Defending Human Rights Project

Start date: September 2, 2014 End date: September 1, 2017
Implementer: Macedonian Young Lawyers Association


To advance human rights protection in Macedonia through legal education and empowerment of legal professionals and civil society organizations (CSOs).


  • Developing capacities of human rights lawyers: Train law students and young legal professionals in human rights and create a pool of human rights lawyers. Provide law students and young attorneys who have completed the project’s basic and advanced human rights training with opportunities for internships in courts, the Ombudsman's Office, the Commission for Protection from Discrimination, and offices of attorneys.
  • Strategic litigation: Establish a toll-free telephone hotline which citizens can call to report human rights violations. Provide free legal aid including advice and representation of cases before domestic and the European Court of Human Rights. Prepare and present to the public, two reports with analysis regarding the respect of human rights in Macedonia.
  • Enhancing the role of civil society organizations on the promotion and protection of human rights: Strengthen the capacities of selected CSOs for advocacy in human rights, and establish a coalition of CSOs and human rights lawyers. The project will support the coalition’s public education and awareness raising campaign.

Expected Results/Impact

  • A pool established of 30 human rights lawyers;
  • 300 law students and young legal professionals trained on protection of human rights and rule of law;
  • Free legal advice provided on human rights violations to citizens;
  • 60 human rights violation cases represented before domestic courts and the European Court of Human Rights;
  • Public awareness and knowledge increased about human rights;
  • Two reports completed with analysis of the human rights status in Macedonia; and
  • 15 civil society organizations with increased capacity to advocate for human rights protection in the country.

Contact Information

Contact at USAID: Antoaneta Skartova, AOR,
Chief of Party: Zharko Aleksov
Information Officer: Martina Smilevska