UNDP and the Ministry of Interior implement project against online sexual violence

June 26, 2023


Combating online sexual and gender-based violence through strengthening the capacities of the Ministry of Interior is the main goal of the project which will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the MOI over the next 18 months. This is an exceptionally important activity, given that according to data from the Sector for Cybercrime in the MOI, there has been an increase in the number of criminal offenses committed through cybercrime, and the internet space is increasingly being misused for sexual harassment and stalking. The most common types of such crimes include insults, threats, and extortion using compromising materials, targeting children, former partners, and members of the LGBT community.

"The MOI is actively working on the prevention and fight against all forms of cybercrime. As of this year, offenses such as stalking and sexual harassment have been added to the Criminal Code, which expands our scope of work and enables us to focus on preventing such actions. The project that we will implement with UNDP is particularly significant in order to enhance the capacities of police officers at all levels, especially in terms of the knowledge and skills necessary for securing evidence and successfully prosecuting perpetrators of cybercrime."
Oliver Spasovski, Minister of Interior
"Digitization, on the one hand, brings many advantages and benefits for promoting sustainable social development, but on the other hand, it opens up space for numerous abuses on the internet. This is a serious problem all countries face on a global level. That is why we decided to leverage the experience of the Republic of Korea and transfer their positive practices and knowledge to North Macedonia."
Armen Grigoryan, UNDP Resident Representative

The project consists of several activities, starting with a comparative analysis of the legislation regulating this issue. Then, there will be a strengthening of the capacities of police officers for prevention of sexual exploitation and harassment on the internet through trainings conducted by representatives of the National Police Agency of the Republic of Korea. As part of the project, an education and awareness-raising campaign on online sexual and gender-based violence will be conducted for the citizens, with a focus on personal protection and the skills for identifying perpetrators of this type of crime. 

Special emphasis will be placed on the protection of women, bearing in mind that global research shows women are 27 times more likely to be harassed on the internet compared to men. 

The project "Combating Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Digital Sphere" is implemented by UNDP with financial support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.