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Training of trainers seminar: Mechanisms for Protecting the Rights of Women and Disadvantaged Persons
On December 5-6, 2003, the city of Veliko Turnovo hosted a training of trainers seminar addressed for leaders of NGOs dealing with gender equality and disadvantaged persons’ rights as well as for representatives of local administration.

Along with representatives of NGOs, disadvantaged people and ethnic minorities, the seminar was attended by women - mayors and deputy-mayors, elected in 2003, from 60 municipalities as well as local administration experts.

The event featured special training exercises on intercultural communication presented by Ms. Arian Rueda from Switzerland and Ms. Birgit Laheiner from Austria.

The presentation of Dr. Ventsislav Panchev from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski dealt with different interactive methods for conflict resolution.

The lecture of the Executive Director of the Sofia based Center for Research and Women’s Policy Foundation Ms. Tatiana Kmetova on equality policies and women’s rights and the ombudsman's role for their protection raised great interest among the participants. Ms. Kmetova provided several examples showing that actual equality may exist based solely on political will even without any legislative basis providing gender equality guarantees. However, in the last two years, significant changes have been undertaken towards the achievement of effective human rights protection through the adoption of the Law on the Ombudsman and the Law on Protection against Discrimination.

The director of Nadia Center Ms. Rossanka Venelinova presented different policies against everyday violence in the modern Bulgarian society and the activities of Nadia Center in Sofia and other cities throughout the country.

The participants shared their experience on various issues concerning the infringement and protection of human rights. Among the most active were the representatives of the groups of disadvantaged people from the cities of Svishtov and Liaskovets and the Roma minority from Zlataritsa and Strazhitsa.

Agenda of the seminar
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