The Kick-off and first Steering Committee Meeting of the EU-Council of Europe Joint Project “Strengthening the Capacity of Bar Associations and Lawyers on European Human Rights Standards” took place on 7 June 2018, in Ankara. The representatives of the Council of Europe, the Union of Turkish Bar Associations, the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, the Ministry of EU Affairs and Central Finance and Contracts Unit attended the kick-off event and the meeting was honoured by the participation of Mr Metin Feyzioğlu, the President of the Turkish Bars Association (UTBA). Participants representing the 5 out of 7 pilot bar associations, the Ministry of Justice, the Ombudsperson Institution, the National Human Rights and Equality Institution and Civil Society Development Centre joined in the group in order to hold the first Steering Committee Meeting of the Project. 28 participants contributed to the Steering Committee Meeting by sharing their comments and suggestions.
The objective of the Project is to enhance the effective implementation of European human rights standards in Turkey through strengthening of the capacities of bar associations and lawyers on human rights issues and the improvement of the co-ordination among them. Three expected results have been envisaged for this purpose:
- To improve the capacity of the human rights centres of the bar associations through the establishment of model human rights centres in seven pilot provinces;
- To enhance the knowledge and skills of the lawyers to apply European human rights standards in their daily work are enhanced in cooperation with the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP);
- To foster co-operation amongst the human rights centres, the bar associations, the UTBA and other stakeholders through regular meetings, a web-based common communication network and an outreach campaign.