The La Strada programme in Macedonia is implemented by the NGO "Open Gate - Women Lobby and Action against Violence and Trafficking in Women" which has been registered as an independent NGO since September 2000. The organisation Open Gate has a staff of 21 women, eight of whom are employed by the La Strada programme. The La Strada team in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia consists of the national coordinator, a prevention manager, a social assistance manager, a hotline manager and assistants.
In the past years, La Strada the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has developed into a leading NGO against trafficking in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In this capacity, La Strada has trained other NGOs that now form the National NGO Anti-trafficking Network. The network currently comprises twelve organisations, representing the country-wide constituency and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonian, Albanian, and Roma groups as well as urban and rural groups. The network was officially registered on 17 November 2006 under the name BUDNOST.
Information & Lobby
La Strada the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a member of the secretariat of the National Commission that monitors and analyses the situation of trafficking in human beings and coordinates the activities of competent institutions in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In this capacity, La Strada Macedonia presents recommendations, and suggestions concerning the improvement of identification of victims and a special human rights approach towards trafficked persons in general. Moreover, La Strada Macedonia is also a member of the Subgroup for Combating Trafficking in Children, and member of the Working Group for the National Action Plan.
Prevention & Education
La Strada Macedonia is specialised in developing and conducting activities for special target groups for children, women in risk and the Roma community, as there is still a big need to create awareness among these specific groups. Roma children are still seen as one of the main groups at risk concerning trafficking. Next to producing general prevention materials, La Strada Macedonia holds special workshops for the Roma community and other groups at risk. Moreover, La Strada Macedonia organises and implements "peer education" for both Roma and non-Roma students that shares information and materials in their community and among other peers. Printed prevention materials for the different target groups are designed and published each year, including media products such as the movie "You are Alive", produced in 2005.
Open Gate operates a 24 hour toll-free national SOS line, providing safety tips for jobs abroad, crisis intervention, emotional and physiological help, legal counselling for (potential) victims, and their parents, relatives, etc. La Strada Macedonia holds regular meetings and closely cooperates with teachers and psychologists from schools for children with special needs.
Open Gate provides long-term care for victims of trafficking, a programme that lasts from six months to one year and includes accommodation, medical services, legal services, anonymous consultations and advice, vocational training, and study and employment support. Trafficked persons who need to be accommodated are referred to the Open Gate La Strada shelter (the only one in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for nationals). La Strada Macedonia plays an important role in the National Referral Mechanism, for which La Strada has signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.