Monday, 14 March 2011

Concluding Observations of the CERD Regarding the Initial Periodic Report of the Republic of Serbia

At its 78th Session, and more precisely at its 2067th and 2068th meetings (CERD/C/SR.2067 and CERD/C/SR.2068), held on 24 and 25 February 2011, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) considered the Initial Periodic Report of the Republic of Serbia (CERD/C/SRB/1), along with information submitted from other sources.

NGOs from Serbia - Praxis, Regional Centre for Minorities, CEKOR - Centre for Ecology and Sustainable Development and CHRIS – Network of the Committees for Human Rights in Serbia submitted information regarding burning issues in exercise of basic human rights, such as, for example, problems related to right to housing, right to nationality and access to personal documents, right to freedom of movement and residence within the border of the State, right to own property and other basic human rights. The presented data are a result of years of field work, information and cooperation with grass-root organizations, analysis of our previous experience in the topics relevant for the report and following on and analysing the work of the State bodies.

At its 2086th meeting (CERD/C/SR.2086), held on 10 March 2011, the Committee adopted the Concluding Observations, among other issues, also giving recommendations for the burning issues stated in information submitted by the above-mentioned NGOs.

As regards the problems Praxis target groups face every day and which were addressed in the submitted information, the Committee expressed its concern about the problem of legally invisible persons, mostly belonging to Roma minority, and difficulties and discrimination the Roma face due to their lack of personal identification documents, which puts them at risk of statelessness and affects the exercise of their rights. The Committee also gave recommendations to the State to carry out adequate measures for overcoming these problems. (Paragraph 19 of the Concluding Observations)

The Committee also expressed its concern regarding the Roma being subject to discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping, in particular in access to employment, health care services, political participation and access to public places. The Committee recommended that the State ensure effective implementation of policies aimed at the equal enjoyment by Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians of the rights and freedoms listed in article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. (Paragraph 16 of the Concluding Observations)

The Committee is concerned about the fact that Roma population, in many cases, lives in segregated settlements and is often subject to forced evictions without provision of alternative housing, legal remedies, or compensation for damage and destruction of personal property. The Committee urged the State party to ensure that resettlements do not involve forced evictions. (Paragraph 14 of the Concluding Observations)   


Download: CERD Concluding Observations

Download: Information Submitted to the CERD by Praxis Regional Centre for Minorities, CEKOR and CHRIS

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