Review of WFD's HUGEN activities and impact

Review of WFD's HUGEN activities and impact
Since the establishment of the Human Rights and Gender Equality Network of Committees (HUGEN) in the Western Balkans in 2019, more than 200 members of parliaments and 40 parliamentary staff members, from 8 participating parliaments, have been cooperating on improving human rights and gender laws and policies.
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20 December 2021
Introduction

Through HUGEN, a regional pilot process of post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) of human rights and gender equality legislation was implemented for the first time in the Western Balkan region. The PLS pilot process was a landmark in promoting a culture of conducing effective oversight among parliaments. Within this initiative, the HUGEN network parliaments were in the position to proactively monitor the implementation and impact of specific legislation. Since the beginning of the pilot process, 7 parliaments from the HUGEN network selected 8 laws to scrutinise, and 126 recommendations were developed.

Through regular regional meetings and conferences, parliaments from the Western Balkans had the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences around different human rights and gender equality topics. During times of crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, human rights are often derogated and violated. This is why continuous online multilateral meetĀ­ings and webinars were organised to improve current practices and adopt best international models. Another important topic for MPs and staff members was exploring how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting different disadvantaged social groups.