Friday, October 20, 2017

Advocacy

Initial premise of the Autonomous Women's Center is that policies, in order to fight against violence against women, at the local and national level should be consistent with international standards and good practices in this field. In accordance with the strategic goals, that the Convention of the United Nations and the Council of Europe should be implemented well by the state and that in the process of joining the European Union we must respect the human rights of women, Autonomous Women's Center consistently monitors the implementation of and advocates for a comprehensive, coherent, relevant, specific, efficient and effective national policies against violence against women.

On 24th of June, representatives of Autonomous Women's Center participated in an expert meeting on defining Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for institutional conduct in cases of gender based violence in crisis situations. The meeting was organized by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Serbia, which has prepared the preliminary draft National Standard Operating Procedures for Prevention of and Response to Gender Based Violence in Crisis Situations, in cooperation with the Republic Institute for Social Protection.

AWC's General Comments to the SOP were related to:

1. operability of the document – it was stated that it is necessary to operationalize the procedure in terms of deadlines, specific actors and tasks, as well as use the precise terms (instead of appropriate, timely, in most cases);

2. imprecision of the definition of gender-based violence - it is necessary to specify the definition of gender-based violence, and to define the forms of GBV covered by the document, in order not to interfere adult women and children victims of violence. It is necessary to align the document with the SOP for the treatment of children, which was drafted by UNICEF;

3. unclear and incompletely defined gender-sensitive procedure - it was pointed out that it is necessary to precisely and strictly define gender-sensitive procedure and approach in each of the relevant systems covered by the SOP;

4. lack of procedures in cases in which the support providers are perpetrators - as it was failed to establish the procedure to be followed in cases when supporters are those who commit violence against refugees and other persons in a crisis situation, it is necessary to include this procedure in the document and prescribe it in detail;

5. coordinated actions of different actors – the coordination of the different actors is not precisely defined, particularly in terms of responsibilities and procedures in different systems.

AWC has expressed doubts about the effectiveness of coordination, considering that this role was given to the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, which had not managed to establish the coordination in cases of domestic and intimate-partner violence against women, in accordance with the General and Special protocols.