UN Human Rights Committee Releases Concluding Observations on Macedonia's Periodic Report under the ICCPR
Monday, May 5, 2008 11:22 AM

The Human Rights Commission of the United Nations recently released its Concluding Observations on Macedonia's compliance with the ICCPR.

Sexual harassment is one area where the government has enacted laws recognizing it as a form of discrimination against women. It not only includes verbal and nonverbal harassment, but also includes a hostile work environment.

Since 2000, violence against women has been studied through the NGO Emancipation, Solidarity and Equality of Women. Of a sample size of about one percent of Macedonian women, over half had experienced some form of psychological violence; about a quarter of women reported physical violence. Because of the prevalence of domestic violence, the legislature responded by criminalizing domestic violence in the Criminal Code in March 2004. It encompasses relationships of marriage, cohabitation, and people who have a child in common. Civil recourses for domestic violence were within family law code; protection measures with access to shelters, counseling, legal assistance, and temporary restraining orders and protection measures (lasting one year) were also expanded upon.

Human trafficking is another area that Macedonian government highlighted. A National Commission on the Fight against Trafficking in Human Being was established in 2001. A national program; which improves legislation, prevention, assistance and support, reintegration programs, education and training, and public awareness; was created in 2003 because of the work of the Commission. Happy Childhood is an NGO that works with trafficking victims.

Compiled from: Consideration of Reports Submitted by States Parties under Articles 40 of the Covenant: Second Periodic Report of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” Human Rights Committee, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, 12 February 2007.