Praxis Watch

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Decree on Measures of Social Inclusion of Beneficiaries of Cash Social Assistance is not Compliant with the Constitution and Law on Social Protection

On 3 November 2014, Praxis and Steady Conference of Roma Association of Citizens (SKRUG) submitted the initiative for the assessment of constitutionality and legality of the Decree on Measures of Social Inclusion of Beneficiaries of Cash Social Assistance, which was adopted by the Government of the Republic of Serbia on 15 October 2014.

Cash social assistance is intended for people who do not have enough means for life and is the basic form of cash social assistance to socially vulnerable persons. The right to social protection, and thus the right to cash social assistance as one of the forms of social protection, is the right guaranteed by the Constitution and can be therefore limited by the law but only if the Constitution allows it. However, with the Decree, this right is limited by the bylaw for the purpose not allowed by the Constitution, i.e. exercise of the right to cash social assistance is conditioned in a way that is contrary to the relevant constitutional and legal principles. The obligations envisaged by some articles of the Decree (volunteering, socially useful work, participation in public works, etc.) are defined by the Law on Social Protection as rights of beneficiaries of cash social assistance. By the Decree, these rights are transformed into obligations of the beneficiaries of cash social assistance and if beneficiaries do not fulfill them, they lose the guaranteed right to social protection, i.e. cash social assistance.

By prescribing the possibility of reduction or even cancellation of the right to cash social assistance, depending on the participation in the above-stated activities, the right to human dignity of beneficiaries of cash social assistance is not threatened and thus the Decree is contrary to the Constitution and the Law on Social Protection.

For more information, see the announcement: Praxis and SKRUG Call on the Constitutional Court to Determine the Non-Compliance of the Decree with the Constitution and the Law on Social Protection

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