A team of experts will support the Serbian Government in further strengthening the anti-discrimination framework, thus contributing to the protection of human rights and minority standards and leading to an enhanced democratisation of the Serbian society.

logoEPTISA, as a leader of a consortium with the Danish Refugee Council, GDSI, and Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, has recently been awarded a new EU-funded project in Serbia: “Implementation of Anti-discrimination Policies”. The assignment, which will last for two years, aims to support the efforts of the Serbian Government in combating discrimination, and in promoting tolerance, equality, and diversity.

In the last decades, and due to the violent disintegration of the former Yugoslavia and to the political, economic, and social transition, the Serbian society has been dominated by a culture of intolerance towards certain vulnerable social groups and individuals. A systematic approach towards combating discrimination did not exist at that time. However, through the joint efforts of the government, the civil society, and the international donor community, the situation has significantly improved. In this regard, over the past few years there have been a number of important developments, particularly related to the development of institutional and legal frameworks governing the topic of anti-discrimination. The adoption in March 2009 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination represents the most important step in building a systematic approach towards combating inequity. Related to this, the newly awarded contract will aim to further increase capacities in the Serbian government to enforce and protect human and minority rights, promoting equality and non-discrimination standards.

Our team of experts will provide assistance to the Office for Human and Minority Rights, the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, the State Administration, Local Self Governments, and other key institutions to coordinate, implement, monitor, and promote anti-discrimination policies in Serbia, in line with EU standards and best practice.

Among other activities, this assistance will include piloting preventative and promotional measures related to anti-discrimination at a local level, developing recommendations for legal changes and policy developments in the field of anti-discrimination, providing trainings for more than 500 government officials, monitoring the level of implementation of the relevant laws, strengthening the institutions dealing with victims of discrimination, and raising the awareness of the general public and specific target groups on the key aspects of the anti­discrimination policy.

For more information about this project, please contact EPTISA Regional Office for Southeast Europe at eptisasee@eptisa.com.