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Praxis

Beograd, 23.11.2020.

Organizacije za ljudska prava zahtevaju od Narodne Skupštine Republike Srbije da obustavi postupak izbora novog Poverenika za zaštitu ravnopravnosti i osigura inkluzivnost i transparentnost tokom celog postupka. Iako je sednica Odbora za ustavna pitanja i zakonodavstvo na kojoj će se predstaviti jedini kandidat za budućeg Poverenika zakazana za danas (23. novembar) u 12h, javnost još nije upoznata sa imenom kandidata, što ceo postupak čini faktički tajnim.

Mandat prethodnog Poverenika za zaštitu ravnopravnosti je istekao 27. maja 2020. godine. Iako je postupak izbora novog Poverenika formalno pokrenut pismom poslaničkim grupama, do izbora nije došlo, iako je tada prošlo skoro šest meseci. Javnosti nije poznato da je neka od poslaničkih grupa u novom sazivu parlamenta predložila kandidata, ali je sednica Odbora za ustavna pitanja i zakonodavstvo Skupštine Srbije zakazana u petak (20. novembar) u popodnevnim časovima za ponedeljak 23. novembar 2020 godine. Na ovoj sednici, predstaviće se jedini kandidat za Poverenika, čije ime još nije poznato javnosti. Prema dnevnom redu, na istoj sednici će se glasati za predlog za izbor Poverenika o kome će se izjasniti Skupština Srbije.

Organizacije za ljudska prava zahtevaju obustavljanje postupka i omogućavanje svim zainteresovanim građanima, grupama i organizacijama da učestvuju u procesu izbora, da budu upoznati sa imenima potencijalnih kandidata i o njima iznesu svoje mišljenje, posebno u vezi sa pitanjem da li oni ispunjavaju Zakonom o zabrani diskriminacije propisane uslove za izbor. Ovo se prvenstveno odnosi na pripadnike manjinskih zajednica i grupa, kojima je veoma važna stručnost kandidata i jasna opredeljenost za saradnju za organizacijama koje se bave ljudskim i manjinskim pravima.

Članice Koalicije protiv diskriminacije i Koalicije za pristup pravdi:

  • Centar za unapređivanje pravnih studija
  • Civil Rights Defenders
  • LABRIS
  • Udruženje studenata sa hendikepom
  • Jednakost
  • CHRIS mreža odbora za ljudska prava u Srbiji
  • PRAXIS
  • Fond za humanitarno pravo
  • Inicijativa mladih za ljudska prava

Tema diskusije je bila izvršni postupak i specifičnosti ovog postupka kad su u pitanju komunalne usluge, a na njoj je učestvovala i naša koleginica Marija Dražović. Dušan Protić iz Centra za evropske politike je moderirao sastankom, a događaj je za cilj imao da pojasni pravila izvršnog postupka naročito kada su u pitanju predmeti izvršenja potraživanja u oblasti komunalnih usluga. Kako prinudna naplata potraživanja u komunalnim i srodnim uslugama čini polovinu rada javnih izvršitelja, svrha otvorene diskusije je bila da približi kako u praksi funkioniše izvršni postupak, i kakva su prava, mogućnosti i obaveze građana u ovim slučajevima.

Tom prilikom smo podsetili da su, prema našem iskustvu, upravo najsiromašniji građani i građanke vrlo često dužnici u izvršnom postupku zbog dugova nastalih na osnovu pružanja komunalnih usluga i da najčešće ne postoje delotvorni mehanizmi za zaštitu njihovih prava već su prepušteni sami sebi. S druge strane, iskustava naših korisnika kada je reč o radu službi besplatne pravne pomoći su uglavnom negativna budući da se suočavaju sa preprekama već prilikom podnošenja zahteva za ostvarivanje prava na besplatnu pravnu pomoć. Lokalne službe besplatne pravne pomoći morale bi da se razvijaju u budućem periodu, da podižu sopstvene kapacitete kako bi obavljale posao koji im je delegiran, s obzirom da od kraja 2019. godine, kada je Zakon počeo da se primenjuje, one gotovo da ne funkcionišu. Osim toga, istakli smo značaj uloge civilnog sektora u podizanju svesti o temi izvršnog postupka ali i naglasili da se prostor za delovanje civilnog sektora na lokalnom nivou sve više sužava.

