Thursday, November 23, 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.

Autonomous Women’s Centre considers that it is necessary to improve the proposed provisions of the Draft Law on Asylum and Temprorary Protection concerning the protection of female migrants and asylum seekers, in accordance with the Council of Europe Convention on Violence against Women, ratified by Serbia in 2013.

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Amendments to the Criminal Code developed by the Autonomous Women’s Center have been confirmed by the member of the GREVIO Expert Group, Ms. Vesna Ratković in an analysis on compliance of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia with the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence. This is important recognition of the quality of AWC work, after an acknowledgment given in the Report of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr.  Nils Muižnieks.

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The Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Mr. Nils Muižnieks has welcomed the ratification by Serbia of the Istanbul Convention and (re)commended “tools” developed by the Autonomous Women’s Center to monitor implementation of this international treaty.

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Autonomous Women’s Center is disappointed by the fact that the Ministry of Justice, with the assistance of the UNICEF, developed a draft Law on Juvenile Criminal Offenders and Criminal Legal Protection of Juveniles, in which the level of achieved rights for the protection of children’s rights is reduced. The proposed draft reduces the list of crimes that will be treated by judges, prosecutors and police officers who have special training in dealing with cases where children are victims. The draft of law also abolishes the current obligation of the state to set up an attorney for the child, the victim of violence, from the circle the lawyers who would represent him/her in the proceedings, leaving the prosecutor's offices and courts that in its own discretion decide whether to give that right to the child.

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Draft on the Public Law and Order, in Article 16 Prostitution, completely unfair predicts punishment only for people who are bought into prostitution (mostly women and children), ignoring the fact that people who are using/buying prostitution (mostly man), are also persons that "indulge in prostitution".

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Autonomous Women’s Center addressed an appeal to the MPs, members of the Women's Parliamentary Network, to support the amendments for the implementation of emergency barring orders as an independent police authorization.

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Autonomous Women Center has delivered to the Ministry of labour, employment, veteran and social affairs, and working group for development of the draft of the Law on financial support to families with children, general and specific comments on the Draft of the Law.

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Platform "prEUgovor" which gathers seven expert organizations, was conducted by the monitoring authorities concerning the obligations contained in the political criteria and the chapters 23 and 24.

The whole document is available here.

At the round table entitled "What kind of law on free legal aid we need", organized by the Autonomous Women's Center, in cooperation with Praxis and a coalition of civil society organizations which believe that the current draft Law is not good, there was a discussion of the key shortcomings of the draft.

Conclusions from the round table are available in Serbian language here.