Praxis

Praxis

Praxis’ submission to the European Commission regarding Serbia 2021 Annual Report gives an overview, inputs and recommendations regarding Political Criteria and Rule of Law chapters, specifically state of civil society, pulic administration reform and rule of law and fundamental rights.

Space for civil society in Serbia is constantly shrinking. According to a research Praxis conducted in 5 local self-governments in Serbia in 2020, local civil society organizations are facing continuous weakening of their capacities, they are almost entirely dependent on funding from the local self-governments and are under constant pressure as they do not want to confront the authorities. There are more and more undemocratic practices which cause numerous irregularities in public calls for funding of civil society organizations. The space for civic participation is objectively small or practically does not exist.

As for public administration reform, respectively policy development and coordination and accountability of administration, Praxis findings show that the weaknesses of the system and insufficiently developed mechanisms for participation in the development of policies at the national level are even more pronounced at the level of local self-governments where there is almost no transparency and participation, except in exceptional cases. With reference to citizens’ free access to information of public importance, there is still no full implementation of the regulations relating to this right, while regarding openness towards the public, local self-governments are the most transparent in terms of information and data for which there is a clear legal obligation in terms of disclosure, which certainly does not mean that the local self-governments publish all legally prescribed information.

With regards to the Rule of Law and Fundamental Rights, Praxis’ focus was on the access to free legal aid and Roma inclusion. In addition to pointing to shortcomings of the Law itself, Praxis’ inputs show that an effective system of free legal aid, which will enable all socially vulnerable citizens to access justice through easily accessible and professional free legal aid has not been established yet. The experience of Praxis’ beneficiaries who tried to obtain legal aid in this way in the first year of application of the Law is extremely negative. Furthermore, there was no appropriate campaign at the beginning of the implementation of the Law, due to which most marginalised and socially vulnerable citizens still do not know that they have the right to free legal aid or where to seek assistance.

Regarding Roma inclusion, Praxis pointed out the shortcomings regarding access to personal documentation. The report identifies problems with timely birth registration, since, in cases when parents do not possess an ID card or a birth certificate, it is still not possible to register the new-born child with all the necessary data entered (including the child’s name) right upon birth. Furthermore, the inputs identify the latest challenges in the implementation of the procedure for determination of time and place of the birth, problems in acquisition of citizenship for otherwise stateless children born in Serbia, but also in residence registration.

When it comes to access of Roma to the right to social protection, Praxis inputs point to the challenges related to the Law on Financial Support to Families with Children and the Law on Social Protection. Regarding access to humanitarian aid during the state of emergency, Praxis pointed out that persons without documents, which are mostly members of Roma national minority, were denied systemic social support, because they are invisible to the system, while the consequences of the impact of the epidemic and the applied restrictive policy measures further worsened their situation.

A significant number of Roma children are still facing a series of obstacles in access to education. According to the research Praxis conducted, completion of primary education and transition into secondary education is recognized as the most critical point, since the drop out in this period is the most frequent. There are numerous reasons for this: stereotypes and discrimination inside the educational institutions that Roma students are facing, coverage of Roma children in pre-school activities is significantly lower than in majority population, lower coverage and lower level of completion of primary education, insufficient knowledge of a number of children of the language in which they are being educated, lower quality of knowledge acquired by Roma children and lower achievements, as well as segregation of Roma students. The already difficult position of Roma students was additionally aggravated since many Roma families lie in absolute poverty, without electricity, access to internet and without necessary devices needed for attending online schooling.

Discrimination against Roma is a problem addressed by institutions and public policies, but the persistence of discriminatory treatment and behaviour towards them indicates that it is necessary to strengthen existing resources and build new capacities through a comprehensive anti-discrimination policy. Employment, exercising the right to work, social protection and health care and education, spatial segregation and segregation in education, as well as hate speech, are forms of discrimination that, despite the established institutional protection, make exercising the rights of Roma more difficult.

Due to poor qualifications, marginalization and prejudices, the Roma face difficulties in finding employment. Access to work and sources of income is the key area in which the risks for Roma have increased during the restrictive measures and response of the State to the epidemic.

Finally, Praxis also specified the problem of child, early and forced marriages in Serbia that mostly affects the Roma population. Adequate addressing of child marriages by relevant government institutions is still missing, despite the domestic and international regulations that bind them, mainly because they still see child marriages just as a part of Roma culture and tradition, and not as a serious violation of the rights of children, particularly girls.

 

Praxis’ Contribution to the European Commission’s Serbia 2021 Annual Report can be found HERE

Within the project „Legal Assistance to Persons at Risk of Statelessness in Serbia, funded by UNHCR, Praxis prepared the report “Child, Early and Forced Marriages in Serbia – regulations, response and prevention”.

