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South East Europe

More than 20 years of humanitarian action

A team of Handicap International deminers clearing land, Kosovo
A Handicap International demning team clearing an area of farmland in Kosovo.
© Lance Malin / Handicap International

Handicap International's actions in South Eastern Europe ended in March 2013, after more than 20 years of humanitarian action. The region is now on the path towards stability and progress.

Nearly 250 000 people were killed during the Balkans wars in the early 1990s, 3 million people were displaced, hundreds of thousands of people were injured and 10,000 individuals were victims of mines.

Regional projects (now handed over to local partners)

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Mine action
As part of the demining operation in the region, a mobile team capable of tackling all the technical difficulties encountered, continues to offer services wherever necessary.

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Preventing mine-related accidents
Mine risk prevention activities continue in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We provide technical support to the Ministry of Education to formalise a prevention curriculum in schools nationwide, and provide technical support to civil society groups involved in prevention activities. The programme seeks to meet the needs and request for support made by the Bosnian authorities in community risk management.

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Regional observation of disability
A platform for the exchange and production of information on disability through the creation of a website,, and the publication of surveys and thematic reports. This project will enable governments and international institutions such as the European Union and the World Bank to better collect field experiences so that their policies reflect the rights of persons with disabilities.

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Programme to support the creation of alternative services
A program to support the creation of alternative services such as day care centres, counselling, access to personal care assistants, etc. The programme focuses on a group of six pilots projects such as Aurora in Romania, Karindom in Bulgaria or the Centre for Independent Living in Serbia. The objective is to support and document these pilot projects in order to influence the authorities to pledge support for them, and also to encourage the development of similar initiatives in areas disadvantaged in terms of services (e.g. in northern Albania or Montenegro).

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Strengthening the movement of civil society
Establishment of a large regional project, Share-SEE (Self-Help and Advocacy for Rights and Equal Oportunities - South East Europe. The project aims to provide members of civil society with the means to advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities, to strenghten the capacities of associations of people with disabilities and to create a relationships between them. In the first two years of the project, more than 250 associations have been supported regionally and more than 70 local initiatives were funded and monitored.