Naveli smo da često, kada je reč o komunalnim i srodnim uslugama, kao što su snabdevanje električnom energijom i telekomunikacijama, dolazi do prekida pružanja te usluge od strane poverioca kada se ne ispunjavaju obaveze, dok sa druge strane imamo nastavak pružanja komunalne usluge u drugim slučajevima, što rezultira u gomilanju dugova. Ustanovili smo da ne postoji adresa na koju građani mogu da se obrate i dobiju pravu informaciju o svojim pravima i na koji način mogu da ih ostvare. Kako bismo ilustrovali posledice neinformisanosti građana i krutih pravila izvršnog postupka, predstavili smo slučaj mnogih porodica koje su korisnici stanova za socijalno stanovanje u naselju Beranovac u Kraljevu kojima preti iseljenje zbog nagomilanih dugova zakupa.

Podsetili smo da i dalje postoji loša praksa kada je reč o prijavljivanju prebivališta jer se građani prijavljuju na adresama na kojima zaista ne žive. Ukazali smo da iza ovakve prakse neretko, bar kada su naše ciljne grupe u pitanju, stoje vrlo objektivni razlozi uzrokovani upravo lošom primenom propisa kojima se uređuje prijava prebivališta i boravišta. S druge strane, neuspešna dostava je jedan od najvećih izazova kada je reč o izvršnom postupku i neretko se pripisuje izbegavanju prijema od strane izvršnih dužnika, što ne bio bio slučaj kada bi građani imali informacije o pravnim posledicama, jer ukoliko građanin ne primi rešenje neće moći da koristi osnovno pravno sredstvo, odnosno prigovor. Zbog toga smo skrenuli pažnju da je, osim obezbeđivanja dosledne primene propisa kada je reč o prijavi prebivališta, veoma važno podizati svest građana o tome koliko je važno da podaci o njima koji se nalaze u službenim evidencijama budu ispravni i tačni, što podrazumeva ozbiljan posao jer je reč o vraćanju izgubljenog poverenja građana u institucije.

Istakli smo da iskustvo sa elektronskim servisima ne donosi mnogo koristi najugroženijim slojevima stanovništva jer veliki broj njih nema pristup internetu i komunikacionim sredstvima. Podsetili smo da je onima koji su na margini društva, potrebno omogućiti pristup informacijama o njihovim pravima na adekvatan način, jer postoje brojne prepreke u pristupu informacijama preko elektronskih servisa. Naveli smo da postoji velika nejednakost i da je potrebno identifikovati potrebe najosteljivijih grupa u Srbiji i odgovoriti na te potrebe inovativnim sredstvima.

Kao zaključak možemo navesti da je potrebno u buducem periodu uspostaviti i razvijati organizovaniji pritisak civilnog sektora i građana, jer su evropske integracije sve manje delotvorno sredstvo koje bi ubrzalo i učinilo reforme u Srbiji efikasnijim.

Pogledajte ceo događaj ovde.

Friday, 20 November 2020 11:05

On the Occasion of World Children's Day

Today, on World Children's Day, we would like to once again draw attention to the problem of child marriages, facing marginalized children in Serbia, particularly those in the Roma community.

According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey for 2019 (MICS 6), conducted by the Republic Statistical Office, with the technical and financial support of UNICEF, the European Union, UNFPA, and the Government of the Republic of Serbia, some progress has been made regarding children in Roma settlements. Progress can be seen in the increased immunization coverage of children in Roma settlements, doubled rate of secondary school attendance among Roma girls, and reduced under-five and infant mortality, although this data is still significantly less favorable than the one regarding the general population.

However, a clear stagnation is noticeable in the area of child, early and forced marriages, although according to the sustainable development goals they are perceived as a harmful practice that should be eliminated by 2030. The MICS 6 survey indicates that the rate of child marriages among girls and young women from Roma settlements is still extremely high. That is to say, the percentage of women from Roma settlements aged 20-24 who got married before the age of 18 is 55.8%, while the percentage of women of the same age who got married before the age of 15 is 15.9%. The percentage of women aged 15-19 who are currently married or in an extramarital union is as high as 34.1%. By getting married early, children are deprived of their childhood, regular mental and physical development, schooling, and the opportunity to independently choose a partner in the future. As dropping out of school is both a cause and a consequence of child marriages, the risk of economic dependence and poverty is increased. At the same time, children are exposed to violence, the risk of statelessness, and the risk of economic and sexual exploitation.

