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Domestic and gender-based violence are cross-cutting issues, the counteracting against which is outlined as a priority in the documents of various international organizations. Bulgaria is among those EU-member states that do not collect statistical data and there are no systematic and comprehensive studies of the scale and prevalence of these phenomena. At the same time, the effectiveness of the protection of victims of domestic and gender-based violence represents a substantial challenge to all stakeholders involved in this process. Тhe Center for the Study of Democracy participated in an initiative aimed at reducing these deficits.

On 2-4 December 2015 a seminar with representatives of stakeholders was held in Sofia organized by the "Partners-Bulgaria" in partnership with the Academy of Human Rights - Norway and the Center for the Study of Democracy. The seminar aimed to contribute to developing and enhancing the knowledge and experience of professionals working in the field of domestic and gender-based violence.

The seminar was attended by representatives from the Agency for Social Assistance, the Chief Directorate "National Police", the Regional Directorates of the Ministry of Interior in Burgas, Plovdiv and Stara Zagora, the Bulgarian Judges Association, Sofia Regional Court, Sofia City Court and Shumen District Court and NGOs maintaining crisis centers to provide services to victims of violence, as well as working in the field of protection of rights of victims and human rights in general. Guest of honor during the second day of the seminar was H.E. Gyuru Katarina Vikyor, Ambassador of Norway in Bulgaria.

During the first day of the programme the participants discussed methodological aspects and definitions for research and practical work in counteracting domestic violence and gender-based violence (DGBV) and the current situation in Bulgaria and Norway in relation to these phenomena. The second day was devoted to examining DGBV in the context of human rights and legal aspects of countering them, and during the third and final day, participants exchanged experience in practical assistance to victims of DGBV.

Left to right: Mrs. Radostina Azmanova, Mrs. Daniela Alexandrova, H.E. Gyuru Katarina Vikyor, Mrs. Slavyanka Ivanova, Dr Daniela Kolarova and Mrs. Lillian Hjorth
Participants at the seminar The problem of domestic and gender-based violence in the context of compliance with the human rights. Good practices in support of victims of violence in Norway, 2-4 December 2015, Sofia

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