2008 Regional Conference on Domestic Violence Legal Reform

On 12-14 February 2008, the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation and The Advocates for Human Rights, with the support of the Oak Foundation, the Open Society Institute’s Human Rights and Governance Program, and the Bulgarian Fund for Women, sponsored a Regional Conference on Legal Reform on Domestic Violence in Sofia, Bulgaria. The goal of the conference was to strengthen the capacity of NGOs, advocates and government officials to create and implement domestic violence laws that promote safety for victims and their children and accountability for violent offenders. 

Presenters at the conference provided expert consultation and a forum for discussion on drafting effective domestic violence laws, strategies for ensuring passage of these laws in parliament, and strategies for promoting implementation of laws in a way that best protects victim safety and ensures offender accountability.

The conference discussions, presentations and materials were based on the principles outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women including the following:

[V]iolence against women constitutes a violation of the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms. . .

[V]iolence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men . . .

Participants from 29 countries, including Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia,  Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgzystan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and the USA attended.

The following is a compilation of training materials and presentations provided by conference participants:

Laws and Regulations

Background Information on Domestic Violence

Police Materials

Judicial Materials

Prosecutor Materials

Monitoring Reports

Presentations

Regional Conference on Domestic Violence Legal Reform