Monday, August 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.

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As 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.

The AWC had requested information on results of the implementation of the existing Law and recommendations for its amendment prepared by the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, which were also not available publically. The Commissioner for Protection of Equality informed AWC that the draft’s development was within the competences of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, failing to answer the question concerning the public availability of documents prepared by her office (in accordance with activities from the AP for Chapter 23).

At the same time, the AWC pointed out that it was impossible to develop a draft Law on Gender Equality without its harmonization with amendments in legislation of general character, such as the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination.

The content of the draft Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination confirms why the amendments of this law had been kept a secret by the competent ministry. For these reasons, the AWC supports the Coalition against Discrimination that recommended the withdrawal of the draft Law from the assembly adoption procedure.

The statement of the Coalition against Discrimination in Serbian is available at this link.