Lawyers, legal professionals, and also citizens interested in the field of fighting discrimination and protecting human rights from North Macedonia attended the online presentation of the new HELP Course on Anti-Discrimination in North Macedonia. An initiative of the action “Promotion of Diversity and Equality in North Macedonia” and the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) in the framework of the European Union and Council of Europe joint programme "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022", this online course aims to provide a detailed, yet easily accessible, educational resource to promote the understanding among legal and other professionals in respect of the international and European standards in the field of non-discrimination.
During the online presentation, the participants were welcomed by Ms Lejla Dersvisagic, Head of Operations of the Council of Europe Programme Office in Skopje: “We see a growing interest for more anti-discrimination activities and the need to strengthen the efforts and cooperation with all relevant actors in order to move forward with the reforms in the field of nondiscrimination in line with the international and European standards.”
Ms Sanja Frkovic Gelevska, Programme Manager from the EU Delegation to Skopje addressed the European framework for nondiscrimination, which is in the core of human rights. “Solid legal ground is only the beginning, and the European Commission gave itself three more goals to ensure promotion and protection from discrimination: 1) uniformed implementation of the laws of the EU; 2) support to the effective policies in the fight against discrimination and 3) activities for change in the opinions and attitudes. “
Mr Ljubomir Mihajlovski, the President of the BAR Association of North Macedonia talked about the strong collaboration with the Council of Europe and its HELP programme, adding that these courses create a new European spirit, new knowledge and information is being spread, which could be transferred to the new generations that can bring changes in life and in the overall society.
Representatives from our main partners in this activity, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry for Labour and Social Policy also supported the event and confirmed their commitment to the fight against discrimination and the reforms in this area.
The event was joined by Mr Jovan Ilievski Judge in respect of North Macedonia in the ECHR, who acquainted the participants with the work of the European Court for Human Rights (EChRT) in combating discrimination. “Article 14 forbids discrimination based on race, colour, language, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property or birth”, said Judge Ilievski, stressing that ECHR also takes in consideration whether the same principles were applied in different situations or if different principles were applied in same situations and examines the reasons for these decisions.”
In her remarks, Ms Elena Mihajlova Stratilati, ECRI member in respect of North Macedonia, focused on ECRI’s monitoring work and the key ECRI recommendations on North Macedonia stating that the national legislative for protection and prevention from discrimination is necessary for an effective fight against discrimination.
With the support of EU and Council of Europe joint programme Horizontal Facility II, the HELP Course on Anti-Discrimination is now available in Macedonian as part of the e-learning platform - Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe – covering more then 36 online courses in the field of human rights.
The HELP course on anti-discrimination can be accessed for free online and the participants who successfully complete the course will receive HELP certificates issued by the Council of Europe.