At its 72nd session, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women considered the Fourth periodic report of the Republic of Serbia on the implementation of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The state delegation comprised 26 representatives of the legislative, executive and judicial powers, and two interpreters.
28.2.2019. Geneva – At the panel titled Development Education: A Resource for Human Rights, one of the speakers was Autonomous Women’s Center representative Tanja Ignjatovic, who spoke on the topic “Why and how to include the topic of gender-based violence in the activities of secondary schools”.
As was pointed out several times (during the monitoring of the implementation of activities from the AP for chapter 23), the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs added amendments to the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination without a public debate, nor was the draft law available on the ministry’s website.
Within the public debate procedure, the Autonomous Women’s Center submitted comments and amendments to the draft Strategy on the Development of the System of Public Informing in the Republic of Serbia. The key comment refers to the fact that the Strategy needs to be gender sensitive and gender specific, because women comprise 51% of society and because public information should enable the achievement of gender equality in all spheres of public and private life (in accordance with international standards, domestic legislation and strategic documents in this field).
At the 72nd session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, during which the Committee will consider the Fourth periodic report of the Republic of Serbia on the implementation of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (on February 28, 2019), an informal meeting of Committee members with representatives of NGOs from Serbia, UK and Botswana, was held (February 25, 2019).
With the intent to contribute to the harmonization of the legal definition of rape as a criminal act (Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia, Art 78) with the standards of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, as well as with the court proceedings of the European Court of Human Rights, Autonomous Women’s Centre initiated the expert meeting during which it was discussed about the positive obligations of the state.
Rape is a crime (criminal offense) everywhere. International standards require the punishment of any sexual act without CONSENT.
It is time for the criminal offense of Rape - Article 178 of the Criminal Code of Serbia to comply with the accepted international standards.
Therefore, support the CONSENT campaign and demand from the Ministry of Justice to modify the definition of this offense in accordance with international standards.
The Autonomous Women's Center started organizing expert meetings dedicated to the need to change the definition of the criminal offense of rape and its compliance with the standards of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.
The Autonomous Women's Center, on the occasion of publishing the text United for Child Protection, requested UNICEF to review models and concepts that support interdisciplinary work to protect children from abuse and neglect. It was asked to insist that the experts strictly comply with the existing standards and principles of work in this field, prescribed by international agreements, as well as by laws and by-laws of the Republic of Serbia. Children's safety and well-being can not be protected if their mother is punished in situations where the system did not function timely and comprehensively.
The PrEUgovor Coalition presented the latest Alarm - an independent report on Serbia's progress in implementing policies in the areas of Chapter 23 and 24 of the accession negotiations with the European Union. It is expected that, by the end of this year, the Serbian Government will adopt revised versions of the action plans for both chapters, which is a moment for these strategic documents to be fundamentally changed in order to achieve better reform results. Bobana Macanovic spoke at the press conference on behalf of the Autonomous Women's Center.