As part of the co-operation framework co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, known as the Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey, phase II (Horizontal Facility II), the Council of Europe implements the Action “Enhancing the capacities of the penitentiary system and the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia”, in close cooperation and partnership with the Ministry of Justice (Directorate for Execution of Sanctions), Ministry of Health, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office. The Action will also involve a wide group of other national stakeholders, including prominent civil society organisations active in the area of protection and promotion of human rights.

The main aim of the Action is to contribute to a safer and more humane society that respects and protects the rights of detained and sentenced persons in line with the Council of Europe standards in the area of penitentiary and law enforcement.

The key Conventions for this Action are the European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR), as well as the recommendations of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The duration of the project is set at 36 months and it is expected to be completed by 31 December 2022, with an overall budget of 1,050,000 Euros.

PROJECT NEWS PROJECT NEWS

North Macedonia’s medical and other prison staff trained on mental healthcare provision

17 November 2022 North Macedonia

Eight doctors and medical personnel, alongside with ten prison officers working in six penitentiary institutions in North Macedonia enhanced their knowledge on mental healthcare management in prisons. This two-day session took place on 16-17 November 2022 in Skopje – the first ever such training...

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The first review of the implementation of North Macedonia’s Penitentiary Strategy shows greater focus is needed on improving material conditions and healthcare in prisons

08 November 2022 North Macedonia

Fifteen months after its adoption by the Government, the implementation of the National Strategy on the Development of the Penitentiary System in North Macedonia (2021-25) was reviewed by a dedicated working group, composed of senior representatives from the Directorate for the Execution of...

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Round Table on further improving the efficiency of the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia

04 November 2022 North Macedonia

Representatives of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Ombudsman office and senior officials of the Ministry of Interior in charge of internal control over the police met on 2 November 2022 in Skopje, to discuss their cooperation and how to increase the efficiency of the External Oversight...

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The component on radicalisation in prisons completes with a piloting and strengthened inter-institutional coordination in North Macedonia

26 September 2022 North Macedonia

The Council of Europe activities that supported the national authorities in enhancing their capacities in addressing radicalisation in prisons and managing violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) in North Macedonia were completed this week. Namely, on 20-21 September 2022, the multi-disciplinary teams...

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7th Steering Committee of the “Enhancing the capacities of the penitentiary system and the external oversight mechanism in North Macedonia”

11 July 2022 Skopje, North Macedonia

The members of the Steering Committee of the Action “Enhancing the capacities of the penitentiary system and the external oversight mechanism in North Macedonia”, noted some positive changes during the meeting on 8 July in Skopje. Namely, at its seventh regular meeting, the Committee reviewed the...

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Delegation from North Macedonia gets acquainted with the healthcare provision within the Spanish penitentiary system

2 June 2022 Spain / North Macedonia

A delegation from North Macedonia, consisting of prison doctors, senior officials of the Ministry of Health, the Head and representatives of the Directorate for the Execution of Sanctions (DES), benefitted from a study visit to Madrid, carried out in the period from 31 May to 2 June 2022. The...

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Multi-disciplinary teams in prisons in North Macedonia prepared for the piloting of the individual treatment programme on radicalisation

6 May 2022 Skopje, North Macedonia

18 members of the multi-disciplinary prison teams (MDT) exchanged experience, know-how and challenges on 4-5 May 2022 in Skopje, in preparation for the final stage of piloting the individual programme on radicalisation in prisons. The participants included members of prison police and...

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North Macedonia’s prison doctors and medical staff enhanced their knowledge on preventing and treating transmissible diseases

20-21 April 2022 Skopje, North Macedonia

Twelve doctors and medical staff covering nine penitentiary institutions in North Macedonia enhanced their knowledge on preventing and treating transmissible diseases, following the training that took place on 20-21 April 2022 in Skopje. The training was delivered by one international consultant,...

