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Assessment to Action – Protection and Empowerment of Human Rights Defenders in Croatia, Georgia and Serbia

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Project title: Assessment to Action – Protection and Empowerment of Human Rights Defenders in Croatia, Georgia and Serbia
Project duration: December 2019 – October 2020
Donor: Human Rights House Foundation
Partners: Human Rights House Zagreb, Human Rights House Tbilisi

About the project: The main goal of the project is to enhance the position and rights of human rights defenders (HRDs) in Serbia, Croatia, and Georgia. The overall objective is to support human rights defenders and civil societies in countering systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations. The Human Rights Houses of Belgrade, Zagreb, and Tbilisi will work together on this project to share experiences and information with the overarching goal of setting recommendations for improving the situation for HRDs in each respective country. They will also propose recommendations on how international regulations can be properly implemented, thus aligning with the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders as it may contribute to the governments’ drafting of proper strategies on human rights policies.

The situation in Serbia for human rights defenders has worsened during recent years. HRDs have been facing verbal and physical violence, death threats, harassment and defamation. The Human Rights Houses in Belgrade, Zagreb, and Tbilisi will work as project partners to offer support to HRDs’ actions through an independent monitoring and collection of data regarding the real situation of HRD and human rights violations in the selected countries of the Balkan region. These three Houses will share experiences and enhance their cooperation in order to further develop their research skills on the regional and international level concerning the situation for HRDs. Integrating the knowledge and experiences from the House of Human Rights of Zagreb, Belgrade, and Tbilisi will help cultivate stronger recommendations for advocating for HRDs, as well as improving their current situation.

The project activities include conducting interviews and research analyses on the current HRD situation in Serbia, publishing the findings in a report that will increase awareness about the situation, and sharing information with the general public through a media campaign about the role of HRDs in improving human rights. At the conclusion of the project, a final conference will be held with all three Houses participating (Zagreb, Belgrade, and Tbilisi) and presenting their research findings. The conference will highlight the project activities as well as the gained results. Specifically, it will include a presentation of the final report on the project implementation, including a detailed description of the current conditions under which HRDs are working in the selected countries and the recommendations generated for the protection and promotion of HRDs.

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