Regarding the prevention of child marriages, this year, Praxis held a series of workshops with more than 200 primary school students in 9 municipalities across Serbia, with the aim of raising awareness about the harmfulness of this practice. "Let us spend our childhood in school, not looking after children!", "Take care of the children" are just some of the messages these children have addressed to the competent institutions and to the community. 

Child marriage is a gross violation of the rights of the child, especially girls, and should be viewed as such. In order to prevent and eliminate this phenomenon, in addition to raising awareness, a greater and more active commitment of the state is necessary, as well as strengthened cooperation and proactive action of the competent institutions. The view that this harmful practice represents Roma culture and tradition must not be an excuse for disrespecting national and international laws, and especially, for preventing each child from reaching its full potential.

 

The European Network on Statelessness (ENS) has redesigned and launched a new website where you can find out about the issues facing stateless people in Europe. In addition, on their website, you can find resources from their library of 590 blogs, interviews & publications. Besides this, you can find out more about the activities of ENS and its membership. You can also get involved in the work of the European Network on Statelessness. Also, stateless persons can access legal advice and support on their new website.

More than 500,000 people living in Europe are stateless, which means that they are not recognized as citizens of any country. As a result, stateless people often find themselves stranded on the margins of society, with no rights and a sense of never belonging.

The European Network on Statelessness has 150 members, organizations, and individuals from 41 countries, including Praxis. Together, we are committed to ending statelessness and ensuring that everyone living in Europe without a nationality can access the rights they are entitled to under international law. ENS was established in 2012 as a coordinating body and expert resource for organisations and individuals working to promote the right to a nationality in Europe.

Find out more on www.statelessness.eu


Slučaj Almire i njene porodice

 

U prethodnim tekstovima bilo je reči o nevidljivim generacijama, odnosno o čitavim pokolenjima ljudi čija činjenica rođenja nije upisana i koji su zbog toga lišeni osnovnih prava. U tim slučajevima, pravo na upis u matične evidencije ostvaruje se kroz postupke koji neretko dugo traju. Međutim, čak i kada to pravo steknu, ni tu nije kraj njihovim problemima, jer u procesu pribavljanja ličnih dokumenata nailaze na dodatne prepreke.

Naime, osobe koje su naknadno upisane u matične evidencije i zato prvi put podnose zahtev za prijavu prebivališta, odnosno za izdavanje lične karte, često budu upućene da te zahteve podnesu u policijskim upravama prema mestu svog rođenja. Ova praksa postoji uprkos tome što ta lica godinama ne žive u mestima rođenja, niti nameravaju da se tamo vrate, i bez obzira što u tim mestima ne poseduju nekretnine na čijim adresama bi prijavili prebivalište.

Samo jedna od mnogih priča sa ovakvim ishodom je i slučaj Almire koja je rođena na Kosovu 1988. godine. Almira je upisana je u matičnu knjigu rođenih nakon sprovedenog sudskog postupka utvrđivanja vremena i mesta rođenja 2020. godine. Početkom septembra iste godine, obratila se nadležnoj policijskoj stanici radi prijave prebivališta na adresi u Zemun polju, gde stanuje već 11 godina sa vanbračnim suprugom. Pritom, Almira na toj adresi živi sa dvoje maloletne dece, koju još uvek nije uspela da upiše u matičnu knjigu rođenih, jer ne poseduje ličnu kartu. Zajedno sa Almirom, u policijsku stanicu su došli svekar, koji je vlasnik nepokretnosti na kojoj prijavljuje prebivalište, kao i dva svedoka koji bi potvrdili njen identitet. Tom prilikom Almira je usmeno obaveštena da će joj prva lična karta biti izdata sa rokom trajanja od 2 godine, a da će joj prva sledeća biti izdata na 10 godina. Almira nije primila potvrdu o predatom zahtevu.

Policijski službenici su ubrzo nakon predaje zahteva izvršili terensku proveru tokom koje su Almiru zatekli na navedenoj adresi, i nakon toga, su njenog svekra i nju pozvali telefonom da ponovo dođu u policijsku stanicu. Prilikom te posete, Almiru su obavestili da ipak ne može da se prijavi na adresi na kojoj živi u Zemun polju, niti da pribavi prvu ličnu kartu u ovoj policijskoj stanici. Uputili su je da otputuje u Nišku Banju, gde se nalazi Policijska uprava za Prištinu, kako bi pribavila prvu ličnu kartu prema mestu svog rođenja.

