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Thursday, 6 June 2019

Praxis at the First Public Hearing on Draft Law on Child’s Rights and Child Ombudsman

Praxis participated at the first public hearing on Draft Law on Child’s Rights and Child Ombudsman that was held in  Belgrade, on 5 June 2019.  The Children’s Rights Council of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, consisting of representatives of relevant state institutions and the civil sector, in 2017 unanimously launched an initiative for adopting a comprehensive Law on Child’s Rights and Child Ombudsman. 

At present, professionals apply more than 80 legal texts in the field of child’s rights and their mutual incompatibility is one of most often highlighted problems. Therefore, the future Law on Child’s Rights and Child Ombudsman, as the so-called "umbrella" law, should contribute to the harmonisation of the entire legal system in the field of children's rights, because it will be necessary to harmonise the existing legal solutions in all sectoral laws with the solutions contained in the said law.

The civil sector has continuously pointed out, to both state institutions and international UN bodies that monitor the implementation of international instruments for the protection of human rights in Serbia, the necessity of adopting a comprehensive law in the field of child’s rights. By adopting this law, our country would fulfil one of its international obligations stemming from membership in the Council of Europe, which was the recommendation of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child from 2008, repeated in the next cycle, and the recommendation from the latest Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council from January 2018. Praxis also had the opportunity to participate actively in the public hearing on the Draft Law on Child’s Rights, held ten years ago, but due to the lack of political will, further work on drafting the Law was suspended. We hope that this time the state will be more determined and adopt by September 2019, as planned, this extremely important law as an instrument whose primary aim will be to promote and improve the rights of the child, coordinate activities in exercising the child’s rights and control the observance of child’s rights by public authorities and other entities in society.

Public hearings will be held also in Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Novi Pazar and Niš. 

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