Child marriage represents a gross violation of child rights, especially the rights of girls, child neglect, deprivation of the right to childhood, education, proper and full development and freedom of choice, and it often includes child abuse. International and national regulations provide a satisfactory legal framework for the prevention and response to child, early and forced marriages, but the fact that as many as one third of Roma girls are currently in child marriage indicates a clear failure to implement numerous international conventions that Serbia has ratified, as well as domestic legislation.

The report, on the one hand, presents the results of the research on practical implementation of the Instruction on the manner of work of social welfare centres - guardianship authorities in the protection of children against child marriages which regulates the manner of work of social welfare centres in the protection of children from child, early and forced marriages in situations where there is a risk of entering such a marriage or where such a marriage exists. On the other hand, the report also provides an overview of Praxis activities and findings from 2020 relating to child, early and forced marriages, primarily prevention activities in the work with primary school children, as well as the views and attitudes of children about this issue.

Praxis research showed that less than half of the social welfare centres keep separate records on child marriages (43%). The centres detected only 313 cases of the risk of child marriage or child marriage in the previous two years, while current data from UNICEF (MICS 6 – Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey from 2019) indicates that 34.1% of Roma girls in the age group 15-19 are currently married or cohabiting. The centres immediately intervened in only 29% of these cases, i.e. assessed that in less than a third of cases there was a threat to the life, health and development of a child in need of protection, although the children were married or at risk of child marriage. The centres did not have an answer about the evaluation of undertaken measures and provided services for more than a third of the cases (36%) and they managed to return only 21% of the children to their primary families by applying the available measures and services.

Through workshops organized with children, it may be concluded that they are well aware of the existence of this harmful phenomenon in their community and that they make a distinction between voluntary and forced marriages. As regards forced marriages, a distinction was made between those involving the sale of a bride, arranged marriages and, finally, marriages as a type of punishment for children. In addition to the mentioned forced marriages, the children also gave examples of voluntary marriages, but these marriages also involved paying a certain amount for the child. In fact, the only type of marriage where there was no payment for the bride are those for which children do not have the support of their families and have to run away from home. The children were not aware that the child selling they talked about and the coercion of minors to marry were criminal offences. The children expressed complete distrust in institutions, because they were not aware of any situation where the mentioned bodies responded appropriately or prevented a child marriage.

In the communities where examples of child marriages were most common there were many responses such as: "Nobody can do anything to parents." "Whether she wants it or not, she MUST." "Nobody asks her anything." "She cannot try anything!

The report indicates that there is no necessary systemic response of all competent institutions and that it is urgent to intensify the activities aimed at preventing child, early and forced marriages through a networked and multidisciplinary approach of all actors that should be continuously trained, informed and held accountable.

 

The report may be found HERE

Monday, 29 March 2021 00:00

Objavljen je ažuriran Indeks apatridije

 

 

Evropska mreža za pitanja apatridije (ENS) objavila je ažuriran Indeks apatridije, koji sadrži nove informacije o situaciji u Srbiji. U Indeksu se ocenjuje da uprkos određenim naporima da se spreči i eliminiše pojava apatrdije, u zakonodavstvu i praksi u Srbiji i dalje postoje nedostaci.

Tako i dalje nije moguć upis u matičnu knjigu rođenih odmah nakon rođenja dece čiji roditelji ne poseduju dokumente, a odredbe zakona čija je svrha da spreče pojavu apatridije među decom rođenom u Srbiji ne primenjuju se na adekvatan način u praksi. Pored toga, u Srbiji i dalje ne postoji postupak za utvrđivanje statusa lica bez državljanstva, koji bi apatridima omogućio punu zaštitu koju im garantuje međunarodno pravo.

Ažurirani Indeks apatridije sadrži i dodatne informacije o lišavanju državljanstva u Srbiji, kao i nove statističke podatke.

Indeks apatridije je onlajn alatka koja procenjuje kako zemlje u Evropi štite lica bez državljanstva i šta rade na sprečavanju i smanjenju apatridije. Indeks je prva takva alatka koja pruža sveobuhvatnu komparativnu analizu i trenutno obuhvata 27 evropskih država, uključujući Srbiju. On omogućava korisnicima da lako uoče koje oblasti zakona, politika i prakse države mogu unaprediti.

Nacionalna koalicija za decentralizaciju (NKD), u saradnji sa ,,Ujedinjeni protiv kovida’’ organizuje onlajn Napokon Korisnu Debatu "Vakcinom za život" u sredu, 14. aprila od 19 sati putem Zoom aplikacije.

Svesni da je tema vakcinacije od neprikosnovene važnosti, kako u Srbiji, tako i na globalnom nivou, želimo da, kroz razgovor sa stručnjacima iz sveta medicine, razbijemo predrasude o imunizaciji, mitove o ,,čipovanju’’ kroz vakcinu, čujemo od stručnjaka zbog čega bez kolektivnog imuniteta nema povratka normalnom životu.

