Advocating for the rights of older people in the context of EU accession for Balkan countries

From 23 to 24 January 2023, our Human Rights and Research Project officer, Apolline Parel, went to Belgrade to deliver training on ‘Engaging with policymakers and advocating for policy change in the process of EU accession’, as part of the COVID resilience project, in which we are a partner.

The Covid Resilience project aims to complete research study on long-term care to strengthen resilience of older persons and persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and future disasters in six countries from the Western Balkan region, in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

We co-designed – together with the European Disability Forum – and offered the first training to those civil society organisations. We exchanged views on the challenges that Western Balkan countries face when advocating for the rights of older people. It was also the opportunity to discuss synergies on how they could defend the rights of older persons, notably in adopting a United Nations’ convention on the rights of older persons, for which Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia are in favour. We discussed effective ways on how to influence governments in improving reforms in social protection, using a human rights-based approach.

The second training will have a closer look at how we can strengthen advocacy networks for long-term care. The date of the training is still to be decided but we will keep you updated!

For more information, please contact Human Rights and Research Project Officer, Apolline Parel at

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