WaterLex Netherlands representative, Jan van de Venis was in Skopje, FYROM on 21 June 2016 to train thirteen groups of people, representing the Ombudsman, ministries, water operators, the city of Skopje and NGO groups. This training is one of several performed this year by WaterLex as part of our global work and as part of the the National Human Rights Institutions Water Initiative for Good Water Governance.

The training event consisted of an intense day of four Modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to the human right to water and sanitation and other water-related human rights
  • Module 2: Practices and experiences and the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Module 3: Mapping specific human rights and water issues – identification of challenges
  • Module 4: Mapping specific human rights and water issues – discussion on recommendations

The first part of this training covered the human right to water and sanitation, on practices and experiences regarding water and human rights, human rights and business and on the Sustainable Development Goals. Mr van de Venis also presented to the group the NHRI Water Initiative.

FYR Macedonia Training by Jan van de VenisDuring the second part of the training, participants formed groups and identified human rights and water issues specific in the country. At the end of the day, they were expected to suggest recommendations to address those issues in the context of what they learned in the training.

Participants noted that implementing the human right to water and sanitation is a major challenge that requires dialogue and sharing of data between many stakeholder groups, including ministries, NGOs, and other public institutions in the country. They identified further training needs on monitoring, evaluation and implementation and found practical examples of tools to use to move the 2030 Agenda forward.

During the training, Jan van de Venis gave two TV interviews, including a live interview for FYROM’s national TV on the need for and benefits from a human rights-based approach to water governance. This interview was later on aired on Albania TV as well, sharing the work of WaterLex to a broader audience.

WaterLex would like to thank Natasha Dokovska, Executive Director, Journalists for Human Rights for her assistance and guidance on initiating this training and her facilitation of the training logistics. Ms Dokovska came to the headquarters of WaterLex in July for further training on “Water Governance and Human Rights.”

We would also like to thank the FYROM Office of the Ombudsman and all of the participants for making the training a success. This training was made possible by partnership support from Sida and SDC.


Links and more information on WaterLex training and programmes:

If your NHRI is interested in a training similar to this one, please see the WaterLex offer page here, with forms.

For the NHRI Water Initiative for Good Water Governance, please see this page for information and how NHRIs may join. Currently the network is over 30 NHRIs including regional networks of NHRIs globally.

For news on the July 2016 training event in Geneva, please read more here.

The Journalists for Human rights website.

The FYROM Ombudsman’s office website.


Top Image: Wikimedia commons – Skopje, River Vardar and the Stone Bridge By Photo Balkan – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.