VOCATION AGAINST THE SENTENCE OF LIFE IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT A RIGHT TO CONDITIONAL RELEASE

May 8, 2019

We, the undersigned,

Recalling that all Serbian authorities are under the obligation to respect the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia,[1]  the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,[2] the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,[3] the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment[4] and other ratified international treaties, as well as rules of international customary law prohibiting torture and inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment in all circumstances. (more…)

CoolTour Tube Workshops in Belgrade

April 24, 2019

Three two-day workshops for young refugees and young people from Serbia were held in a period from 6 to 21 April in the Human Rights House in Belgrade. The workshops are part of the CoolTour Tube program which is part of the project Support to Refugees and Asylum-Seekers in Serbia supported by the UNHCR.

The program encourages communication between young people with different cultural and ethnic backgrounds, through different kind of activities, such as: educational and creative workshops, events, joint actions, research within the communities and creation of an animated film.  

The aim of the program is  development of  intercultural community where every young individual is fully integrated and actively involved in social life. Program is based on methods of intercultural learning, youth work and participative art.

Main topics of the workshops were: identity, power, cultural democracy, interculturality, stereotypes and prejudices, discrimination, social integration.

14 participants from refugee and local population had an opportunity to explore the topic of interculturality, disccus on different social issues, but also to meet the culture of „Other“, to  deconstruct their stereotypes and develop joint actions and events.

Additional three two-day workshops will be organised in Obrenovac for youth from that municipality and Reception Centre Obrenovac.

Towards sustainable community-based protection for vulnerable migrants in Serbia

April 9, 2019

Donor: International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Duration: April 2019 – September 2019

The project is implemented under the program of the Swiss-Serbian Migration Partnership, which was created based on the expressed needs of the competent institutions of the Republic of Serbia. The goal of the program is to contribute to strengthening and improving of the social protection of migrants in Serbia through increasing the availability and quality of social services and support programs in local communities. Within this program, the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights will conduct a project aimed at strengthening the capacities of the centers for social work and youth workers, as well as the improvement of cross-sectoral cooperation with the active involvement of the migrants themselves. (more…)

PRESS RELEASE

March 18, 2019

The House of Human Rights and Democracy condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the actions of Belgrade police during their securing of the “1 of 5 million” rallies on Saturday and Sunday. Preventing disorder and protecting people and property are the primary tasks of police when it comes to securing public assemblies. Their inadequate assessment of the predictable security risk posed by protesters entering the RTS building, as well as the lack of a timely reaction, contributed to the escalation of violence. Therefore, the subsequent use of force by the police, which participants of the rally have been recorded and published, can be deemed disproportionate.

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Protecting victims and combating impunity of state officials in torture proceedings and strengthening the safeguards against refoulement

March 7, 2019

Donor: United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture
Duration: 1 January – 31 December 2019

 

logo JecaThis project aims to provide predominantly legal but also other (social, medical and psychological) assistance to victims of torture and members of their families. Apart from direct assistance, the activities are directed towards seeking redress for victims, combating and reducing impunity and inefficiency of state authorities in charge of criminally prosecuting state agents accused of torture, and eliminating torture. Additionally, we plan to improve practices that are severely undermining the principle of non-refoulement in asylum procedures, extradition procedures and informal procedures at the Belgrade airport Nikola Tesla.

The project encompasses:

  1. Litigation of cases of torture before the national organs;
  2. Bringing the cases before international bodies (European Court of Human Rights and monitoring mechanisms – CAT, CPT, etc.);
  3. Prevention of expulsion or securing international protection for refugees against refoulment;
  4. Regarding the impunity of state officials, for all identified cases criminal complaints will be filled;
  5. Engagement of medical doctors – forensic specialists and pathologists – to examine, document and report on the injuries, according to the Istanbul protocol for the purposes of litigation;
  6. Research, monitoring and reporting on the state of the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment in Serbia, as well as on the impunity of state officials for acts of ill-treatment;
  7. Follow-up advocacy and litigation on the implementation of successful decisions from previous cases, including prosecution of perpetrators and compensation for victims

Support to Refugees and Asylum Seekers in the Republic of Serbia

March 6, 2019

Donor: UNHCR Office in Serbia

Duration: January 2019 – December 2019

Building on the successful cooperation with the UNHCR to date, the Belgrade Center for Human Rights (BCHR) will continue with provision of free legal aid to asylum seekers and refugees in the Republic of Serbia in 2019.

Recognizing the need for additional protection of unaccompanied and separated children and the need to continue to provide support to the system in this regard, BCHR introduced a new position of a Child Protection Officer within the legal team. The Child Protection Officer, specializing in the rights of children, will provide child friendly legal counselling and adequate support to unaccompanied and separated children undergoing the asylum procedure in accordance with international standards.

Belgrade Centre for Human Rights will continue to cooperate with national authorities aiming to enhance their capacities in the field of international refugee law, protection of vulnerable groups in the asylum procedure, etc. In cooperation with the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, the BCHR field team will continue to conduct regular visits to asylum and receptions centres in order to provide free legal counselling. BCHR will advocate for changes and improvements in the conduct of Serbian authorities regarding the access to the asylum procedure, efficiency of the asylum procedure as well as better integration system for person granted asylum.

In addition to providing legal representation before Serbian authorities, BCHR will strategically litigate cases to international institutions including European Court of Human Rights and UN Human Rights mechanisms in an effort to push for system solutions.

Further to the provision of free legal aid, the BCHR will undertake efforts to raise awareness of citizens and stakeholders on the topics of rights of refugees, international human rights standards, violations of human rights as well as advocate for adequate solutions to the systemic flaws. Analyses of decisions made by authorities in the asylum procedure and integration process will be used for research and monitoring of the respect of human rights standards, to which the Republic of Serbia has committed. BCHR will prepare legal analyses and reports on right to asylum in the Republic of Serbia that will be available at www.azil.rs.

Starting this year, the integration programme of the BCHR will be enriched with project activities focused on youth refugee population. During joint workshops, refugee youth and the local youth population will work together on creation of an animated film. The main aim of the youth component of the project and joint activities of the local and refugee youth population is to break the stereotypes within younger generations, support dialogue between cultures, encourage youth to actively participate in the society, and to develop their talents and acquire additional skills.

Regional cooperation with civil society working in the field of asylum and migration will be further improved through the Balkan Refugee and Migration Council.