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.
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 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.
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.
AWC’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.
The 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.
Based on international documents and twenty-five years of experience of working with women and children victims of domestic, intimate partner and sexual violence, the Autonomous Women’s Center submitted to the Ministry of Justice its comments on the working text of the National Strategy on the Rights of Victims and Witnesses of Crime for the period from 2019 to 2025.
At its 72nd session, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women considered the Fourth periodic report of the Republic of Serbia on the implementation of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The state delegation comprised 26 representatives of the legislative, executive and judicial powers, and two interpreters.
As was pointed out several times (during the monitoring of the implementation of activities from the AP for chapter 23), the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs added amendments to the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination without a public debate, nor was the draft law available on the ministry’s website.