Thursday, November 14, 2019

Advocacy

Initial premise of the Autonomous Women's Center is that policies, in order to fight against violence against women, at the local and national level should be consistent with international standards and good practices in this field. In accordance with the strategic goals, that the Convention of the United Nations and the Council of Europe should be implemented well by the state and that in the process of joining the European Union we must respect the human rights of women, Autonomous Women's Center consistently monitors the implementation of and advocates for a comprehensive, coherent, relevant, specific, efficient and effective national policies against violence against women.

deca sIn 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.

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alarm sThe 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.

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europian pillar social rights sAlmost 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.

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zakon o socijalnim kartama sThe 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.

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prava zrtava svedoka sThe 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.

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prava detetaThe 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.

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azcWithin 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.

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azc sThe Autonomous Women’s Center has prepared its comments on the initial version of the National Social Protection Strategy for the period 2019-2025, and submitted them to the Republic Institute for Social Protection. Besides a list of concrete comments, including those that commend new measures of support for specific beneficiary groups, several inconsistencies were identified between the Draft Law on Social Protection (in the process of public discussion in August 2018) and the Draft Strategy.

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Marking the national Day of Remembrance for Women Victims of Violence, the Autonomous Women’s Center appeals to women and men members of parliament not to adopt the draft amendments of the Criminal Code envisaging the prison sentence of 30 to 40 years to be replaced with life in prison.

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pravda sAWC’s independent monitoring of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence for the period July-December 2018, has confirmed earlier statements concerning the stabilization of procedures of responsible institutions in this field.  On average, 1572 of restraining orders and 689 eviction orders are issued monthly, while 663 persons receive both measures. The sex of persons against whom these measures are issued confirm well-known data – men receive them in 85% and women in 15% of cases. Data on the sex of persons who receive both urgent measures is also expected – men in 90% of cases and women in 10% of cases, which indirectly indicates that men commit more aggravated acts of domestic violence.

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zasticena sThe Regulation on Protection against Sexual Harassment and Extortion of the Faculty of Law – Union University in Belgrade, came into effect last week. This is the second faculty in Serbia (besides the Faculty of Political Sciences – University of Belgrade) that has taken steps to improve the protection of employees and students from sexual harassment by adopting a separate internal act addressing this issue. This document defines the terms “sexual harassment” and “extortion”, bans such behavior and determines measures of prevention and steps in the protection from sexual harassment, with the aim of promoting academic freedoms, equal opportunities, and respect of the integrity and dignity of all participants in the process of higher education.

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