Almirin suprug je nakon toga telefonom pozvao policijsku stanicu i objasnio da Almira ne poseduje imovinu na Kosovu na kojoj bi prijavila prebivalište, kao i da ne namerava da živi na Kosovu, već u Zemunu gde stanuje od zasnivanja njihove vanbračne zajednice. Međutim, rečeno mu je da njegova supruga prvu ličnu kartu mora izvaditi u Niškoj Banji, a da tek nakon toga može ponovo doći u tu policijsku stanicu radi prijave prebivališta jer se Almira ne nalazi u policijskom sistemu. S obzirom da se Almira pre više od 10 godina nastanila u Zemunu sa namerom da tu stalno živi, te da ovo mesto odavno predstavlja njeno mesto prebivališta, prijava prebivališta u bilo kom drugom gradu predstavljala bi kršenje zakona. Takođe, kako bi eventualni problem sa unošenjem podataka u policijski sistem morao da se reši službenim obraćanjem policijske stanicej policijskoj upravi za Prištinu, Almira se nije obraćala PU za Prištinu.

Ovakvo postupanje policijskih službenika nije usamljen slučaj. Osobe koje su naknadno upisane u matične evidencije i u drugim policijskim stanicama i upravama susretale su se sa sličnom praksom. Tako ljudi koji su mesecima ili godinama čekali da se okončaju postupci upisa u matične knjige, ponovo moraju da se suočavaju sa dugotrajnim i mukotrpnim postupcima. Pri tome, najčešće su ovi problemi izazvani nezakonitim postupanjem policijskih službenika, koji izbegavaju svoju nadležnost a građane upućuju da prebivalište prijavljuju u mestima u kojima odavno ne žive.

Posebno je zabrinjavajuće to što ova praksa pogađa građane koji pripadaju najugroženijim slojevima stanovništva i kojima ne samo da se ne pomaže da ostvare prava koja im po zakonu pripadaju, već se stiče utisak da se nastoji da im se što više oteža pokušaj da pribave lične dokumente i napokon steknu mogućnost da pristupe pravima koja su im oduvek bila uskraćena.

Friday, 23 October 2020 06:38

A whole year without fundamental rights

The case of one-year-old Jovana

Although ratified international conventions, the Constitution and the Family Law prescribe that every child must be registered immediately after birth, this is still not the right that every child in Serbia is able to exercise. Children who are not registered in birth registry book are left without the right to health care, while their parents are not able to apply for parental or child allowance. To the greatest extent, this problem affects the Roma community in Serbia, a marginalized part of the population who often live in extreme poverty. At the same time, the subsequent birth registration through administrative and court proceedings is, in most cases, a rather difficult and lengthy process. However, even when proceedings are initiated, it happens that the state authorities refuse to fulfil their legal obligation. This is exactly the case with Jovana, a child who has been waiting to access basic rights for a year now.

Jovana was born in October 2019 in a hospital in Belgrade. A year later, Jovana is still not registered in the birth registry. Due to that, she does not have possess a health card, while various forms of financial support, which are intended for families with children, are not available to her family. 

Jovana's parents could not register her birth because her mother does not possess any personal documents. The reason for this problem lies in the bylaws that regulate the procedure of birth registration. According to these bylaws, parents need to provide their ID cards and birth certificate in order to register their child. In case the mother does not have these documents, the child cannot be registered immediately after birth, but it is instead necessary to conduct additional procedures, which delays the registration of the child for at least a few months. 

Still, in some cases, even initiating these procedures does not guarantee that the child will be registered. In February 2020, the procedure for determining Jovana's personal name was initiated before the Social Welfare Centre in Belgrade. This procedure should be carried out in cases when a child’s personal name is not determined within 30 days of birth,  which also happened to Jovana because her mother did not have an ID card. Since the right to a personal name is a right which is guaranteed to every child without exception, the Social Welfare Centre should bring a decision in this case determining child’s personal name, regardless of whether the parents possess personal documents or not. Also, a few years ago, the competent ministry issued an instruction for social welfare centres, in which it is stated that children whose mothers do not possess documents must have their personal name determined and which regulates what actions should be taken in such cases.

