Education & Training

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Roundtable News in the Field of Birth Registration and Obtaining of Personal Documents Held in Novi Sad

On 17 October 2013, a roundtable was held in Novi Sad within the campaign News in the Field of Birth Registration and Obtaining of Personal Documents, as part of the activities implemented on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding concluded between UNHCR, Ombudsperson and the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration. The roundtable gathered 37 participants, including Roma activists, representatives of Roma associations, Roma coordinators, pedagogical assistants and health mediators from Novi Sad, Srbobran, Stara Pazova, Bogatic, Novi Becej, Ruma and other towns.

Davor Rako from UNHCR Belgrade, Dragana Vujkov from Ombudsperson’s Office, Suzana Stanic Carevic form the Department for Administrative Affairs of the Serbian MoI, Lazar Djurovic from the Office for Cooperation with Civil Society and Jasmina Mikovic from Praxis, as the keynote speakers acquainted the present participants with the novelties in legal framework related to registration of permanent residence at the address of the social welfare centre and determination of time and place of birth in a non-contentious procedure. On that occasion, the participants were also informed about the role of each of the abovementioned institutions/organizations in contributing to achievement of the common goal – elimination of the phenomenon of the legally invisible persons by 2015.

During the discussion, the participants pointed to the main problems concerning registration of permanent residence for persons who do not have legal basis of housing and who live in informal settlements or housing facilities which are not registered in the cadastre. The problem of some residents of informal settlement Veliki Rit in Novi Sad was particularly underlined. Namely, the residents received information from the Novi Sad Police Department and the Social Welfare Centre that the registration of permanent residence at the address of the SWC was not possible for them. In regard to this, an inspector of the MoI suggested that the residents of the settlement address the Sector for Real Estate Cadastre of the Republic Geodetic Authority with requests for determination of house numbers. Furthermore, the roundtable participants also pointed to the problems of legally invisible persons in proving of their identity because they cannot provide two adult witnesses to testify in the non-contentious procedure for determination of time and place of birth. They also pointed to some forms of discrimination in the procedures before competent bodies. A representative of the Novi Becej Roma Association presented an example of good cooperation of the Association with relevant local authorities, which can certainly be an incentive for other municipalities and organizations.

See: Closing the Cycle of Legal Invisibility

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