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“The voice of the invisible work force” Campaign launched in North Macedonia

Skopje 30 July 2020
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“The voice of the invisible work force” Campaign launched in North Macedonia

“The voice of the invisible work force” is the new awareness raising campaign, kicked off in North Macedonia on the occasion of the International Anti-trafficking Day - July 30. The campaign launched by the Association of journalists for human rights, grantee of the EU and Council of Europe joint action “Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings in North Macedonia” aims to raise awareness about prevention of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation. During the campaign vulnerable groups and communities at risk in North Macedonia will be informed about the risks of trafficking for exploitation in certain industries, such as agriculture, hospitality, construction, textile industry, and about the ways and means to protect oneself from the perils of trafficking.

“Poverty, unemployment, low education level, pandemics and the recent migration flow are contributing factors to human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation. Our message is: Be careful with job promises, and job offers about which you are not sufficiently informed and do not sign blank employment contracts!” said Natasha Dokovska, representative of the Association of journalists for human rights.

The NGO Open Gate calls upon workers to report violations of employment rights, including human trafficking for labour exploitation and calls upon the competent bodies to sanction any such violations” stated Stojne Atanasovska Dimishkovska, representative of the NGO Open Gate. “There is an important need to raise awareness of the business sector about human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation” she affirmed.

Representatives from civil society organisations in North Macedonia as well as representatives from EU delegation, CoE Programme Office in Skopje, journalists and experts debated about ways to prevent and to detect cases of human trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation, and discussed actual cases of human trafficking. The conclusions of the debate will be considered for the next steps of the campaign.

The actionPreventing and combating trafficking in human beings in North Macedonia is implemented under the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019 – 2022”.


What is the Horizontal Facility II?

The European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (Horizontal Facility II) 2019-2022 is a co-operation initiative of the European Union and Council of Europe for the Western Balkans and Turkey. It is one of the results of the Statement of Intent signed on 1 April 2014 by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the European Union Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, in which both Organisations agreed to further strengthen their co-operation in key areas of joint interest.

The first phase of the programme included various Beneficiary-specific and regional initiatives and ran from 2016 to 2019. The second phase of the programme (worth €41 million between 2019 and 2022) keeps building on the results of the phase I and broadens the thematic areas to new topics crucial for the Western Balkans region and Turkey – freedom of expression and media.

The second phase of the programme covers Actions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia as well as Turkey and the regional dimension of the programme is strengthened. The Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism that provides legislative expertise and policy advice within the Council of Europe system remains an important part of the programme available to all Beneficiaries.

 

How long will the Horizontal Facility II last?

The Horizontal Facility is a three-year programme, which is being implemented by the Council of Europe from May 2019 over a period of 36 months. 

 

How much will the Horizontal Facility II cost?

The envelope of this facility amounts to ca. 41 Million EUR (85% funded by the EU, 15% by the CoE).

 

What will the Horizontal Facility II do?

The Horizontal Facility enables the Beneficiaries to meet their reform agendas in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy and to comply with the European standards, including where relevant within the framework of the EU enlargement process. The Horizontal Facility relies on the Council of Europe’s unique working methods, whereby tailor-made technical co-operation activities are based on conclusions and recommendations of the Council of Europe’s monitoring bodies highlight areas where improvements are needed in legislation and policies of the Beneficiaries to comply with the Organisation’s treaties and other standards.

Themes covered by the Horizontal Facility include:

  • Ensuring justice;
  • Fighting economic crime;
  • Combating discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups (including LGBTI, minorities, Roma and victims of trafficking in human beings) and
  • Freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

All the themes are key priorities of the two Organisations in the Western Balkans region and Turkey.

All Horizontal Facility actions address cross-cutting issues such as gender mainstreaming, protection of minorities and vulnerable groups and foresees the engagement of civil society organisations in the implementation of the Horizontal Facility.

This website has been produced using funds of a Joint Project between the European Union and the Council of Europe. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union or the Council of Europe.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.