Ko sme, a ko ne sme da se vakciniše? Da li su vakcine (ne)dovoljno dugo ispitivane? Kada ćemo poljubiti roditelje, zagrliti bake, deke, unuke ili otići kod prijatelja na veselje? Ovo su neka od pitanja na koja će na onlajn tribini ,,Vakcinom za život’’ odgovarati:

  • Doc. dr Emina Milošević, specijalista imunologije
  • Dr Ivana Prokić, doktor nauka u oblasti epidemiologije
  • Dr Bojan Dereta, specijalizant opšte medicine
  • Dr Miloš Bojović, specijalizant fizikalne medicine i rehabilitacije

Moderatorka Antonela Riha

 

Pozivno pismo sa linkovima možete preuzeti OVDE

Thursday, 08 April 2021 00:00

Danas je Svetski dan Roma!

Danas obeležavamo Svetski dan Roma, drugi tokom trajanja pandemije usled koje i ovaj 8. april prolazi nedovoljno u proslavljanju romske kulture na način i u obimu koji ona to zaslužuje, već više u ukazivanju na probleme sa kojima se Romi i Romkinje suočavaju. 

Brojne studije pokazuju da se položaj Roma i Romkinja, posebno onih najugroženijih među njima, dodatno pogoršao u poslednjih godinu dana. Romi se kao višestruko ugrožena grupa stanovništva i dalje nalaze u teškom materijalnom položaju, neadekvatnim uslovima stanovanja, a naročito su u teškom položaju žitelji neformalnih naselja.  

Pripadnici romske populacije su višestruko diskriminisani na tržištu rada, a čak i kada su zaposleni, loše su plaćeni ili često rade poslove koji su opasni po njihov život i zdravlje. Usled mera tokom vanrednog stanja, kao i odgovarajućih mera za sprečavanje i suzbijanje zarazne bolesti nakon toga, Romi i Romkinje koji su se bavili, između ostalog, trgovinom, sakupljanjem sekundarnih sirovina, muzikom su ostajali bez prihoda ali i bez adekvatne i targetirane pomoći države koja bi donekle olakšala tešku situaciju u kojoj su se ove grupe stanovništva našle.  

Jedan broj Roma i Romkinja i dalje se suočava sa problemom nedostatka ličnih dokumenata, koji im onemogućava pristup drugim osnovnim pravima. Iako najranjivija grupa u društvu kojoj je pomoć najviše potrebna, lica koja nisu upisana u matične knjige, nemaju državljanstvo, prijavljeno prebivalište ili ličnu kartu tokom vanrednog stanja nisu mogla da pristupe humanitarnoj pomoći jer se nisu nalazili na spiskovima centara za socijalni rad i lokalnih samouprava. Sto evra državne pomoći njima je ostalo nedostižno, iako im je više nego drugima bilo potrebno.  

Nedovoljno je urađeno kako bi se promenila slika niskog obrazovnog nivoa romske populacije, naročito u doba onlajn nastave, i posebno u situacijama kada deca uče iz svojih domova u neformalnim naseljima bez struje ili kada nemaju pristup računarima.  

Situacija je nepromenjena i na polju prevencije dečjih, ranih i prinudnih brakova. Institucije koje su nadležne da se ovom pojavom bave i dalje nastavljaju da na nju gledaju kao na deo romske tradicije, a ne kao na kršenje prava deteta, i ne rade dovoljno na njenoj prevenciji i eliminaciji.  

Rezultati istraživanja pokazuju da su pripadnici romske nacionalne manjine izloženi diskriminaciji, vređanju, omalovažavanju i govoru mržnje u svakodnevnom životu, a usled straha od viktimizacije najčešće ne traže zaštitu od diskriminacije.  

Iako su već prepoznati kao jedna od najugroženijih grupa po stepenu društvene isključenosti i stope siromaštva, pandemija izazvana virusom COVID-19 je sve ove probleme naglasila, a pobrojane situacije sa kojima se romska populacija u Srbiji susreće dodatno pogoršala. 

Stoga je bitno da svi zajedno, od institucija, organizacija civilnog društva, medija, do celokupne javnosti posvetimo više pažnje smanjenju jaza između jedne od najbrojnijih nacionalnih manjina, Roma i opšte populacije kroz iskorenjivanje diskriminacije i predrasuda i kroz adekvatnije mere za smanjenje siromaštva zasnovane na relevantnim podacima.  

