Summary of topics from study visit in Leskovac


Still summing up insights and impressions from our 3-day study visit with 30+ participants from 11 West Balkan municipalities that took place in Leskovac almost 10 days ago! We are glad we recognized a crucial need for this regional event, uniting experts in social protection and domestic violence at Leskovac. They shared experiences and solutions, emphasizing victim care and empowerment.

Practical workshops and discussions highlighted key topics for the next stage of project – training for the service providers, employees of the shelters, that are on the first line of defense: burnout, work with children with trauma, stress relief tools.

But our work doesn’t stop here. Other topics that are raised include:

  1. Establishment of a network of service providers, functional and operative.
  2. Practical implementation of the Istanbul convention, with victim in the focus of that.
  3. Making a list of problems shelters are facing, so there is a common starting point for further work.
  4. Unification of the annual reports from ministries from the region, as well as 5-year action plans, to define recommendation for future action.
  5. Awareness and daily follow up of the shadow reports made by NGOs, as they are relevant sources of information not available by the institutions.
  6. Follow up of the plans by the state institutions and make decision makers devote % from the national budget for such activities, making them recognize the network. “National policies are the base for every shelter, we cannot start making the house from the roof”, we need policies to align for the same cause.
  7. Accessibility to the shelters, thinking about the persons with disabilities.
  8. Precise minimal standards for the needs of each shelter (technical specifications – what kind of laundry machine for example, professional rather than the one for home use).
  9. Care and deeper focus on the categories that often stay under the radar: elderly victims of violence, women substance users, victims with disabilities, children victims of domestic violence.

Discussions on this level have never happened before, we are glad to have set the first example, but what is the call for the decision makers in the region? What are the common topics we should continue opening? Help us by giving your suggestions and we will try to put the spotlight on the most urgent ones.

Let’s keep the dialogue going and push for change!

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ASB is a German aid and welfare organisation, engaged in areas such as civil protection, rescue services and social welfare services. As a non-political organisation, ASB has, since its foundation in 1888, provided rapid and direct help to all those in need of our support.

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