2016-2020 in accordance with the Istanbul Convention. 

Arbnore Shehu, lawyer, presented all the recommendations gathered during the workshops with 6 organizations from the three aforementioned municipalities, such as: KVRL (Local Youth Action Council (Gjakova), Qershiza (Junik), Farmer Woman (Rahovec), Sustainable Development Goal 5 , Institute for Gender Equality (Gjakova), and NGO Prosperity (RAE Gjakova). 

These recommendations are: 

  • Information sessions for citizens regarding Istanbul Convention. 
  • Create programs for NGOs to deal with the rehabilitation of abusers. 
  • Allocate the budget for the implementation of the Istanbul Convention. 
  • Provide training for professionals and provide social housing for victims. 
  • Anticipate the action plan and strategy including the Istanbul Convention. 
  • Prepare a joint project for the training of police officers on the Prevention of Secondary Victims. 
  • Harmonize the law on domestic violence with the Istanbul Convention. 
  • Members of the Coordination mechanism against domestic violence mechanism to be involved in a broader joint training and action plan activities to be integrated with the Istanbul Convention. 
  • Have a better focus on prevention and instead of the recovery; to hold family planning sessions so that there are no further consequences for children as cases of domestic violence. 
  • Establish counseling centers for child victims and couples counseling in every family medicine center. 

This initiative is supported by the Kosovo Women’s Fund (KWF) and funded by ADA Austrian Development Cooperation in Kosovo. 

In addition to the AEFC organization, there are 17 other member organizations benefiting from the 13th round of KWF. You can read the full list HERE