Discrimination

Friday, 1 December 2017

Praxis Held Consultative Community Meetings to Identify Major Challenges in Non-Discrimination Legislation, Policies and Practices in Serbia

Within the framework of the project Improving the equality legal and policy framework in Serbia and monitoring implementation of equality norms and policies, implemented by the partner organisations The Equal Rights Trust, Sandžak Committee for Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms and Praxis, and supported by the European Union through EIDHR, Praxis held two consultative community meetings entitled "Identifying the major challenges in non-discrimination legislation, policies and practices in Serbia". The meetings were held in Niš and Belgrade, on 1st and 10th November respectively. The third consultative meeting was organised by Sandžak Committee for Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in Novi Pazar on 15th November. A total of 134 participants attended the events.

The consultative community meetings brought together members of vulnerable social groups, representatives of civil society organisations dealing with the protection of human rights and freedoms, legal clinic students, local human rights activists and all other stakeholders with the aim of identifying the major challenges and shortcomings in the implementation of the anti-discrimination legislative and strategic framework in Serbia, through the exchange of personal and professional experiences in relation to discrimination cases, regardless of their personal characteristics.  

These members of the project working group shared their experience with the participants: Tamara Lukšić Orlandić (independent expert), Dragana Ćirić Milovanović (MDRI-S), Vanja Macanović (Autonomous Women's Centre), Milan Đurić (Gayten), Gordana Grujičić (Group 484) and Osman Balić (SKRUG - League of Roma). The speakers were also the representatives of the organisations that were granted funds, within the project, for monitoring and documenting cases of discrimination: Milan Janković (Association of Students with Disabilities), Marijeta Lazor (Roma Researchers), Nevena Nikolić (NEOSTART), Stefan Šparavalo (Let it Be Known!) and Marija Demić (CHRIS Network). 

Six discussion groups (children's rights, women's rights, LGBT+ rights, rights of ethnic and national communities, rights of persons with disabilities and rights of migrants and refugees) defined the current major challenges and shortcomings in non-discrimination legislation, policies and practices in our country. The concluding considerations from the consultative meetings will serve to further prevent and combat discrimination through raising awareness and education, free legal assistance to victims of discrimination and advocating for systemic solutions.

Focus groups were also held within the framework of these meetings. They were conducted by Prof. Nevena Petrušić, PhD and Kosana Beker, as part of the study on the effectiveness of the anti-discrimination legislation in the Republic of Serbia, and the participants were representatives of civil society organisations dealing with protection against discrimination, persons who had been exposed to discrimination, regardless of their personal characteristics, as well as other community stakeholders. The participants discussed about the extent to which the public was familiar with the current legal framework for the prohibition of discrimination and mechanisms for the protection against discrimination, the existing barriers to access to justice for victims of discrimination, specific characteristics of the social position of individual groups, and (non-)existence of different barriers faced by different vulnerable groups. They also talked about the groups at the highest risk of discrimination, the areas where discrimination was most common, and the necessary measures and recommendations for improving the current situation. 

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action