EU Twinning Project "Strengthening State Institutions and Local Referral Mechanisms in Azerbaijan to Ensure Safety and Support for Victims of Domestic Violence"
On 30 June 2020 the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan announced that Lithuanian institutions together with Austrian colleagues were awarded the contract to implement EU Twinning Project "Strengthening the capacity of State bodies and local level referral mechanisms to provide safety and support to victims of domestic violence in Azerbaijan".
The leading member state in the project is Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour which will be co-operating with Vilnius University, the Law Institute of Lithuania under the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania, European Social Fund Agency and Austrian Institute of Human Rights (BIM), acting as the Junior project partner.
The overall objective of the project is to strengthen capacity of the Azerbaijani State bodies and local level referral mechanisms to provide safety and support to the victims of domestic violence, to develop networks and strengthen inter-agency cooperation, provide specific trainings for the social workers, judges, journalists how to address issues related to the domestic violence and to carry awareness raising campaign on increasing understandings of gender equality and the VAW &DV.
The project consists of three components:
Results to be achieved:
Project budget – 1 million EUR, foreseen duration – 14 months.
Considering the restrictions on movement caused by COVID-19 pandemic the start of the project is foreseen from 1 September 2020.
In October–November 2021 Audra Mikalauskaitė and Daina Urbonaitienė, experts of the Ministry, took part in missions dedicated to the training of specialists on the provision of services to victims of violence and the organization of preventive assistance.
On 25–30th of October trainings were conducted at Saatli and Shuvalan Family and Child Support Service Centers, attended by more than 50 professionals: social workers, school psychologists, local administration representatives, volunteers.
During the training, the development of relevant assistance system for victims of violence, planning of services and organization of its provision were discussed. During the practical sessions, specific forms, and ways of helping the victims of domestic violence were modeled. The training will continue in November–December.
Closing event of the 17-month-long European Union-funded Twinning project “Strengthening the capacity of State bodies and local level referral mechanisms to provide safety and support to victims of domestic violence in Azerbaijan “took place on 12 January 2022 in Baku, Azerbaijan with the participation of the SC members, Ambassadors of Lithuania and Austria, key stakeholders, and representatives of Azerbaijan public institutions. The project aimed to improve legislation, referral mechanisms and services to survivors of domestic violence.
The main goal of this summarizing event was to present the results and achievements of the project and share the experience that both partner sides acquired during its implementation.
The partners of the project were the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, Vilnius University, the Law Institute of the Lithuanian Center for Social Sciences under the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Lithuania, the European Social Fund Agency and the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft - Institute of Human Rights (BIM) of Austria acting as Junior Member state partner.
A team of experts from Lithuania and Austria with close cooperation of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan developed 6 training programs and conducted training for 680 specialists, including judges, police officers, local executive authority staff, psychologists, teachers, social workers, journalists, and NGOs.
As an initiative of the European Commission, the Twinning instrument was launched in 1998 to support candidate countries in their integration process to the EU. It ensures institutional cooperation bringing together public sector expertise from EU Member States and beneficiary country of the Program.