Unfortunately, in Jovana's case, even that was not enough: the employee of the Centre for Social Welfare, before which the procedure was initiated, told Jovana's mother that the procedure would be continued and completed only after she had obtained her own ID card. In addition, the registrar who was familiar with this case, told the parents that regardless of the outcome of the procedure before the Social Welfare Centre, the registration of the child would not be conducted until the mother had received her personal documents. In other words, the registrar said that, despite her duty to carry out the final decision of the Social Welfare Centre, she would refuse to enter Jovana’s name in the birth registry if the mother did not obtain an ID card.

However, it remains uncertain when Jovana's mother will manage to obtain an ID card. Her birth was never registered and she has never had any personal documents either. She was born in 1998 in Priština. Since her parents did not have personal documents at the time, they did not register her birth. Soon after she was born, Kosovo conflict started, and the family moved to Germany. Jovana's mother lived in this country until 2018, when she was returned to Serbia through the readmission procedure. Currently, the procedure for determination of date and place of her birth is conducted before a court in Belgrade. Following potential successful completion of the procedure, her birth and citizenship should be registered in the birth registry. Then, she would have to register her residence, after which she will finally be able to get an ID card. Only then can it be expected that the birth registration procedure for Jovana will be completed, unless the Social Welfare Centre and the Registry Office change their position and, instead, proceed in accordance with the law.  

The case of Jovana's family is an insightful example of how important it is for every child to be registered immediately after birth. This problem is passed from generation to generation and if not solved in time, it may lead to an increasing number of people who are not registered in the birth registry and who are at risk of statelessness. 

Nevertheless, this problem can be easily solved. It is enough to amend the bylaws that require the parents to possess personal documents in order to register their child’s birth. Also, it is imperative that the competent authorities in charge of these procedures consistently apply the regulations, all in the best interest of the child. According to the Article 7 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was ratified by Serbia, "a child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name". Unfortunately, Jovana has not been granted this right even a year after her birth.

 

In the recently published Serbia 2020 Report, the European Commission reiterated that all births need to be registered immediately after children are born, regardless of their parents’ status. At the same time, the European Commission called on Serbia to amend the related implementing legislation.

The European Commission put forward this recommendation to Serbia in the last year's progress report, but the disputed provisions are still in effect. Thus, there are still new cases of children born in Serbia who cannot be registered in the birth registry book immediately after birth because their parents do not possess ID cards. Although UNICEF has taken the position that registration immediately after birth implies a period of a few days after birth, in Serbia, these children remain deprived of many rights in the first months, and sometimes in the first years of their lives, since these cannot be exercised without birth registration. These are, most often, Roma children, who generally encounter more difficulties in accessing rights and services than non-Roma children.

Serbia 2020 Report also highlights that the Law on Permanent and Temporary Residence of Citizens needs to be applied consistently to allow Roma IDPs living in informal settlements to obtain registered residence and access to basic socio-economic rights. Although the law stipulates that citizens who do not have a legal basis of housing must be allowed to register their residence at the addresses of social welfare centres, Praxis’ beneficiaries are increasingly facing problems with exercising this right, and, in some municipalities, it has become almost impossible to register residence at the address of a social welfare centre.

The European Commission also points to other problems faced by the members of the Roma national minority in Serbia. Thus, it is indicated that although child marriages are not common in the general population, almost 60% of girls from Roma settlements are married at an early age. It is also stated that there is still a very low coverage of Roma children in preschool education, that school drop-out rates remain high, that the percentage of those completing tertiary education is extremely low, and that the problem of segregation in education needs to be addressed.

Additionally, the report draws attention to the problems that Roma have in relation to employment, inadequate housing conditions, and states that, in terms of social and economic inclusion, Roma returnees under the readmission agreement are in a particularly difficult position.

In Belgrade, 15 October 2020

NGO Praxis, in cooperation with partner organizations Minority Rights Group Europe and Idetartozunk, Hungary, has launched a two-year project "Roma Equality through Increased Legal Access". The project is funded by the European Union, as part of the "Rights, Equality and Citizenship" Programme. The project is being implemented simultaneously in Serbia and Hungary.

The overall objective of the project is to promote and protect the rights of Roma victims of human rights violations and discrimination by raising society’s and stakeholders’ awareness, as well as by raising awareness about the individual responsibility to prevent and fight discrimination, while also enhancing implementation of non-discrimination legislation and empowering Roma to seek legal remedies.

This project will include a set of activities, starting with the baseline research with the aim to identify the diverse aspects of discrimination against the Roma, their attitudes to and experiences of access to justice mechanisms, legal practitioners’ knowledge of the anti-discrimination legislation, an analysis of local policies, and the participation of Roma in decision-making procedures.

