In line with their efforts to establish an institutional system for the protection of children in Serbia that would be as adequate as possible, the Autonomous Women’s Center, ASTRA and Group 484 prepared the comments and proposals for amendments and supplements to the Draft Law on the Rights of the Child and the Protector of the Rights of the Child, submitted during the public debate to the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs.
A general comment relating to the adoption of the Law on the Rights of the Child relates primarily to the question of whether such a single law is necessary in the first place, and whether it is possible to codify all norms concerning the rights of the child in a single law.
The prEUgovor coalition present its latest Alarm - report on Serbia’s progress in implementation of policies in the areas covered by chapters 23 (Judiciary & Fundamental Rights) and 24 (Justice, Freedom & Security) of the EU accession negotiations.
The prEUgovor Alarm’s findings point to the fact that Serbia is not doing enough in order to make progress in priority areas. The lack of dialogue in democratic institutions, primarily in the National Assembly, in the media and society in general challenges the meaning of reform efforts. Therefore, the key question that will be addressed at the conference is what needs to be done in order to improve the Rule of Law in Serbia, especially when considering lack of positive impact of the ongoing reforms, as reported in prEUgovor Alarms.
The prEUgovor coalition presents its latest Alarm – report on Serbia’s progress in implementation of policies in the areas covered by chapters 23 (Judiciary & Fundamental Rights) and 24 (Justice, Freedom & Security) of the EU accession negotiations.
The presentation of the report is scheduled for 24 October 2019, starting at 11:00, Media Centre (Terazije 3, first floor), Belgrade.
Folowing the invitation of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans' and Social Affairs, which began the process of preparing the Strategy for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination for the period 2020-2025, the Autonomous Women's Center submitted its proposals.
Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans' and Social Affairs, which in February 2019 without public debate submitted to the National Assembly Amendments to the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination after the reaction of the Coalition Against Discrimination and the organizations that supported the request to withdraw the proposal (among which was also the Autonomous Women's Center), however, had to open a public debate on the Draft. This prevented obvious violation of the provisions of the Law on Planning System of the Republic of Serbia by the competent ministry.
The Court of Appeal in Belgrade, with the support of a court expert and a lawyer, violates the rights of the child and the rights of minors who are warranted by ratified international conventions and laws of the Republic of Serbia, because by its acquittal sends a message to anyone who has sexual relations with girls of Roma origin that they will not be held responsible.
The first draft of the revised Action Plan for Chapter 23, on anti-discrimination policy, does not contain the CEDAW Committee recommendations that Serbia received in March this year, although this would be expected. Surprisingly, the new Action Plan for the Implementation of the Gender Equality Strategy, in the planned activities, budgets and impact assessment indicators, does not sufficiently integrate these recommendations. What does this say about the "commitment and seriousness" of state actors, read in the text by Tanja Ignjatovic from the Autonomous Women's Center, which is an integral part of the 19th issue of the rEUformator newsletter on Chapters 23 and 24.
Commenting on the measures and activities in the new Action Plan for the implementation of the Gender Equality Strategy for the specific objective 1.5. referring to the "increased safety of women from gender-based violence", the Autonomous Women's Center noted that the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, which Serbia received on March 8, 2019, was not taken into account. It was also pointed out that the planned budgetary funds for the realization of this specific objective are completely inadequate (in the next two years it will be allocated 1,550,000 dinars, which is the sum of a smaller project), but also that the cost structure is inadequate (because it includes the financing of consultations, research, analysis, study and only three trainings), while the means to establish central records on the implementation of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence are unknown (planned from donor funds, but it is not yet known whether these funds are secured).
The AWC has prepared the first independent report on the activities of the newly formed National SOS Helpline for women with experience of violence, for the period January-June 2019. The report indicates that the number of received calls in the observed period is twice less than the number displayed by the newly formed SOS Helpline, and amounts to 934 calls (155.7 calls on average per month). The other 861 calls, made up of "test" calls, should not be counted and displayed because they do not originate from callers.
The Autonomous Women's Center, in cooperation with the Women's Rights Center and the Women's Safe House in Podgorica, held three seminars aimed at training professionals from social work centers in Montenegro, attended by representatives of the police, prosecution, judiciary and civil sector. The seminars were well evaluated, and it was an opportunity to exchange views of experts from two countries that share similar experiences regarding the problem of protection of victims of domestic violence, especially women and children.