Discrimination

Thursday, 17 March 2016

How We Fight against Racism, Discrimination and Intolerance: How We Fight for the Right to Education

The Higher Court in Belgrade concluded today, on March 17 2016, the final hearing upon the lawsuit for determination of discrimination, which Praxis filed against the Municipality of Smederevska Palanka, which denied the right to transport from home to school and back to a girl with severe sight impairment, and thus the possibility of education. Specifically, the Law on the Fundamentals of the Education System envisages that the budget of a local self-government shall provide funds for transport, lodging and food for children and pupils with disabilities, regardless of the distance of the place of living from the school.

Since the above-stated support was not provided for the girl at the beginning of the first grade in 2012, the father of the girl and the school submitted the request for providing transport. Given that the President of the Municipality did not react, the father filed a complaint to the Commissioner for Protection of Equality in February 2015. The Commissioner established that the Municipality of Smederevska Palanka had committed a discriminatory act against the girl on the basis of her disability by not providing transport to the girl. On that occasion, the Commissioner recommended that the Municipality of Smederevska Palanka should take all necessary measures in order to provide transport to the girl. Since the Municipality did not act in accordance with the Commissioner’s recommendation, Praxis filed a lawsuit and requested from the Municipality to commit to provide funds for transportation of the girl from home to school and back during her education.  

The lawsuit also requested defining a temporary measure which would provide conditions for regular attendance of school for the girl until the completion of the procedure. Even though the decision on temporary measure was reached in February this year, the adequate transportation has not yet been provided. 

While we are waiting for the decision of the court, we would like to remind, once again, that pursuant to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Republic of Serbia is committed to ensure compulsory and free education on an equal basis for all and without discrimination. Also, the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, Law on Prevention of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities, and laws and bylaws governing the area of education explicitly forbid discrimination against persons with disabilities in all spheres of life. 

See the announcement: Municipality of Smederevska Palanka Discriminated against a Pupil with Disability

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