After the research, a series of trainings will be organized for: legal practitioners, with the aim of strengthening their capacities in order to enable and encourage them to provide legal aid for Roma victims of discrimination; for members of Roma-led and non-Roma civil society organizations, on how to identify discrimination cases, where to refer Roma victims of discrimination, on how to conduct advocacy activities and involve Roma community members in decision-making procedures; for Roma mediators and activists, on how to identify discrimination cases, on the available protection mechanisms, including the mandate and competence of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, as well as on modalities of involvement in decision-making processes.

The project also envisages the cooperation with activists at the local level to identify cases of discrimination, as well as to provide legal advice and legal aid to Roma victims of discrimination, including filing complaints with the Commissioner for Protection of Equality. All activities will be accompanied by advocacy activities, both at the national and international level, as well as the preparation of a final briefing, presenting the project findings, which will serve as a tool for further planning of advocacy activities in this field.

Nakon nedavnog konstituisanja lokalnog parlamenta, kao i stalnih i samostalnih povremenih skupštinskih radnih tela, Praxis je imao priliku da bude gost gradske skupštine u Leskovcu i prisustvuje radu skupštinskih odbora. Naime, 1. oktobra 2020. godine predstavnici Praxisa su posetili Skupštinu Grada Leskovca i razgovarali sa sekretarom, kao i sa njegovim zamenikom na temu transparentnosti rada lokalne samouprave i građanske participacije odnosno o uspehu lokalne samouprave u procesu reforme javne uprave i najvećim izazovima sa kojima se ona suočava u pomenutom procesu. Osim toga, predstavnici Praxisa su prisustvovali radu novouspostavljenih skupštinskih odbora. Inače, ova poseta je organizovana u okviru aktivnosti na projektu „Sutra počinje danas“ koji Praxis sprovodi u partnerstvu sa organizacijom Music Art Project, a koji je podržan od strane Evropske unije u okviru Programa „Podrška civilnom društvu 2018“ – grant šema za Republiku Srbiju.

Sastanak sa predstavnicima Skupštine Grada Leskovca i prisustvo sednicama skupštinskih odbora je pružilo priliku da se stekne uvid u otvorenost u radu jedinice lokalne samouprave i omogućilo da se dobiju odgovori na pitanja koja se odnose na poštovanje principa javne uprave kada je reč o transparentnosti i učešću građana u procesu izrade i koordinacije lokalnih politika.

Na ovaj način, Grad Leskovac je, još jednom, pokazao da razume značaj uloge civilnog društva, kao i značaj saradnje sa civilnim sektorom u cilju uspešnog sprovođenja reformi uprave čime je iskazao nameru da nastavi da se razvija u odgovornu, transparentnu i modernu loklanu samoupravu.

Prema rečima sagovornika, Grad Leskovac je poslednjih godina uložio značajne napore u pogledu otvaranja prema građanima odnosno svoj razvoj je usmerio u pravcu transformacije uprave posvećene potrebama i interesima građanima u skladu sa strateškim opredeljenjima i prioritetima definisanim na nacionalnom nivou. Tokom razgovora je naglašeno koliko je učinjeno na planu razvoja i podrške rada elektronskih servisa, a naročito je, u tom smislu, izdvojeno uvođenje sistema e-parlamenta koji je implementiran u okviru projekta podržanog od strane UNDP-a. Uštede koje su samo na štampanju materijala za skupštinske sednice ostvarene zahvaljujući uvođenju sistema e-parlamenta su ogromne, a rad skupštine je dobio na efikasnosti i otvorenosti u radu.

Osim toga, primer uspešnog uključivanja građana u proces donošenja lokalnih odluka je nedavno pokrenuta građanska inicijativa za izgradnju parka za pse u Leskovcu. Pomenuta inicijativa građana je rezultirala organizovanjem javne rasprave u kojoj su građani dobili priliku da, osim iniciranja da se opštim aktom uredi neko pitanje, suštinski utiču na njegovu sadržinu konkretno na svoje okruženje i uređivanje lokalnih javnih površina.

