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Open Society Found;
In January 2019, Macedonia's parliament approved, by a two-thirds majority, a constitutional amendment to change the country's name to the Republic of North Macedonia. While this represented a major step toward North Macedonia's ultimate goal of establishing a durable, stable democracy, the name change must still be endorsed by Greece's parliament before it can go into full effect. But as a new report from the Open Society European Policy Institute shows, a newly-named North Macedonia would still face significant challenges—and opportunities.North Macedonia: What's Next? examines the 2018 Prespa Agreement between neighboring Greece and North Macedonia, which laid out agreed upon conditions for resolving the longstanding dispute over Macedonia's name, and what it means for the larger project of integrating the countries in the Western Balkans more fully into the political and economic systems of Europe, the British Isles, and the United States. The report further explores how key players—such as the European Union, NATO, Russia, other Western Balkans states—approach the Prespa Agreement, explains the significance of the name change in larger geopolitical terms, and offers insight into possible scenarios for the final resolution of this fraught and lengthy conflict.
Decade of Roma Inclusion Secretariat Foundation;
Although the 2004 Strategy for Roma in the Republic of Macedonia remained relevant in 2012 as a broad framework for policy aimed at improving the situation of the country's Romani population, implementation faltered in 2012, even under the Macedonian presidency of the Decade of Roma Inclusion. The findings of a review of implementation of the national action plans for education, employment, health, and housing conducted in mid-2012 were not applied, with none of the action plans replaced or updated since expiring at the end of 2011. Coordination at central level and between central and local levels remained a problem, as did the availability of relevant data on and funding for the implementation of initiatives for Roma at both central and local levels. While successful programmes established in previous years were generally continued and a promising Romani health mediation programme was introduced, clear signs of a government commitment to sustaining and expanding all relevant programmes to meet outstanding needs were lacking.
Open Society Foundations;
The Mapping Digital Media project examines the global opportunities and risks created by the transition from traditional to digital media. Covering 60 countries, the project examines how these changes affect the core democratic service that any media system should provide: news about political, economic, and social affairs.The media in Macedonia have been at the center of acute political instability in recent years, affecting the country's path toward digitization in many ways. With regard to digital switch-over of broadcasting, some steps have been taken towards the target date of 2013 despite the absence of clear legislative guidelines or public debate. The transparency deficit was epitomized by the government's rejection in 2006 of a switch-over coordinating body set up by the broadcasting regulator and comprising a broad range of stakeholders.Broadband and universal service policies have been notably more successful. However, television is still the dominant medium and within this sector, platform ecology has remained largely stable. Over half of all access is via cable with terrestrial television accounting for a third, and the remainder taken up by satellite and IPTV providers. The latter was, until 2011, the only platform through which video-on-demand and time-shifted viewing services were available. The rapid growth of IPTV since its introduction in 2008 reflects the public appetite for new digital services.Overall, this report finds that the digital promise of greater openness, empowerment, and autonomy has been eclipsed, for the time being, by countervailing forces. As for the current outlook: the post-election climate seems to have prompted a degree of acquiescence on the part of the political opposition, which does not bode well.
Faculty of Medicine, University "Sts. Cyril and Methodius", Skopje Centre for Regional Policy Research and Cooperation "Studiorum", Skopje;
Health systems can too often be places of punishment, coercion, and violations of basic rights—rather than places of treatment and care. In many cases, existing laws and tools that provide remedies are not adequately used to protect rights.This Practitioner Guide series presents practical how-to manuals for lawyers interested in taking cases around human rights in patient care. The manuals examine patient and provider rights and responsibilities, as well as procedures for protection through both the formal court system and alternative mechanisms in 10 countries.Each Practitioner Guide is country-specific, supplementing coverage of the international and regional framework with national standards and procedures in the following:ArmeniaGeorgiaKazakhstanKyrgyzstanMacedoniaMoldova (forthcoming)RomaniaRussia (forthcoming)SerbiaUkraineThis series is the first to systematically examine the application of constitutional, civil, and criminal laws; categorize them by right; and provide examples and practical tips. As such, the guides are useful for medical professionals, public health mangers, Ministries of Health and Justice personnel, patient advocacy groups, and patients themselves.Advancing Human Rights in Patient Care: The Law in Seven Transitional Countries is a compendium that supplements the practitioner guides. It provides the first comparative overview of legal norms, practice cannons, and procedures for addressing rights in health care in Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Russia, and Ukraine.A Legal Fellow in Human Rights in each country is undertaking the updating of each guide and building the field of human rights in patient care through trainings and the development of materials, networks, and jurisprudence. Fellows are recent law graduates based at a local organization with expertise and an interest in expanding work in law, human rights, and patient care. To learn more about the fellowships, please visit health-rights.org.
