On the occasion of the completion of the project “Legal Assistance to Persons at Risk of Statelessness in Serbia”, funded by UNHCR, Praxis held a conference on 20 December 2016, with an idea to point at problems and challenges faced by the Roma community in access to status rights, and to present the activities carried out in the field of child, early and forced marriages. Praxis presented also the reports “Analysis of the Procedures for Determining the Date and Place of Birth and for the Exercise of the Rights to Citizenship and Registration of Permanent Residence” and “Child, Early and Forced Marriages are Not a Private Family Matter”.
Through the presentation of the report “Analysis of the Procedures for Determining the Date and Place of Birth and for the Exercise of the Rights to Citizenship and Registration of Permanent Residence”, the representatives of Praxis once again drew the attention to the problems that have been impeding the access to the rights to birth registration, citizenship and registration of permanent residence for years. The problems are illustrated by the examples of irregular acting identified in the procedures of provision of free legal aid. At the same time, the progress made in this field over the past few years was highlighted, since the amendments of the applicable and adoption of new regulations provided for the possibility to register in birth registries and register permanent residence for the persons who had not been able to do it before. In addition, as it is stated in the report, the competent ministries issued relevant opinions and instructions to the competent bodies in order to unify the proceeding practice, and training for professionals who conduct procedures have been organized for several years.
During the presentation of another report “Child, Early and Forced Marriages are Not a Private Family Matter”, the title of which clearly indicates that this phenomenon must not be a private family thing, but it is serious violation of the rights of the child and gender-based discrimination, the problems of child, early and forced marriages were defined and Praxis activities on prevention and elimination of child, early and forced marriages were presented. Also, the proposed policies aimed at prevention and elimination of child, early and forced marriages were presented. It was also indicated which level of authorities should be responsible, and added that most of the recommendations may be implemented at the level of local self-governance by single acting of professionals in their fields of work.
The presentation of reports was concluded with the discussion of the participants who emphasized the importance of joint and coordinated acting at all levels, which should include the conclusion of formal agreements on joint acting, with the note that holistic approach to the problems is the guarantee of success, regardless of whether it is the exercise or prevention of the violation of rights.