6/1/2016, Belgrade: Autonomous Women Center has delivered to the Ministry of labour, employment, veteran and social affairs, and working group for development of the draft of the Law on financial support to families with children, general and specific comments on the Draft of the Law.

The most changes apply to the way reimbursement for maternity leave is calculated, which will decrease budget expenses. The draft does not stipulate reimbursements to unemployed mothers, although there is an obvious need for that. Explanations of the proposer related to the abuse of the existing Law, as a motif for suggested changes is inappropriate, since it is not stated how these abuses are confirmed and in which procedure, nor what is the percentage of abuses in relation to the total number of exercised rights.

Draft of the Law discriminates women who are independent entrepreneurs, putting them in unequal position regarding the absence due to care for the third and every next child, in regard to the amount of the reimbursement for child care and the termination of the right to reimbursement.

Especially worrying fact is that entitlement to the child allowance in the amount of symbolic 2.660,00 dinars is conditioned with regular school attendance (for school children), which confirms existence of systematic discrimination of children living in biological families. The same Ministry stipulates that allowance for a child in foster system is 16.000,00 dinars. Instead of motivating poorest parents (special temporary measure) to send their children to school by increasing child allowance when children attend school regularly, and especially for children attending high school, suggested measures will lead to the situation where poor children become poorer and more vulnerable group without perspective to leave “vicious circle of poverty”.

AWC believes that Ministry and working group will consider submitted comments with due respect.

Comments on the Law can be found in Serbian here.