Open Society Foundations;
The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion (RECI) studies and reports aim to build a comprehensive and detailed picture of the extent of early childhood provision and services, available to Romani families. The studies have been carried out in five countries—Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia—and endeavour to identify the major obstacles that Romani families face in accessing high-quality, socially inclusive, early childhood care and education. More generally, the studies and reports deliver data and information about communities that are often ignored or misrepresented by official statistics, government policies, ministerial strategies and plans for spending.As previous studies carried out by Open Society Foundations have shown—No Data—No Progress, 2010—the lack of reliable data hampers any attempt to measure the impact of government or international NGO intervention. Planning services and allocating resources to Romani communities are the consequence of "guesswork" rather than knowledge and careful study. The Roma Early Childhood Inclusion reports present a distillation of the most recent and reliable data to be had, in these circumstances, drawn from the actual communities themselves, through interviews and focus groups. Government strategies, policies and action plans are all assessed in this context; what has been the effect of the initiatives aimed at improving the economic and social position for Romani families, in these countries?This Overview Report draws upon data from the five country studies, carried out by Romani and non-Romani researchers working together, to present what are the themes and topics of most relevance to families and young children in settlements and neighbourhoods across central, eastern and south-eastern Europe. A profound lack of equality of access and services, beset by numerous obstacles, characterizes the overall picture, for Roma. The numbers of Romani children that have access to good quality, early childhood education and care provision or who can participate in community and home-based learning programmes, remains minimal in comparison with the surrounding, majority populations.The desperate need for Romani children to be able to access, at least for two years, high-quality, socially inclusive, early childhood education and care services and benefit from effective home visiting and community-based early childhood development (ECD) programmes, is a particular theme throughout the report. This is a minimum requirement that the partner organizations (UNICEF, Open Society Foundation's Early Childhood Program and Roma Education Fund) advocate for at national and international levels, if progress is to be made in improving education outcomes for Romani children.The scale of the changes that need to be undertaken in order to provide equal opportunity for Romani children and families requires that national governments and international institutions (such as the Council of Europe, the European Commission and the European Union's Parliament) act, following the recommendations that these reports deliver.
In 2015 there was a huge increase in the number of migrants, including refugees, arriving in Greece and travelling along the Balkan route on their way to destination countries further north. According to UNHCR, more than one million refugees and migrants crossed the Mediterranean in 2015.This report looks at the protection concerns of people on the move, especially women and children, in Macedonia and Serbia following the closure of the Balkan route. It is based on research and information gathered by Oxfam and its partners: the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights and Atina in Serbia, and the Macedonian Young Lawyer Association and Open Gate/ La Strada in Macedonia. The report includes recommendations on how to protect and promote their safety, dignity and human rights.
Open Society Foundations;
The Roma, Europe's largest and most neglected minority, face discrimination and are pushed to the sidelines of society—harming their health. In some communities, Roma life expectancy is 10 years below average. Their infant mortality rate is unacceptably high, and preventive health care is almost inaccessible.Roma face systemic discrimination and exclusion in citizenship, education, employment, housing, and access to justice. Many cannot access health care at all. Others suffer abuses in health care, including the outright denial of medical services, the disclosure of medical information, breaches of privacy, and violations of the right to informed consent.At the same time, a range of international, regional, and domestic legal frameworks protect health rights, and there is increasing recognition of systemic violations experienced by Roma. Roma NGOs have undertaken legal advocacy to press for accountability in health care and access to health services.This report analyzes the current state of legal advocacy for Roma health rights in Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia. It seeks to establish a point of reference, and to develop an evaluation framework for the Open Society Foundations' support for legal empowerment, documentation and advocacy, media, and strategic litigation.
Open Society Institute;
Includes a Europe-wide overview and individual country reports on Roma children. Highlights policy actions necessary to address the educational challenges faced by Roma in Europe.
Open Society Institute;
Assesses the impact of projects supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Roma communities and the role of Roma civil society in design and implementation. Makes recommendations for increasing civil society's involvement.
Presently, the culture of open discussion seems to be threatened in an increasing number of countries. In Central and Eastern Europe's (CEE's) democracies, recent political developments appear to jeopardize progresses made in the past. Against this background, this study aims at shedding light on the dynamics of CEE'scivil society and gives a brief overview of the status quo and recent developments that directly affect civil society. The study was conducted by the Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship at WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business), commissioned by and in collaboration with ERSTE foundation as well as with a group of country experts. The inclusion of expert assessments on civil society aims at giving a voice primarily to practitioners. Therefore, the study included an online survey in each participating country, addressing CSO representatives operating in various fields of activity.
King Baudouin Foundation;
In this publication, the King Baudouin Foundation describes their project aimed at developing opportunities for communication and co-operation between the various ethnic and religious communities in South Eastern Europe. The publication offers a situation update and an overview and analysis of experiences in Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.The projects are aimed at developing opportunities for communication and co-operation between the various ethnic and religious communities.
King Baudouin Foundation;
This paper was developed in the context of the Trafficking Victims Re/integration Programme (TVRP), which funds NGO's in several countries of Southeastern Europe. It is the fifth of a series that aim to shed light on good practices in the area of re/integration as well as on important lessons learned.This paper addresses the issue of the re/integration of trafficked children and youth, drawing on the first hand experiences of service providers in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia.Children and youth have become an increasing portion of persons being trafficked from and within the Balkan region. Some are exploited sexually, others are exploited for different forms of labour, including begging and street selling. This paper discusses each of the different services and types of support needed to meet the specific re/integration needs of trafficked children and youth in the light of international standards. It also looks into challenges facing service providers such as the identification of trafficked children, prosecution of perpetrators due to gaps in the criminal code as well as forster care.