Product and Chemical Safety in the Balkans
Midterm report: WECF’s Balkan partners, Women´s Movement for Integral Development (LGZHI Albania), Journalists for Human Rights (Macedonia), Resource Center Leskovac (Serbia), accomplished goals planned in the “Product and Chemical Safety in the Balkans” project.
WECF’s Balkan partners achieved many successes over the past 9 months of the project. Many of the goals that were planned in the beginning of the conference have been accomplished and will continue to be enacted until the end of the project in February.
WECF’s Balkan partners, Women´s Movement for Integral Development (LGZHI Albania), Journalists for Human Rights (Macedonia), Resource Center Leskovac (Serbia), have accomplished many of the goals planned in the “Product and Chemical Safety in the Balkans” project. WECF is proud to have been a part of such accomplishments and is looking forward to the continuation of the project.
All of the Balkan partners have completed and will continue to pursue their country’s main activities outlined in the project. These activities are: updating the Inventory, which compares each country’s actual and legal situation of chemical safety to the EU situation, the development of an internet tool and training kit in their own language anda capacity building Multi-Stakeholder training held in each country, with the aim of strengthening cooperation among Balkan countries, EU, and international civil society organisations, awareness raising and press activities. The partners are at the moment preparing a a closing Corporate Social Responsibility Conference and evaluation meeting for the project.
During this period, the Resource Centre Leskovac’s activities have increased institutional support in the Republic of Serbia. In addition to the activities detailed in the paragraph above, our Serbian partner has also been successful in cooperating with the Public Health Institute BATUT from Belgrade and the Institute for Public Health-Leskovac, in regards to toy testing. A stable partnership was established with the Serbian Schema Chemical Agency. The project results can be found in Serbia’s Inventory. The Inventory, Training Kit, Press Work and other relevant information can be found on the Serbian partner’s project page, http://toysafety.rcleskovac.rs/.
The Journalists for Human Rights have taken a particular interest in how the chemical safety topic applies to nurseries and kindergartens. In addition to the main projects activities, they have worked extensively in developing a “Protocol for Standardization of Ecosafe Nurseries” for Macedonia. Our Macedonian partner has started cooperation with kindergartens in Skopje’s Cair municipality, and has plans to continue and initiate this protocol even after the closing of the Balkan project. Further information about the main activities and news can be found on the Macedonian partner’s project page, https://sites.google.com/site/toxictoysmkd/.
The Women’s Movement for Integral Development have initiated their country’s main activities of the Balkan project as the “Albanian Safe Toys Coalition (CATS).” CATS main objectives aim to: 1. Protect children’s health by striving for a world free of toxic and unsafe toys, and 2. Address decision makers, producers, retailers, and the public on a national level, while encouraging and helping consumers to make informed decisions. The CATS initiative and the Albanian multi-stakeholder training have influenced the adoption of two new laws regulating the consumer product safety and market surveillance in Albania- The Law on General Product Safety and the Law on Accreditation and Surveillance Relating to the Market. The two laws establish the rules of the organization, operation and accreditation of conformity assessment bodies and provide CE mark requirements. On top of this a Toys Test was conducted by the Institute of Applied Nuclear Physics, University of Sciences in Tirana showing that some of the tested toys contained hazardous substances which might cause significant problems in children's health.
Further information about the main activities and news can be found on the Albanian partner’s project page, http://www.lgzhi.com/?page_id=78.
The conclusion and complete dissemination of the “Product and Chemical Safety in the Balkans” project’s achievements will convene in May 2013 at the concluding conference in Belgrade, Serbia.
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