Praxis Watch

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Tragic Outcome in Informal Settlement

The recent fire in the informal settlement in New Belgrade with the tragic outcome, when three children lost their lives, is the consequence of the bad position of Roma population in Serbia, which still has an impeded or no access to basic human rights.

Despite the fact that Serbia as a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights is obliged to recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions, Roma population in Serbia still lives in unhygienic conditions with no clear prospects of possible solution of this problem.

Also, Praxis reminds that two out of four principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child are dedication to best interest of the child and the right to life, survival and development. Not dealing with the core solving of the problem of Roma population, the state directly threatens the rights of child and fails to fulfil the duties it committed to by ratifying the international conventions.

It is also a disturbing fact that journalism ethics has failed
again while reporting on this tragic event. Thus, the facts on ethnic origin came to the fore, and several printed media published the children’s names. This is yet another form of discrimination against Roma population, which is repeatedly practiced during media incident reporting.

Praxis notes that this is not a single case of human rights violations, particularly the rights of the children, caused by not finding a systemic solution to the problem of Roma population in Serbia for years. Therefore, it is necessary to consistently observe international standards in the area of human rights and address the problems faced by the Roma population on a daily basis
more systematically.


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