EU-funded Twinning project in the area of the domestic violence has been successfully completed
The Law Institute of the Lithuanian Centre for Social Sciences (hereinafter – the Institute) together with the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, Vilnius University, the European Social Fund Agency and junior partners from Austria – Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft Institute for Human Rights, finished 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”. The closing event took place at the House of Government in Baku (Azerbaijan) on 12 January 2022.
During the project, the experts of the Lithuanian and Austrian institutions, based on the successful practice of the European Union countries and the recommendations of international organizations, shared with the Azerbaijani colleagues’ good practices on how to:
- strengthen the competencies and inter-agency cooperation mechanisms of Azerbaijan’s state and local institutions;
- provide assistance for victims of domestic violence;
- develop and implement a public information campaign on the negative effects of violence on society itself.
Although the project took place in a time of a pandemic, the Austrian and Lithuanian experts with close cooperation of the State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan achieved great success by developing 6 training programs and 680 participants – judges, police officers, local executive authority staff, psychologists, teachers, social workers, journalists and NGO staff – were able to complete these trainings.
Researchers of the Institute prof. Rokas Uscila and dr. Simonas Nikartas also participated in the final event of the project together with Lithuanian Ambassador Egidijus Navikas, Austrian Ambassador Alexander Bayerl and Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation Peter Michalko. The latter said: “Violence against women happens anywhere, there is no safe place, not even at home. Women are targeted at home as well as in their workplace, in schools and universities, on the street, and increasingly online through cyber violence and hate speech. The EU is committed to preventing, openly rejecting and condemning all acts of violence against women and children and sharing best practices to strengthen safety and support to victims of domestic violence”.
Domestic violence is a global challenge. During the event project leader from Austria, Sabine Mandl, explained that combating domestic violence is a long-term project and with the help of the twinning project in Azerbaijan, significant changes could be made.
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 Programme.