Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in Serbia

December 14, 2021

Donors: Federal Foreign Office via Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Belgrade and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Belgrade
Duration: November 2021 – February 2022

The overall goal of the project is to promote and protect human rights in Serbia through monitoring and reporting on the state of human rights and capacity building of experts and human rights defenders. This project responds to the continuing and growing need and demand for improving the human rights situation in Serbia and training young professionals to get and help Serbia’s transition to a democratic society based on the rule of law, human rights and European values.

The key activities on the project include the organization of the Human Rights School "Vojin Dimitrijević", as well as the creation of the annual report on the state of human rights in Serbia for 2021.

The Human Rights School “Vojin Dimitrijević” is an intensive course on the concept of human rights, restrictions and derogations of rights, prohibition of discrimination, right to life, right to liberty and security of person, right to trial, prohibition of torture, freedom of expression, economic, social, and cultural rights, minority rights and other human rights. Using various methods such as lectures, workshops, case studies and panel discussions, students have the opportunity to hear and learn about the theoretical aspects of human rights, ways of protecting human rights as well as other socially relevant topics. Lecturers are professors, judges, lawyers, representatives of international organizations and activists from civil society organizations. 

The annual reports, published both in Serbian and English, contain a comparison of domestic laws and other regulations with international norms that bind Serbia, and an assessment of their application in practice. Belgrade Centre for Human Rights’ associates regularly monitor the media, reports of domestic and international non-governmental organizations and intergovernmental organizations, laws, strategies, and action plans. Each year, the report points to broader issues, which determine the attitude towards human rights situation. Since these problems and topics change from year to year, Belgrade Centre for Human Rights always emphasizes and analyses those problems that were the most important in the given year.

Protecting Rights of Healthcare Workers

November 8, 2021

Donor: Balkan Trust for Democracy
Duration: 1 May 2021 – 30 April 2022

The project aims at protecting and promoting the human rights of doctors during and after the Covid-19 pandemics. Practice shows that the human rights of doctors were severely compromised during the fight against the virus, and that there was no adequate prevention or reaction to protect their rights.  With this project, through detailed analysis with recommendations, broad cross-sectoral debate and advocacy activities we want to protect the human rights of doctors and improve their position.

Activities on the project include: conducting research on human rights violations of doctors during the pandemic and development of Analysis; broad cross-sectoral public discussion on violations and finding solutions to identified problems and ways to improve the position of healthcare workers and protect their human rights. Advocacy and promotion campaigns to launch various protection / liability mechanisms for violations of doctors’ rights will be implemented throughout the entire project.

Legal Support to Victims of Police Brutality during the July 2020 Protests and Analysis of Judicial and Prosecutorial Practices in Torture and Ill-Treatment Cases in the January 2018-June 2020 Period

April 7, 2021

Donor: ECNL – European Center for Not-for-Profit Law
Duration: 1 January-15 June 2021

The ECNL (European Centre for Not-for-Profit Law) is extending support to the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights to implement activities regarding:

  • Extension of legal aid to 18 victims of police ill-treatment during the July 2020 protests;
  • Implementation of a survey on public awareness of human rights in case of arrest and ill-treatment by public officials and of public views of the effects of police brutality during the July protests on the realisation of the freedom of assembly;
  • Preparation of an analysis on actions by the relevant authorities (public prosecution services, the police, the Protector of Citizens, et al) in response to individual complaints of police ill-treatment during the July 2020 protests in terms of the state’s duty to conduct thorough, urgent and impartial investigations;
  • Preparation of an analysis of judicial and prosecutorial practices in torture and ill-treatment cases from 1 January 2018 to 30 June 2020;
  • Development of public outreach materials on documenting torture and ill-treatment and the rights of persons deprived of liberty, which will be published and presented on social networks, in the press and on Internet portals;
  • Development of legislative recommendations and initiatives to amend the law, which will be forwarded to the relevant authorities and the public;
  • Development of a publication summarising the project results.