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Law and human rights annual report 2000/2001

Activities in Europe

The British Council in Bulgaria

  • Hosted a visit by the UK Commission for Racial Equality and the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia for initial discussions with the National Council on Ethnic and Demographic Issues on the feasibility of Bulgaria establishing a similar structure to the Commission for Racial Equality within the framework of a new law on discrimination. A further visit was made by the Commission for Racial Equality on the invitation of the Council of Ministers to help its work in developing the draft of Bulgaria’s anti-discrimination Act.

  • Ran the first phase of a police-child protection project with the Bulgarian National Police and the European Network of Policewomen-Bulgaria. This included a working meeting on the development of the secondary regulations for police-child protection in accordance with the New Child Law; an exploratory visit by a British police inspector to work with the national police; and a roundtable to develop a co-ordination mechanism for state institutions on the reasons for the new law.
The British Council in Croatia

  • Organised a bilateral conference, Working for a new Europe, in which Croatian and UK participants discussed issues relating to globalisation and human rights in the two countries and in Europe as a whole.
The British Council in the Czech Republic

  • Organised a conference on The role of the media in communication between the state and the citizen, attended by around 80 people including representatives of the Czech government, parliamentarians and people from various ministries.
The British Council in France

  • Held a debate in the Rendez-vous constitutionels series on the mayoral elections in London and Paris. Participants included key British and French politicians and media representatives.
The British Council in Hungary

  • At the invitation of the Office of the National Council of Justice, worked with the British-Hungarian Law Association to arrange seminars enabling senior members of the legal profession to acquire skills regarding specific articles of the European Convention on Human Rights and their application in Hungary. Senior UK judges and barristers visited Hungary on two occasions to provide training. The events were very successful with over 280 senior Hungarian judges and lawyers attending and receiving training.

  • Organised a project with the Hungarian Women's Association and the Active Learning Centre, UK, to provide training to 30 trainers from Hungarian women's organisations, ministries and trade unions with each trainer developing skills and understanding in the implementation of equality legislation and the roles of government, employers and civil society in raising equality strategies to European standards. The project also developed a Hungarian training manual about ways in which civil society can co-operate with government in managing equality standards, to be used in the future training of Hungarian civil society organisations.
The British Council in Italy

  • Organised the Taormina conference on Framing peace: The practice and principles of humanitarian and peace operations - a British-Italian dialogue. The conference drew together practitioners and analysts from national and international agencies, including the UN, OSCE, NGOs, the media, the military, as well as academics, human rights experts and lawyers and examined issues such as the role of the UN and the Security Council, the role of the military in recent interventions, and the role of NGOs and non-state agencies.
The British Council in Romania

  • Ran a project to improve the understanding of Romanian judges and prosecutors of the practical implications of the UN Convention on Human Rights in Romania. The conference that launched the project was attended by approximately 50 judges and prosecutors from all over Romania. The project also included a visit by a senior British judge to take part in a training course for newly appointed judges and ongoing training for judges with experience.

  • Worked with Save the Children Fund Romania and the UK Children's Society on the development of a public awareness campaign on a child's right to enjoy a family life. This culminated in a day of major public events including a human chain round the government building as well as the production of a study and leaflets for the public on child abandonment in Romania.
The British Council in Russia

  • Worked with the College of Law on a DfID-funded project for the training of trainers for the judiciary. The training was attended by 16 participants, including district and city court judges but also prosecutors and defence lawyers, and officials from federal legal institutions.

  • Donated a collection of 120 UK law books to the Centre for Legal Information in Moscow, which provides information on legal issues to lawyers, judges, parliamentary researchers, students and other law professionals. Around 40 people attended the donation ceremony, which included a presentation on the British Council’s and British Embassy’s law and human rights activities. Those attending were also given a copy of a locally produced guide to UK law resources on the Internet.
The British Council in Slovakia

  • Has been funding a long-standing project to develop support strategies for the educational integration of hearing-impaired students into mainstream classes with special emphasis on social inclusion and the rights of all children to a good quality education. In 2000 a specialised in-service course was delivered to train teachers in specific topics of educational integration.
The British Council in Spain

  • Organised classes in English legal terminology for a group of public prosecutors.

  • Collaborated with the central government’s Institute for Women’s' Affairs and local counterpart offices to hold an annual seminar for professionals on domestic violence, initiating in 2000 a programme for male perpetrators delivered by the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit at the University of North London.
The British Council in Turkey

  • Organised a national seminar entitled Are children's rights human rights? The seminar was opened by the Minister of Justice and focused on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Turkey. It examined some important issues in child rights, including the rights of children in institutions and adoption and fostering. The seminar launched a new Children's Rights Centre in Turkey, established with the support of the British Council.

  • Held a series of trainers’ workshops on legal skills for human rights lawyers. The aim of the workshops was to equip lawyers better to represent their clients, particularly before the European Court of Human Rights. The training was delivered by lawyers from bar associations around Turkey with support from the College of Law.

  • Organised a national seminar on the management of prisons. The seminar was opened by the Minister of Justice and was attended by more than 70 people from both government and human rights NGOs and was broadcast live on Turkish television.
The British Council in Ukraine

  • Ran the first multi-agency child protection workshop in Ukraine, in partnership with the Ukrainian Family Planning Association, and involving representatives of the police force, the social and medical professions, and teachers. This was the first in a series of workshops covering all major regions of the country.

  • Hosted a conference with UNAIDS to sum up the results of a year-long project aimed at developing coalitions between NGOs working with, and comprised of, commercial sex workers, and between them and the medical and law enforcement authorities.

  • Organised a keynote lecture on the policing of sexual crime in the UK for Ukrainian police cadet officers, delivered by Dr Tina Skinner of the University of Leicester.

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