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.
The Autonomous Women's Center addresses you with a request that, under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior, to supervise the work of police officers, you should examine the responsibility of the Chiefs of Police Offices and police officers who acted on notifications and criminal charges regarding the cases of domestic violence that ended with the murder of a woman victim of violence in Pancevo, the murder of an abuser by the uncle of a female victim and severely wounding of a longtime victim of violence in Smederevo in front of her two minor children.
Exactly two years after our letter to you regarding the tragic killings of women and children in the premises of social welfare centers in Belgrade, to which we have never received an answer, the Autonomous Women's Center once again addresses you with a request to supervise the work in accordance with the competences of the Republic Public Prosecutor's Office of all public prosecutors' offices.
The media reports that D.M. who was stabbed to death in Pancevo this morning by ex-husband P.M. has passed away. This is the fourteenth woman killed since the beginning of the year and the third since the beginning of this month. The media reported that a divorce was pending, that the abuser had a restraining order measure and that the victim was placed in a safe house. It could also be read that the abuser had been known to the police before, had a history of criminal behavior and had been in prison for several years, that the entire local community knew that he was a dangerous type and that the victim was afraid of him.
Almost a year after the public hearing on the Draft Law on Social Protection, the Ministry in charge has organized a consultation meeting with interested parties on the "updated harmonized Draft Law". If we leave behind the fact that the purpose of the meeting is not completely clear in regard to the regulations on the process of developing legal documents, the key problem is that the proponent did not conduct an analysis of the effects of the options considered on society, including effects on different categories of population, and especially on vulnerable groups, whose situation may be aggravated by the implementation of public policy measures.
The Autonomous Women's Center commented on the Draft Law on Social Cards. Although the systematic solution to the problem of obtaining documentation for exercising rights in the field of social protection should facilitate the position of beneficiaries, we are of the opinion that the proponent did not offer adequate solutions to a number of issues to which the Draft Law relates.
The Autonomous Women's Center submitted comments to a working group within the Ministry of Justice that is preparing a National Strategy on the Rights of Victims and Witnesses for Crimes for the Period 2019-2025, including comments on the Action Plan for the first three years of its implementation. The drafting of the Strategy is part of the commitments undertaken by the Republic of Serbia in the process of accession to the European Union, that is, harmonization with its acquis and Directive 2012/29/EU.
The Autonomous Women's Center, together with the organizations ASTRA - Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings and Group 484, within the prEUgovor Coalition submitted to the Ministry in charge of social policy proposals and amendments to the Draft Law on the Rights of the Child and the Protector of the Rights of the Child. The AWC's comments addressed amendments to the definitions of forms of violence against the child, types of special measures to protect the child from violence as well as situations in which they are provided, amendments to the determinations regulating the child's right to recovery and reintegration, life in the family and maintaining personal relationships with family members, the obligations and responsibilities of the parents, the rights of the child housed outside the home.
In their letter, civil society organizations state: “On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of members of the vulnerable groups and beneficiaries of the social protection system we directly represent through our work, and on behalf of the entire population of the Republic of Serbia as addressees of social rights guaranteed by ratified international instruments on the basis of the constitutional principle of social justice, we express our deep concerns over the text of the Draft Social Protection Strategy.