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Stakeholders discussed healthcare in North Macedonia’s prisons, agreed on future steps

22 March 2022 Mavrovo, North Macedonia

The current challenges of the provision of healthcare in prisons, as well as upcoming activities on addressing them were discussed by all relevant stakeholders in Mavrovo on 21-22 March 2022. The coordination meeting was attended by governors of all prisons and the management of the Directorate...

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Prison governors and prosecutors discussed on the functioning of the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia

17 March 2022 Skopje, North Macedonia

Representatives of prison management, including 11 prison governors from across the country, met with representatives of the External Oversight Mechanism (EOM) - prosecutors and Ombudsman office staff, in Skopje on 17 March 2022. Their discussion was focused on their respective roles in...

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Prosecutors and judges discussed the challenges faced by the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia’s court procedures

08 March 2022 North Macedonia

Prosecutors and judges from North Macedonia met on 3 March 2022 to discuss the challenges faced by the External Oversight Mechanism (EOM) in court procedure. Three prosecutors, a judge of the Skopje Criminal Court, one judge of the Supreme Court and former ECtHR judge, a prominent professor and...

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Public Prosecutor’s Office on Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption receives technical equipment to support its role in the External Oversight Mechanism

03 March 2022 North Macedonia

Technical equipment in value of over 24,000 EUR was donated today to the Unit for prosecuting crimes perpetrated by persons with police authority and members of the Prison Police, part of the Public Prosecutor’s Office on Fighting Organized Crime and Corruption in North Macedonia. Prosecutor...

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Prison and probation staff in North Macedonia further enhance their knowledge on addressing radicalisation

25 February 2022 North Macedonia

Prison staff and probation officers from across North Macedonia further enhanced their knowledge on addressing radicalisation in prisons, through their participation at cascade training sessions, held from 23 to 25 February 2022. The three 1-day sessions were attended in total by 29 prison police...

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Continuous multidisciplinary work - best way forward to support the reintegration of released violent extremist prisoners in the Western Balkans region

22 December 2021 North Macedonia

The third regional meeting in the Western Balkans dedicated to the topic of preparation for release and post-penal support to radicalised inmates and violent extremist prisoners (VEPs) took place on 21-22 December 2021 in Skopje, North Macedonia. The participants were welcomed by Mr Zlatko...

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Development of Standard Operating Procedures on provision of healthcare in prisons in North Macedonia

16 December 2021 North Macedonia

With aim to improve health services in prisons and address the shortcomings identified by the Committee for Prevention of Torture (CPT), the authorities in North Macedonia, supported by a CoE consultant, discussed the first draft of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) on the provision of...

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Prison staff in North Macedonia trained on addressing radicalisation in prisons

7 December 2021 North Macedonia

Selected prison staff from the three largest penitentiary institutions in North Macedonia enhanced their knowledge on addressing radicalisation in prisons by attending cascade training session from 1 to 3 December 2021. In total 45 prison police officers and rehabilitation specialists coming from...

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New children’s corner and library opened in the Prison of Prilep today

02 December 2021 Skopje, North Macedonia

The prisoners in the Penitentiary Facility of Prilep now have a new equipped visitors’ room dedicated for their families and children visiting the institution, as well as an equipped library. Some 40 kids and their families will benefit from this novelty, which has become possible thanks to a...

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Key actors of the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia trained on independent investigation and discussed challenges

15 October 2021 North Macedonia

A training on independent and efficient investigation upon complaints against the police and prison police was held in Skopje on 13-14 October 2021, gathering the key stakeholders involved with the External Oversight Mechanism (EOM). The training focused on the state obligations arising from...

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North Macedonia’s prison doctors and medical staff trained on recording ill-treatment indicators

11 October 2021 North Macedonia

Fifteen doctors and medical staff from nine penitentiary institutions in North Macedonia were trained on recording injuries indicative of ill-treatment. The training which took place on 7-8 October was also attended by the representatives of the Directorate for the Execution of Sanctions. The...

