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.
Since Monday, media have been reporting on the attempted murder of a woman in New Belgrade. In a parking lot in front of a building, D.J. (age 25) fired several shots from a gun at his wife T.J. (age 25), in front of their baby and passers-by. The victim had left him some time before and reported him for violence. He was, at that time, issued an urgent restraining order, which he respected until its expiration in April. The victim’s fear for her life is confirmed to media by her friend, who said she had been exposed to violence before, but was afraid to report it.
The Women against Violence Network and the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia pointedly condemn the lack of appropriate reaction by the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) to violence against women and children in reality programs that have been broadcast for years on TV Pink and TV Happy. We hereby request REM to issue its strictest measures against the reality programs “Parovi” (Engl: Couples) and Zadruga (Engl:Coop) with the aim of combatting violence against women and children in the media.
At the session of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, held on June 5, 2019 in Belgrade, Autonomous Women’s Center representative Tanja Ignjatovic participated in the session titled “Violence against women: progress and challenges in Serbia”.
Within the public discussion on the Draft Law on Rights of Veterans, Army Disabled Veterans and Civilian Disabled Persons of War and Members of Their Families, the Autonomous Women’s Center and Women in Black submitted comments to the competent Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Issues, requesting the recognition of survivors of sexual violence in war as civilian victims of war.
The Autonomous Women’s Center held a meeting with representatives of women’s organizations from the Women against Violence Network, titled Rights of women and marginalized groups in the process of the European integration of Serbia – perspectives and strategies of women’s organizations. At a meeting in Belgrade, on June 7-8, 2019, organized in cooperation with the prEUgovor coalition, and with the support of Kvinna till Kvinna and the EU, the representatives of women’s organizations had the opportunity to learn about the current situation concerning three negation chapters relevant for women’s rights and the functioning of women’s organizations.
Media report that this morning in Novi Sad, M.J. (32) has been murdered by her husband G.J. (36), who has also murdered her mother N.P. (57) and her father B.P. (57), and that the police is searching for the suspect. Based on media reports, the murders were preceded two weeks ago by a report for domestic violence resulting in the urgent measure of a restraining order and bringing criminal charges for domestic violence. It has also been reported (without a clear time reference) that the suspect had been reported for illegal weapon possession.
Considering the announcement of legalization of surrogacy, proposed in the new Pre-draft of The Civil Code, Autonomous Women’s Centre warns the public, state institutions and members of the group working on the document, that the legalisation of surrogacy represents legalisation of serious form of exploitation of women and trafficking in children.