- Few CSOs in the Western Balkans Six countries deal directly with organized crime or corruption. This is surprising given the impact and threats of organized crime in the region.
- Nevertheless, many organizations address vulnerabilities to organized crime and corruption and work on issues ranging from drug use to youth development, post-prison reintegration, media freedom, environmental matters and marginalized groups.
Individuals and community groups are able to build their individual and collective capacity to respond to and recover from organized crime.
Courageous and committed CSOs across the Western Balkans are doing the same, however, they would benefit from further support to help strengthen communities’ resilience.
What are the obstacles ?
- A systemic lack of coordination and solidarity among CSOs and few means of disseminating and sharing successes and good practices.
- CSOs sometimes lack awareness about the links between organized crime and the core issues of social protection and development which creates a structural barrier to building resilience against organized crime.
The work of civil society organizations across the Western Balkans is vital to tackle organized crime in the region. They provide training and support for journalists reporting on crime and corruption, teach the youth in the region about the risks of illicit activities and ways to counter it, and support people who have been affected by these crimes.