Another EU-funded project aimed at supporting state institutions to ensure better support and safety to victims of domestic violence officially has started in Azerbaijan. The leading member state in the project is Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour which will be co-operating with European Social Fund Agency, Vilnius University, the Law Institute of Lithuania under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania and Austrian Institute of Human Rights (BIM), acting as the Junior project partner. A team of experts from Lithuania and Austria will work to improve legislation, referral mechanisms and services to victims to be in line with the best European practices.
The kick-off event of the EU-funded Twinning project titled “Strengthening the capacity of the State Bodies and local level referral mechanisms to provide safety and support to the victims of domestic violence” with almost 70 participants was held remotely on 29th March to officially mark the launch of the initiative.
Project Leader in Azerbaijan, Deputy Chairman of State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs, Mrs. Sadagat Gahramanova opened the event saying that “Inculcation of national and moral values, ensuring gender equality in the family, expansion and implementation of the legal framework are the prerequisites for prevention of domestic violence”.
Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan, Mr. Kestutis Jankauskas noted that “the EU is committed to keep working tirelessly with our partners to strengthen legal frameworks and institutions, supporting development and education, improving services for survivors, addressing the root causes of violence, promoting women empowerment”.
The Twinning project is well timed and corresponds with the National Action Plan for the Elimination and Combating Domestic Violence of Azerbaijan for 2020-2023. It further increases the relevance of the project and further supports EU’s efforts to help Azerbaijan to fulfil the targets in the field of domestic violence in line with the global challenges.
The project will focus on enhancing the legal status of Monitoring Groups on Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Children, legal environment for further criminalization of domestic violence, development of mechanism on legal and psychological assistance for victims of domestic violence, rehabilitation programme of perpetrators. In addition, police officers, judges, social workers will be invited to participate in trainings on domestic violence indicators, risk assessment criteria and other subjects. Within the framework of the project, a network of journalists and social-media influencers will be invited to develop awareness raising campaigns in order to increase knowledge and understanding about domestic violence and contribute to preventive measures in this field.