Monday, September 21, 2020

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Autonomous Women's Center, Women in Black and the Humanitarian Law Center appeal to the MPs members of the Women's Parliamentary Network to vote against the Draft Law on the Rights of Soldiers, Disabled Veterans, Civilian Disabled Veterans and Family Members because the draft Law still doesn’t recognize survivors of sexual violence in armed conflict as civilian victims of war.

By proposing this Law, which does not include any proposal of civil society organizations dealing with the position and recognition of civilian victims of war, especially women survivors of war rape, the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans' Affairs and Social Affairs continues the previously established practice of proposing laws that women, children and other vulnerable categories of the population are discriminated against.

Namely, the definition of civilian victims of war stated in the Draft Law excludes a wide range of victims of war who did not suffer psychical injury of 50%, especially persons who survived war rape, since the most frequent consequences of this crime are of a primarily psychological nature.

We would like to remind us all that the Republic of Serbia is the only country in the region that has not recognized by its laws survivors of sexual violence during the war and has not provided any form of reparation for them, which is contrary to numerous United Nations documents and recommendations given by the European Commission to Serbia in the accession negotiations.

We believe that female MPs, after adopting amendments to the electoral law according to which in the next convocation will be 40% of the less represented gender, owe it to the women in Serbia to have the strength and will to vote contrary to the will of the political parties to which they belong. We recall that in this Assembly, MPs voted in favor of a large number of laws that worsened the existing situation of women and children in Serbia, among which the most significant damage was done by the Law on Financial Support to Families with Children.

We therefore appeal to the MPs, members of the Women's Parliamentary Network, to be united and be the voice of women who have been raped in the war, against the proposed Law.