Initially set up in 1996 as an initiative of the Council of Europe, Foundation of Local Democracy (FLD) has operated independently since 2003. FLD protects and advances human rights, focusing on the promotion of gender equality, the eradication of gender-based violence, and women’s empowerment in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where major systemic challenges remain in addressing gender-based violence. FLD conducts research and advocacy to advance a stronger legal framework for gender equality in line with the provisions of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women. FLD hosts the Safe Network, an informal network of eight shelters operating throughout the country, and has run a safe house for women and children survivors of violence in Sarajevo for the past twenty years. The foundation also offers capacity building to legal and health professionals working with survivors of violence, operates a free SOS helpline providing anonymous support and guidance, and provides comprehensive free legal, psychological and social aid through its centre for women.