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North Macedonia’s senior prison management discusses the necessary interventions following the latest report of the Council of Europe Committee against torture (CPT)

12 July 2021 Skopje, North Macedonia

Prison governors and the management of the Directorate for the Execution of Sanctions (DES) of the Ministry of Justice, alongside with senior officials of the Ministry of Health and the Ombudsman’s Office, met on 12 July 2021 in Skopje, to discuss the upcoming steps in addressing the key...

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Healthcare and prison staff trained on applying the first Suicide Prevention Strategy in North Macedonia

24 June 2021 North Macedonia

Seventeen doctors and nurses, alongside with twelve prison officers, all working in the penitentiary institutions across North Macedonia were trained on implementing the Suicide Prevention Strategy. The hybrid event took place on 22-23 June in Skopje and follows the development of the Strategy...

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Key Achievements and Challenges of the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia

29 April 2021 North Macedonia

Established in 2018 with the support of the Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union, the External Oversight Mechanism (EOM) is supporting and protecting victims of human rights violations perpetrated by persons with police authority or prison police, by providing an effective investigation...

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Council of Europe raises citizens’ awareness on the External Oversight Mechanism over police

March 2021 North Macedonia

All police stations and penitentiary institutions in North Macedonia have displayed posters and brochures on the role of the External Oversight Mechanism (EOM). Established in 2018 with the support of the Council of Europe and the European Union, the EOM is supporting and protecting victims of...

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National Penitentiary Strategy of North Macedonia discussed with stakeholders

05 February 2021

A Round Table held on 5 February 2021 in Skopje brought together 33 representatives from the Directorate for the Execution of Sanctions (DES) of the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Ministry of Education and Science, Ombudsman’s Office,...

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Prison healthcare staff in North Macedonia trained on medical ethics

11 December 2020

Twenty doctors and nurses working across the penitentiary system in North Macedonia advanced their skills on medical ethics by attending an online training session on 11 December 2020. The focus of the training was on mental health services in prisons and the provision of and treatment of users...

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Prison governors in North Macedonia attend advanced training on addressing violent extremism and radicalisation

2-3 November 2020 North Macedonia

Twelve prison governors and other senior representatives of the Directorate for the Execution of Sanctions (DES), enhanced their knowledge on the latest developments and international approaches on addressing violent extremism and radicalisation in prisons, during an advanced training held in...

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Piloting of the Treatment module for radicalised inmates launched in North Macedonia

25 September 2020 North Macedonia

On 25 September 2020, the piloting of the Individual Treatment module for radicalised inmates was launched in prison Shtip, under the guidance of a Council of Europe consultant, and will last up to 6 months. Throughout the past year, a working group consisted of experienced prison practitioners...

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Third Steering Committee Meeting under the Horizontal Facility Action: “Enhancing penitentiary system and the External Oversight Mechanism in North Macedonia”

8 July 2020 Skopje/Strasbourg

The Third Steering Committee meeting of the Action “Enhancing the capacities of the penitentiary system and the external oversight mechanism in North Macedonia” took place on 8 July 2020 in a form of online meeting. The results achieved during the first half of 2020 were presented, along with the...

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The Rulebook on disciplinary measures against sentenced persons enters into force in North Macedonia

23 June 2020 North Macedonia

As of last week, the Directorate for the Execution of Sanctions of North Macedonia began applying the Rulebook on the manner of proceedings of the disciplinary commission in charge of imposing disciplinary measures against sentenced persons. The Rulebook was prepared by a working group consisted...

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Support to the prison system of North Macedonia to combat the COVID-19 pandemic

11 May 2020 Skopje

In response to the emergency of COVID-19 crisis and to the need of providing urgent support to inmates and prison staff, on 11 May 2020 a total of 30 distance thermometers were handed over to the Directorate for Execution of Sanctions, while a second delivery of 850 pieces of disinfecting agents...

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