Serbia

Several human rights organisations have developed into professional watchdog organisations in Serbia. But, the majority are not using legal mechanisms and advocacy in their work, mostly because of distrust in institutions and long legal procedures. We assist such organisations by coordinating their initiatives with other actors, provide trainings and assist in developing long-term strategies.

Read about the current human rights situation in our country report Human rights in Serbia

Safe and Secure Freedom of Assembly Must be Guaranteed at Belgrade Pride

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Civil Rights Defenders demands that the government of Serbia puts all measures in place to ensure a safe and secure Belgrade Pride March which is scheduled to take place on September 18. Freedom of peaceful assembly must be secured for all citizens of Serbia regardless of their personal attributes and to guarantee peoples’ fundamental human rights. Belgrade Pride Week 2016 which began on September 12 includes a variety of cultural, debate and community-oriented events, which will take place at several locations throughout the Serbian capital.

Second Generation of Human Rights Defenders School Kicks Off in Serbia

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Civil Rights Defenders is delighted to see another 50 participants partake in the second generation Human Rights Defenders School which is held in Belgrade and Nis in Serbia. Today the students will begin an intensive ten-month training including lectures and workshops focusing on contemporary human rights issues. Created by Civil Rights Defenders the school’s principal goal is to empower a new generation of human rights defenders.

Serbian Media Landscape: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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On the 26th of May, Civil Rights Defenders organized a hearing event about the Serbian media landscape at the European Parliament. Although officials talk of progress in the Western Balkans media, there are numerous problems. “Last year, three important media laws were adopted, all of them drafted in cooperation with Civil Rights Defenders’ partners. Still, each Government sees the media, and especially the Public Broadcasting Service, as something to control.” said Goran Miletic at Civil Rights Defenders.

Human Rights in Serbia

Serbia is currently a candidate country for a European Union (EU) membership. The negotiations for Serbia’s EU accession officially opened in January 2014. The negotiating framework requires progress in normalising their relations with Kosovo, while the implementation of the Agreement will be closely monitored. The opening of the negotiations has not improved the situation in regards to human rights; the situation has even deteriorated in comparison to 2014, particularly in the areas of freedom of expression, independent regulatory bodies, judicial reform and national minorities.

Human Rights Defenders School Launched in Serbia

Human Rights Defenders School Photo: Civil Rights Defenders

Civil Rights Defenders recently launched a capacity building Human Rights Defenders School in Serbia. The initiative kicked off in Belgrade on January 16 and is an effort to strengthen Serbian human rights defenders in their field of work. During seven months participating activists in Belgrade and Nis will receive training in human rights advocacy and be able to attend lectures and seminars led by prominent human rights experts.

Serbia must protect the rights of asylum seekers

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Extensive and violent protests erupted in Serbia when local authorities in the cities of Obrenovac and Vracevic decided to give 200 asylum seekers temporary winter accommodation in dormitories, as a result of freezing temperatures. Aggravated citizens blocked the road leading to the accommodation facilities and one of the dormitories was set on fire. Civil Rights Defenders strongly condemns the lack of reaction from the police and the failure to protect the asylum seekers.

Belgrade Pride in Swedish media

For the third year in a row Serbian authorities banned the Pride Parade in Belgrade. The frustration and disappointment within the LGBT community was unmistakable and Civil Rights Defenders immediately condemned the decision. The newspaper Svenska Dagbladet interviewed Civil Rights Defenders Program Director for the Western Balkans, Goran Miletic, and wrote; “Now, he and the others must continue to battle against the wind”

New report: Long road to press freedom ahead

Cover report Press Freedom Serbia

Only 4 of the European Council’s 27 principles for press freedom have been fully implemented in Serbia, the first comprehensive report on the media situation in the country: Serbian Media Scene VS European Standards, suggests. Free press is a cornerstone for democratic development; in this report the challenges lying ahead of the Serbian media scene become evident. This report is a result of a yearlong cooperation between Civil Rights Defenders and local partners.

Map of victims of the Yugoslav wars

Together with Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) in Serbia Civil Rights Defenders provide work to raise public awareness on the importance of confronting the past, by compiling and disseminating a comprehensive record of human losses in Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro in the wars of the 1990s. The “Interactive Online Map of Human Losses” provides user-friendly information and access to relevant documents on human losses in Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia.