Under the project: “Raising institutional capacity to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina“, the Council of Europe organized a launch of the HELP course on gender-based violence and domestic violence, in cooperation with Bar Associations of the Republika Srpska and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This course, developed by the Council of Europe Gender Equality Division and the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) was successfully launched through two kick-off events, which took place on 9 May 2019 in Sarajevo and on 10 May 2019 in Banja Luka.
The HELP course on violence against women and domestic violence was adapted to the national legal and policy frameworks of BiH. The course aims to provide high quality human rights training that will enable legal professionals from both BiH entities to be more responsive to victims of violence against women and domestic violence and more effective implementation of the Istanbul convention within the national jurisdictions.
The launching event in Sarajevo was opened by Ambassador Drahoslav Štefánek, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo, and Nikica Gržić, President of the Bar Association of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the following day, the launching event in Banja Luka was opened by Irena Puzić-Obradović, Executive Board of the Bar Association of Republika Srpska. While emphasizing the need to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence, all speakers welcomed all initiatives in this field. Moreover, participants could benefit from a presentation on the European standards in the field of violence against women and domestic violence by Elisabeth Duran, CoE consultant and member of the HELP Working Group on Access to Justice for Women.
Over 40 solicitors in Sarajevo and 20 colleagues in Banja Luka participated in the launch and expressed their readiness to take part in the HELP online course. Over the course of next two months these 60 solicitors from BiH will conduct seven online modules with the practical help and guidance of two national tutors, Džana Radončić and Duška Andrić-Ružičić.
The European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) supports the Council of Europe member states in implementing the European Conventions and its methodology and resources are systematically used in all Council of Europe capacity building activities organized in the beneficiary countries.