We believe that the precondition for the full respect and realisation of human rights is their full recognition in positive legal provisions.
This is exactly why HERA initiates and actively participates in all the development processes for policies, programmes and budgets concerning HIV and is particularly advocating for provision of sustainability of HIV services targeting the key populations affected by HIV.
We’ve been advocating for the introduction of at least three contraceptives on the positive (insurance-covered) list of medicines and have participated in the development of family planning policies and protocols. Since December 2017, we have been part of the Ministry of Health’s working group on the development of the new liberal Law on Termination of Pregnancy, and in 2020 we participated in the development of the Clinical Guidelines on Safe Abortion.
HERA participated in the adoption of the protocols for protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as in the setting up of the All-Party Parliamentary Group – the first one of its kind on the Balkans – for the promotion of LGBTI rights in February 2018. We participated in preparing and advocating the adoption of the Law on the Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, which recognises the gender identity and sexual orientation as grounds for protection against discrimination.
We were among the first ones who advocated for the integration of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) concerning gender equality in national policies, and to this end we made a corresponding analysis. We continue with our international advocacy for SRH before the United Nations human rights bodies by preparing shadow reports and participating in international sessions and events (advocating with the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, Summit on the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development, sessions of the Universal Periodic Review of the state, etc.).
We’ve been advocating for the provision of available and accessible specialised services for victims of gender-based violence, and in this way for sustainability of civil society organisations offering these services. We participate in the development of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Istanbul Convention in 2018, cost analysis of the specialised services against violence against women, preparation and advocacy for the adoption of the new Law on the Prevention and Protection against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence in 2021.
We took part in the revision of the National Plan for Healthcare System Preparation and Response in Crisis Situations and we managed to include a chapter on sexual and reproductive health in emergency and crisis situations.
We’ve been advocating also for greater access to information and services for sexual and reproductive health for persons with disabilities in compliance with the findings from our needs assessments for corresponding services.
Since 2017 we have been actively involved and monitored the processes of developing the strategic documents on social entrepreneurship because we seek to create an ecosystem where social enterprises will emerge and thrive.
Together with the Education Development Bureau, in 2018 we set up the National Working Group for developing models of comprehensive sexuality education, and in November 2019 the RNM Government adopted a decision to pilot the comprehensive sexuality education as an elective subject in the 9th grade in four primary schools. Same year in December, together with the Education Development Bureau, we trained the first 15 teachers who will pilot the CSE in their schools from September 2021. It is equally important that sex education has also been recognised in the new concept for primary education reforms as a free elective subject.