Uprkos značajnim naporima i ostvarenom uspehu u oblasti reforme javne uprave na lokalnom nivou, mišljenje predstavnika lokalnog parlamenta je da postoji značajan prostor za unapređenje stanja naročito kada je reč o osnaživanju civilnog sektora za veće učešće u kreiranju lokalnih politika. Pored nedovoljnih kapaciteta na strani uprave koji se ogledaju u nedostatku ljudskih resursa, veliki izazov predstavljaju niski kapaciteti i nedovoljna motivisanost civilnog sektora i građana za učestvovanje u kreiranju lokalnih javnih politika. Svakako da su neophodni dodatni i veći podsticaji u pogledu osnaživanja lokalnih organizacija civilnog društva za aktivnu participaciju, ali je potrebno nastaviti put ka razvijanju mehanizama koji bi obezbedili veće učešće građana. Uprkos redovnom obaveštavanju građana putem zvanične internet prezentacije Grada Leskovca i ostalim sredstvima javnog informisanja, kao što su tradicionalni mediji ali i društvene mreže i interenet portali, potrebno je iskoristiti sva dostupna sredstva informisanja u cilju izgradnje svesti među građanima o značaju njihove uloge u iniciranju i učestvovanju u izradi javnih politika kako bi se lokalnim politikama i odlukama obezbedio legitimitet i kvalitet i kako bi se unapredila javna debata i dijalog zainteresovanih strana po svim važnim pitanjima. U ovom trenutku, građani prepoznaju interes i uzimaju učešće u javnim raspravama onda kada su njihovi lični i pojedinačni interesi u vezi sa usvajanjem lokalnih dokumenata i to je najčešće onda kad se usvajaju planovi detaljne regulacije. U skladu sa Zakonom o planiranju i izgradnji, lokalna samouprava organizuje javni uvid i javne rasprave i u tom procesu građani aktivno učestvuju. Takođe, sporadične su i građanske inicijative i peticije koje se najčešće odnose na uređenje javnih površina. Inače, primedbe i sugestije građana se imperativno razmatraju i uzimaju u obzir prilikom odlučivanja. Naročito razvijen mehanizam participacije jeste učešće građana putem predstavnika mesnih zajednica jer su to intrumenti kroz koje građani imaju priliku da jasno istaknu prioritetne potrebe zajednice i na taj način postave određena pitanja na agendu rada lokalne samouprave. Suštinski značaj, kada je reč o razvijanju mehanizama participativnog odlučivanja, a prema mišljenju predstavnika lokalne samouprave, ima neposredno izjašnjavanje građana na izborima za svoje predstavnike na nivou mesnih zajednica.

Predstavnici lokalne samouprave su izrazili zabrinutost po pitanju mogućnosti organizovanja javnih rasprava na dosadašnji način imajući u vidu opštu situaciju izazavanu širenjem epidemije virusa Covid-19, zbog čega su saglasni da bi u narednom periodu trebalo razvijati proces kontinuiranih građanskih konsultacija putem digitalnih platformi, anketa, korišćenjem lokalnog medijskog prostora, novina, televizija, internet prezentacija lokalnih samouprava i sl.

Nakon razgovora sa sekretarom skupštine i njegovim zamenikom, predstavnici Praxisa su prisustvovali radu Odbora za ostvarivanje ravnopravnosti polova i unapređenje položaja žena i Odbora za prevenciju bolesti zavisnosti i borbu protiv verskih sekti. Predsednici pomenutih odbora su predstavili ono što je u prethodnom periodu urađeno, kao i sve što bi u narednom periodu bilo prioritet u relevantnim oblastima. Na osnovu svega što se moglo čuti tokom sednica odbora stiče se utisak da su teme i pitanja u nadležnosti pomenutih odbora od izuzetnog značaja za razvoj lokalne samouprave i unapređenja stanja ljudskih prava posebno osetljivih pojedinaca i grupa, kao i da su odbori u prethodnom periodu bili veoma aktivni i značajno doprineli prevazilaženju raznovrsnih izazova. Inače, među članovima odbora su, pored članova iz reda odbornika, i članovi iz reda građana. Osim toga, Odbor za prevenciju bolesti zavisnosti i borbu protiv verskih sekti ima vrlo razvijenu mrežu saradnika koji neretko dolaze iz stručnih krugova imajući u vidu pitanja koja su u nadležnosti odbora, ali i pojedinci koji na bilo koji drugi način mogu da doprinesu kvalitetu rada odbora. Po završetku sednica, Praxis je razgovarao sa članovima odbora o mogućim inicijativama i idejama, kao i dostupnim fondovima koji bi podržali njihovu eventualnu realizaciju. S tim u vezi, lokalna samouprava namerava da se javi na aktuelni poziv programa Swiss Pro za podršku loklanim samoupravama u osnaživanju mehanizama za rodnu ravnopravnost kako bi nastavila sa implementacijom aktivnosti u cilju osnaživanja žena u ruralnim područjima da lakše ostvare svoja prava i pod jednakim uslovima.

