Friday, April 26, 2019

Advocacy

Initial premise of the Autonomous Women's Center is that policies, in order to fight against violence against women, at the local and national level should be consistent with international standards and good practices in this field. In accordance with the strategic goals, that the Convention of the United Nations and the Council of Europe should be implemented well by the state and that in the process of joining the European Union we must respect the human rights of women, Autonomous Women's Center consistently monitors the implementation of and advocates for a comprehensive, coherent, relevant, specific, efficient and effective national policies against violence against women.

pravda sAWC’s independent monitoring of the Law on the Prevention of Domestic Violence for the period July-December 2018, has confirmed earlier statements concerning the stabilization of procedures of responsible institutions in this field.  On average, 1572 of restraining orders and 689 eviction orders are issued monthly, while 663 persons receive both measures. The sex of persons against whom these measures are issued confirm well-known data – men receive them in 85% and women in 15% of cases. Data on the sex of persons who receive both urgent measures is also expected – men in 90% of cases and women in 10% of cases, which indirectly indicates that men commit more aggravated acts of domestic violence.

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zasticena sThe Regulation on Protection against Sexual Harassment and Extortion of the Faculty of Law – Union University in Belgrade, came into effect last week. This is the second faculty in Serbia (besides the Faculty of Political Sciences – University of Belgrade) that has taken steps to improve the protection of employees and students from sexual harassment by adopting a separate internal act addressing this issue. This document defines the terms “sexual harassment” and “extortion”, bans such behavior and determines measures of prevention and steps in the protection from sexual harassment, with the aim of promoting academic freedoms, equal opportunities, and respect of the integrity and dignity of all participants in the process of higher education.

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pravda justicia sBased on international documents and twenty-five years of experience of working with women and children victims of domestic, intimate partner and sexual violence, the Autonomous Women’s Center submitted to the Ministry of Justice its comments on the working text of the National Strategy on the Rights of Victims and Witnesses of Crime for the period from 2019 to 2025.

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cedaw sAt its 72nd session, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women considered the Fourth periodic report of the Republic of Serbia on the implementation of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The state delegation comprised 26 representatives of the legislative, executive and judicial powers, and two interpreters.

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koalicija logo sAs was pointed out several times (during the monitoring of the implementation of activities from the AP for chapter 23), the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs added amendments to the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination without a public debate, nor was the draft law available on the ministry’s website.

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medijska strategija sWithin the public debate procedure, the Autonomous Women’s Center submitted comments and amendments to the draft Strategy on the Development of the System of Public Informing in the Republic of Serbia. The key comment refers to the fact that the Strategy needs to be gender sensitive and gender specific, because women comprise 51% of society and because public information should enable the achievement of gender equality in all spheres of public and private life (in accordance with international standards, domestic legislation and strategic documents in this field).

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cedaw zenevaAt the 72nd session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, during which the Committee will consider the Fourth periodic report of the Republic of Serbia on the implementation of the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (on February 28, 2019), an informal meeting of Committee members with representatives of NGOs from Serbia, UK and Botswana, was held (February 25, 2019).

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draft law on gender equality sAlthough the European Commission’s progress reports on gender equality in Serbia are modest in both scope and content, with relatively moderate conclusions, they still indicate insufficient activity and commitment of the state, reflected in the lack of implementation or (serious) delays in planned activities. What is missing from these progress reports, however, are comments on the quality of changes - amendments and supplements to laws made with the aim of aligning them with the acquis communautaire - and the effects of implemented measures and activities on the actual state of human rights, including the rights of women, and the achievement of equality of women and men in all spheres of public and private life.

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osvoji milion s

Rape is a crime (criminal offense) everywhere. International standards require the punishment of any sexual act without CONSENT.

It is time for the criminal offense of Rape - Article 178 of the Criminal Code of Serbia to comply with the accepted international standards.

Therefore, support the CONSENT campaign and demand from the Ministry of Justice to modify the definition of this offense in accordance with international standards.

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kd silovanje strucni skup sThe Autonomous Women's Center started organizing expert meetings dedicated to the need to change the definition of the criminal offense of rape and its compliance with the standards of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

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zasticena sThe scarce data on the experience of youth concerning sexual harassment, as well as media reports on these cases, point to the need for higher education institutions to ensure systematic information of employees and students about the unacceptability of such behavior, support measures for those exposed to harassment and timely institutional reaction.

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