Iako fokusirani na rad sa najugroženijima, koji usled dugogodišnje diskriminacije i marginalizacije nemaju poverenje da je bilo šta moguće promeniti, uočavamo neophodnost i potrebu promocije primera dobre prakse, priča o uspešnim Romima i Romkinjama, kako bi se pozitivno uticalo na ostale pripadnike zajednice da iskoriste mogućnosti i daju svoj pun doprinos u domenima društvenog, ekonomskog, političkog i kulturnog života, ali i kako bi se uticalo na promenu odnosa pripadnika većinske populacije prema romskoj zajednici. Neophodno je da zauzvrat država stvori ambijent u kome bi Romi i Romkinje zaista osetili dobrobiti takve socijalne uključenosti, kako bismo zaista imali društvo kome težimo, u kome je romska populacija nesporno prepoznata i poštovana kao sastavni deo njegove raznolikosti. 

Saopštenje možete preuzeti OVDE

Komitet za ljudska prava Ujedinjenih nacija ocenio je da odgovor Srbije na preporuke koje je Komitet doneo u okviru Zaključnih zapažanja o primeni Međunarodnog pakta o građanskim i političkim pravima u Srbiji nije zadovoljavajući i da preporuke Komiteta nisu ispunjene.  

Reč je o preporukama koje se odnose na rešavanja pitanja koje je Komitet izdvojio kao naročito značajna i koje je potrebno hitno rešiti, a među njima i na određene probleme sa kojima se u Srbiji suočava romska populacija. Između ostalog, Komitet je Srbiji preporučio da olakša i omogući upis u matičnu knjigu rođenih deci čiji roditelji ne poseduju lične dokumente, kao i da interno raseljenim Romima koji žive u neformalnim naseljima omogući prijavu prebivališta.  

S obzirom da Srbija nije ispunila preporuke, Komitet je odlučio da ove probleme uvrsti u listu pitanja kojima će otpočeti naredni ciklus izveštavanja o sprovođenju Međunarodnog pakta o građanskim i političkim pravima u Srbiji. 

Praxis je prethodno Komitetu ukazao na probleme koje imaju pripadnici romske populacije u vezi sa upisom u matične knjige, sticanjem državljanstva i prijavom prebivališta, kao i pristupom pravima na obrazovanje, socijalnu i zdravstvenu zaštitu i javnim uslugama.  

Belgrade, March 15, 2021

 

On the occasion of the open call for physical violence by the Member of the National Assembly, Aleksandar Martinović, civil society organizations gathered in National Convention on the European Union working groups for Chapters 23 and 24 and cross-sectoral groups for political criteria and freedom of expression and the media demand a reaction from the President of the National Assembly from the position of Chairman of the Committee on Administrative, Budgetary, Mandate and Immunity Issues.

At a regular session, on March 11, 2021, Aleksandar Martinović threatened that anyone who criticized the government would be "beaten in the jack", thus openly calling for violence. We express our support and solidarity with CRTA and other organizations and individuals who have been accused by MP Martinović of participating in the "coup d'etat". We ask the members of the Committee for Administrative-Budgetary and Mandate-Immunity Issues to urgently remove the chairman of the Committee from this position; the President of the Assembly, Ivica Dacic, to sanction the drastic violation of the Code of Conduct, and the MP Martinovic to publicly apologize to CRTA.

The National Assembly forum must not be abused for the purpose of inappropriate reckoning with dissidents who are not in a position to answer to accusations. With the threats presented, MP Martinović once again showed that he is not worthy to perform the function of the Chairman of the Assembly Committee which should decide on cases of violation of the Code of Conduct for MPs. Martinovic, as well as his colleagues from the same parliamentary group, show how they have no intention to improve the work of the legislative body.

The criminalization of civil society, the media and political opponents has not stopped, despite the warnings from relevant domestic and international institutions and organizations. Verbal attacks by representatives of the executive and legislative branches of power mark the civil society organizations as "enemies of the state" and thereby question their professional integrity and reputation, and directly endanger activists and employees. This is repeated on a daily basis. Any indication of connection between the state and organized crime or a flagrant violation of the law provokes more and more brutal reactions of the holders of the highest state functions, instead of initiating positive changes and improving the environment in which we live. This kind of behavior distances Serbia and its citizens from meeting the basic criteria for EU membership, which remains declarative strategic goal of the Government.

Due to the aforementioned, the latest call for open violence against non-governmental organizations requires an urgent sanction and the removal of Aleksandar Martinović from the head of the parliamentary committee. Civil society organizations gathered in the working groups of the National Convention on the EU will continue to closely monitor the work of institutions and individuals and point out all illegalities and irregularities in their work. We are not giving up the fight for the rule of law in which freedom of expression is respected and all violence is sanctioned, even verbally, especially when it comes from the National Assembly, an institution that should reflect the sovereignty of the democratic will of the citizens of Serbia.

Signatories:

  • Working Group for Chapter 23
  • Working Group for Chapter 24
  • Cross-sectoral group on political criteria
  • Cross-sectoral group on freedom of expression and media

 

You can download Press Release HERE

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Praxis means action