Svoje prisustvo na sednicama navedenih odbora Praxis je iskoristio da predstavi projektne aktivnosti koje sprovodi na području Leskovca i, naglašavajući značaj uloge organizacija civilnog društva u jačanju građanskog aktivizma, građanske participacije i transparentnog rada lokalne samouprave u procesu reforme javne uprave, ponudio skupštinskim telima pomoć i podršku u budućem radu stavljajući im na raspolaganje kapacitete koje je razvio u oblasti zaštite ljudskih prava, andiskriminacije i reforme javne uprave. Odbor za prevenciju bolesti zavisnosti i borbu protiv verskih sekti pokazao je intersovanje za aktivnosti koje će Praxis u narednom periodu realizovati u cilju podizanja svesti kod dece i mladih o pravima deteta uključujući njihovo pravo na participaciju, tako da je u načelu planirano da se pomenute aktivnosti i aktivnosti odbora koordiniraju naročito tamo gde su komplementarne.

 

NGO Praxis, in partnership with the organization Music Art Project, is implementing a two-year project “Tomorrow Starts Today”, which started on December 21, 2019. The project is funded by the European Union within the Civil Society Facility Programme 2018 for the Republic of Serbia.

The project’s overall objective is to increase participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) and citizens, particularly children and youth in policy-making, and to increase accountability and transparency of local self-governments in Serbia. The Project is being implemented in five towns in Serbia: Kraljevo, Leskovac, Bujanovac, Surdulica and Zemun.

Being at the very heart of EU accession process, implementation of good governance principles, as part of the public administration reform, and respect of human rights, including protection against discrimination and social inclusion, require strong cohort of civil society organizations, citizens and the media able to understand their own role in the process and to demand accountability from LSGs to instill human rights and good governance principles in their work. The project aims to address the general problem of insufficient citizen participation in policy development, especially at the local level. In order to tackle this problem, a set of activities will be implemented, including: a baseline research on the work of 5 selected LSGs to collect information on their accountability and transparency; trainings for civil society and grass-root organizations to increase their capacity and effectiveness to influence policy-making at the local level; meetings with local media representatives to raise awareness about their role in ensuring transparency of the reform process and accountability of the LSGs; community meetings to bring together all relevant stakeholders at the local level, including representatives of the authorities, the media and civil society, to strengthen their cooperation, raise awareness of the importance of citizen participation in policy making and improve consultation mechanisms at the local level in the field of reform processes to contribute to creation of evidence-based, inclusive local policies, especially those referring to child rights. Advocacy activities will also be implemented throughout the Project to challenge any identified violations of good governance principles, discrimination and violation of basic human rights, especially those affecting children.

At the same time, the Project aims to address the issue of social exclusion of marginalized children through innovative activities, to challenge prejudices and discrimination at an early age and create environment that is open to and nurturing diversity, while at the same time empowering children/youth to get involved in development of policies that concern them and have effect on their lives. This will be achieved through implementation of El Sistema model with teachers and children in schools/cultural centres in the selected municipalities, as a recognized example of good practice promoting diversity, equal opportunities and social activation, by organizing seminars for teachers to upgrade teachers’ knowledge and skills for innovative techniques tailored to needs and capacities of children from various groups, and expand network of public schools implementing ES method. Furthermore, classes/master classes/music camp will be organized for children from both marginalized and non-marginalized groups in the selected schools/cultural centres. In addition, public events/concerts of children’s orchestras and choirs will be organized in each municipality, turning concert venues into meeting places of various groups, thus reducing prejudices, combating discrimination and enhancing social inclusion of children, especially those from marginalized groups. Finally, workshops with children will be organized in the selected schools about child rights, non-discrimination and active participation in influencing policy-making in their communities via available mechanisms.

Final publication will sum up the project findings which will be presented at a final conference at the end of the project together with general recommendations to policy-makers and the CSOs/GOs on how to improve citizen participation in the development of local policies and mainstream child rights into local policies.

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