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 Belgrade, 23 October 2013 – Praxis published the report “Protecting Roma against Discrimination” within the project “Contribution to Social Inclusion and Combat against Discrimination of Marginalized Population in Serbia” funded by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Decades-long social exclusion has been particularly enhanced by extreme poverty that affected a number of Roma as a result of armed conflicts.  Despite the fact that the legal framework in some areas is satisfactory and that the state has shown initiative to improve the situation of Roma through various inclusive measures, the awareness of the general public is such that the Roma are often perceived as second-rate citizens. A high level of intolerance, prejudice and stereotypes about Roma expressed by the majority population, the media, representatives of public authorities at national and local level, are constantly present. Therefore, Roma people mainly prefer to accept a life in isolation, struggling to secure a minimum of livelihood.

This report addresses the issue of discrimination in the exercise of social and economic rights. The experience in this field is based primarily on the strategic cases handled by Praxis since the adoption of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, and the report analyses these cases to present the current situation in practice, attitude of public authorities and recommended steps for improving the existing situation.

Download the report: Protecting Roma against Discrimination

Source: Praxis

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UNDP report focuses on Roma and other so-called vulnerable groups including refugees and IDPs in Southeast Europe.

June 2006

http://europeandcis.undp.org/uploads/public/File/rbec_web/vgr/vuln_rep_all.pdf

The IDP Working Group, jointly organized by UNHCR, OSCE and Praxis, took place on 29 March 2007 in Belgrade. The participants of the Conference were 130 representatives of government institutions, international organizations, local and international NGOs, diplomatic corps and the media. On that occasion, two reports were presented: Praxis’ report Access to Documents for IDPs in Serbia and the updated Analysis of the Situation of Internally Displaced Persons from Kosovo in Serbia: Law and Practice produced by the Inter-agency Group in October 2005. The latter has been prepared through a joint effort of UNHCR and Praxis and has been endorsed by a number of international organizations and international and local NGOs involved in IDP work on a daily basis.

The paper prepared jointly by UNHCR and Praxis gives broader overview of the IDP situation, identifies gaps in the legal system and proposes concrete solutions to alleviate everyday problems of IDPs with the aim to ensure that IDPs are guaranteed effective access to basic civil, political, social and economic rights, including documentation.  

Praxis’ report Access to Documents for IDPs in Serbia addresses the problems IDPs face in accessing their documentation, both in Serbia and in Kosovo, which is essential for the enjoyment of human and civic rights. Based on the experience of Praxis’ lawyers gained through everyday assistance provided to the displaced, the report presents major obstacles in obtaining documentation, specific issues concerning unequal practice of administrative and judicial organs, Praxis’ advocacy work and recommendations for solving the documentation issue. Its aim is to provide information on this issue to all interested parties, as well as to motivate all levels of authority to act in full compliance with their powers and obligations in order to overcome the documentation problem and make possible the fulfillment of basic human rights.

The report is available at:

http://www.praxis.org.yu/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=70

In an opinion for the Committee of Migration, Refugees and Population of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, the rapporteur, Mr. Ed van Thjn expresses concerns about an increase of forced returns of Roma to Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro in 2006.

 He notes that the situation in the region has remained tense and could deteriorate in the view of the status negotiations.

30 March 2007

The full text of the opinion is available at:

http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc07/EDOC11217.htm

In a report prepared by Mr. Nikolaos Dendias, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly expresses concerns about the situation of longstanding refugees and IDPs.

The report insists that the governments need to give higher priority to finding a sustainable situation for the refugees and should set up adequate legal and institutional frameworks for their support.

24 May 2007

The full text of the report is available at:

http://assembly.coe.int/Main.asp?link=/Documents/WorkingDocs/Doc07/EDOC11289.htm

In an update of their report on the situation of internally displaced people in Serbia and Montenegro, the UNHCR and Praxis underline, that the problems of IDPs remain unresolved. The report deals in particular with the situation of Roma, Ashkalija and Egyptians from Kosovo and people who have been forcibly returned from Western Europe.

March 2007

The full text of the report is available at:

http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/refworld/rwmain?docid=4704bff72&page=search (in English)

http://www.praxis.org.yu/index.php?option=com_docman&task=doc_view&gid=48 (in Serbian)

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