From 7-9 October, members of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) gathered in Tirana, Albania for the Tirana Workshop on Achieving a Mine-Free South Eastern Europe to conduct advocacy and outreach in support of the Mine Ban Treaty, as well as the Convention on Cluster Munitions. This was the last of a series of regional meetings convened in the lead-up to the Cartagena Summit (Second Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty) which will take place in Colombia, from 29 November - 4 December 2009.
Aside from the plenary sessions, a one day parallel program on victim assistance was held, which gathered representatives of the governments from the region, rehabilitation centers, the ICRC, ICBL, non-governmental service providers, and other victim assistance experts, including several landmine survivors. The aim was to discuss and examine the progress made and main challenges remaining in the region, as well as the way forward to overcome them and more effectively address the needs of landmine survivors in the region. LSI representatives, Ramiz Becirovic (Advocacy Coordinator) and Zeljko Volas (Outreach Coordinator) provided active contribution to this part of the workshop program.
The need for both government and NGOs/organizations of persons with disabilities, to work together to create a SMART Action Plan to be implemented after the Cartagena Summit, has been ephasized during the workshop. It also called on the government representatives for more national ownership of victim assistance programs. Although the level of victim assistance and services in the region varies, participants agreed that the biggest needs and challenges concern psychological support and socio-economic inclusion, which are still insufficient in most of the countries from the region. Practitioners underlined that peer support, along with more general psychosocial support, have proven to be very effective tools that also promote a human rights-based approach to disability in general.
ICBL representatives Bardhyl Muhadri of Albania and Zeljko Volas of Bosnia and Herzegovina shared during the parallel program and the plenary their own experience as mine survivors, and made recommendations for improving the rehabilitation and socio-economic inclusion of survivors and other people with disabilities, ending with a call for all governments to join and fully implement the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Convention on Cluster Munitions and the Mine Ban Treaty.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 March 2012 15:27 )