Deadline Extended to Apply for Regional Conference on Legal Reform on Domestic Violence
Friday, November 2, 2007 2:09 PM

The deadline for applying to this conference was 20 November 2007 and has now passed. Applications are no longer being accepted for the conference.

Sofia, Bulgaria

February 12 - 14, 2008

The Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation and The Advocates for Human Rights, with the support of the Oak Foundation and the Open Society Institute’s Human Rights and Governance Program are pleased to announce that the Regional Conference on Legal Reform on Domestic Violence will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria on February 12 – 14, 2008.

The goal of the conference is 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 will provide 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 will be 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 . . .

The organizers of the conference encourage advocates, NGOs, IGOs and government officials to attend.  The deadline for applications is November 1, 2007.

Travel and related expenses will be covered for selected participants who meet the following minimum criteria:

  1. Applicants must be from one of the following countries:  Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, Turkey, Russia, Greece, Montenegro, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Cyprus.
  2. Applicants must have demonstrated experience in the field of domestic violence, including direct service to victims, legislative reform efforts, implementation of domestic violence laws, or training of legal professionals.
  3. Application must include a minimum of 2 participants per country, including one NGO representative and one government representative.  NGOs are encouraged to include interested and committed government officials in their delegation.  Government officials must be police, prosecutors, judges or elected officials.
  4. NGO applicants must be lawyers or have demonstrated experience in domestic violence legal reform efforts. 
  5. For applicants from countries where there is no domestic violence legislation currently in effect but who have experience in the early stages of drafting or lobbying for domestic violence legislation, applications can include two NGO representatives.  In these cases, applicants should include a description of their plan to involve government representatives in their legal reform efforts.
  6. The working language of the conference is English.  Proficiency in English is desirable.  There is a limited possibility of translation.

Preference for funding for travel expenses will be given to NGO representatives.  Government representatives are encouraged to secure funding for travel and related expenses from their governments or other sources. The application form is attached at the end of this page.

Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation
5 Evlogi Georgiev Str.
1142 Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel/Fax 00 359 (0) 29635357

The Advocates for Human Rights
650 3rd Avenue South Suite 550
Minneapolis, MN 55402-1940 USA
Tel: 612-3412-3302

Please note: We will inform all applicants of our decision regarding their application by December 1, 2007.