The Autonomous Women's Center submitted information to the competent Ministry and professional bodies in social protection, as well as to all social welfare centers, about the problematic promotion of the concept of "equal parenting", as well as the related concepts of "parental alienation" and "high-conflict divorce" through conferences, professional meetings and education for professional workers in social welfare centers, in reaction to the information from Slovenia.
Serbia spent the reporting period – from May to October 2023 – in a somewhat extraordinary state. Two mass murders among minors and young people at the beginning of May traumatised Serbian society and prompted the Government to take a series of reactive measures that marginalised the planned reform activities. These tragic events exposed systemic failures in the country presented the most terrible consequences of fostering a culture of verbal and physical violence in public space, and initiated protests and demands for accountability, which the Government partly ignored and partly attacked. The end of October, on the other hand, also marked the anniversary of the work of the Government, which then entered its technical mandate by announcing snap parliamentary elections on 17 December 2023.
The European Commission's (EC) Report on Serbia was published on November 8 as part of the broader European Union enlargement package, which now includes a total of ten countries. The prEUgovor coalition highlights and comments on its key findings in the areas it regularly monitors. The Report shows that, over the past nine years, Serbia has only slightly increased its readiness for EU membership and consistently stagnates half-way on the reform path. In critical areas covered by chapters 23 and 24 (judiciary, fight against corruption, freedom of expression, fight against organised crime), it received a rating of 2 out of 5, which is the same as in the previous year.
In nine years, Serbia has only slightly increased the level of readiness for membership in the European Union and is persistently standing in the middle of the reform path. In critical areas from Chapters 23 and 24 (judiciary, fight against corruption, freedom of expression, fight against organized crime) it received an unchanged score of 2 out of 5.
Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, issued the Report after her visit to Serbia on March 13-17, 2023 with recommendations that focus on transitional justice, freedom of expression and association, as well as women's rights and gender equality. Along with recognition for strengthening the legislation and public policy framework for gender equality in the previous period, she called for redoubled efforts in the fight against persistent gender discriminatory stereotypes that contribute to the repetition of gender-based violence.
Ten women's civil society organizations from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Montenegro, which deal with providing support to women who have survived violence, sent a letter of support to Professor Robert Geffner - an American clinical psychologist with 40 years of experience in the field of domestic violence, trauma and psychological and sexual abuse of children.
The latest confirmation of the unacceptability of the usage of the "parental alienation" concept, and its harmful consequences comes from the GREVIO expert group (which monitors the implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, ratified by the Republic of Serbia in 2013), in the assessment to the Republic of Croatia (September 6, 2023).
On August 8, 2023, the Autonomous Women's Center submitted comments on the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on the Protection of Persons with Mental Disabilities, pointing out that it is disputable that it is unclear who were the members of the working group for drafting the amendments (first of all, whether it included representatives of other relevant ministries, experts and citizens' associations dealing with the protection of children's rights), as well as the fact that the changes violate children's rights.
The key data on the implementation of the Law on the Protection of Domestic Violence in 2022, was reviewed compared to 2018 and 2019 (before the pandemic), compared to 2020, the year marked by the state of emergency and the emergency situation due to COVID-19, as well as compared to 2021. It indicates the trends of discontinuing the increase in reporting domestic violence events, along with the increase in the number of risky events compared to the number of reported events of violence. The number of police orders also increased, for individual measures and for both measures imposed together, as well as the number of perpetrators of violence. Proposals for extension and decisions on extended emergency protection measures are in high percentage accordance with the number of police orders. The number of reviewed domestic violence cases at meetings of groups for coordination and cooperation approached that of 2019.
Women's organizations from Serbia expressed their expectation that the Government of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the Coordinating Body for Gender Equality, the Ministry of Justice, Family Care, Social Protection and Foreign Affairs, will carefully consider the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls. , its causes and consequences, Reem Alsalem - Custody, violence against women and violence against children (A/HRC/53/36), which presents a detailed analysis of decisions related to custody of minor children in the context of domestic violence, which will be discussed at the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Committee.
Women's organizations from Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and North Macedonia (55 organizations) sent a letter of support to the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, its causes and consequences, which refers to the entrusting the children, violence against women and violence against children, and which will be presented at the 53rd session of the UN Human Rights Committee. The initiative for this action came from the Women's Network of Croatia, which also submitted a letter of support (signed by 41 organizations).