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Swiss PRO
  • Government of the Republic of Serbia
  • The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
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News / Success Stories

Always for the rights of girls and women

  • Vranje, 25 November 2020

With the support of the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss PRO Programme, a total of 101 women, victims of domestic violence, received psychological and legal support through the SOS line. The SOS line has been available to Pcinja District inhabitants since 2002, and it has been provided by the CSO Human Rights Committee Vranje.

"It's much easier for me now, after our conversation. It means a lot  that you understand me and that you trust me. How should I save your telephone number, I can't keep it in the phone memory, he checks my phone all the time ", said one of the beneficiaries of Vranje SOS line, a  service intended for women with experienced domestic-partner violence.

Within the project "SOS support to victims of domestic violence in  Pcinja district" supported by Swiss PRO Programme, an accredited  training was organized for 61 professional female workers from the field of social protection, aimed at improvement of the position of Roma women. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed  for further financing of the SOS line services with six local self  governments - Vranje, Bujanovac, Presevo, Vladicin Han, Trgoviste and Bosilegrad.

"The support of the Government of Switzerland through the Swiss PRO Programme came at the right time and enabled us to provide financial and human conditions for fulfillment of the  standards for obtaining a license to provide SOS services 24 hours and 7 days a week. The Swiss PRO was also our main lobbyist during conversations with mayors in Pčinja district. We hope that this memorandum will lead to progress on the issue of financing the local social service for women - the SOS line, from the local budgets, which is still not the case " pointed Suzana Antic Ristic, president of  Human Rights Committee Vranje.

In addition to supporting and assisting women and girls through the free SOS line 0800 001 017 and representing their rights before the relevant institutions, the team of  Human Rights Committee Vranje managed to provide humanitarian aid packages to this very vulnerable group during  COVID-19 pandemic. Also, preventive  examinations were organized in order to preserve the reproductive health of women with disabilities.

The Human Rights Committee Vranje is a non-governmental organization that has been continuously providing support to citizens in the outermost south of Serbia for 22 year, in the field of protection of human rights, primarily women, girls and marginalized, multiple discriminated groups in society. This organization also implements the SOS Corner for Girls programme, for which they have received the global annual award "With and For Girls", provided by a world fund for girls and adolescents, which is intended for girls and where girls participate.

The project "SOS support to victims of domestic violence in Pcinja district"  was one of 26 socially innovative projects, supported by the Government of Switzerland in the total amount of EUR 350,000 through the Swiss PRO Programme, implemented by civil society organizations in partnership with local self governments.

More information on the results of all CSO projects supported under the public call "New Ideas for Local Communities" can be found in the Programme results section on Swiss PRO website.