The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia


Macedonia, population 2 million, is located in Eastern Europe.

The 2004 amendments to the Penal Code provide new tools to address domestic violence.  The Penal Code now specifically addresses domestic violence by increasing the punishment for crimes committed during “family violence.”  As defined in Article 122(19), family violence covers a wide spectrum of conduct that causes insecurity or fear and is directed against a family member.  Family members include children, parents, spouses and former spouses, those with a common child, and others who have close personal relations.  The broad definition is justified on the basis that 50% of women report psychological violence consisting of insulting, embarrassing, and accusatory interrogations.

Although Macedonia has made significant progress in enacting anti-domestic violence legislation, domestic violence continues to be an issue.  It apparently continues to be under-reported and under-enforced because of cultural norms against reporting such abuse and inadequate police training programs. In 2006, the police registered 2,650 domestic violence complaints, down from 3,750 in 2005. The Centres for Social Work, which works with domestic violence victims, processed approximately 100 family violence cases in 2008.  According to a Macedonian delegate to the UN Human Rights Committee, 132 people were indicted in 2006, 89 were convicted under the criminal code, and 16 people went to prison.

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