Our new brochure #UspraviSe! for better understanding of human rights and rule of law

March 7, 2022

Capture naslovna brošura uspraviseWe are pleased to introduce our new brochure #UspraviSe! (#StandUp!) with the aim to bring closer topics related to human rights and rule of law to Serbian citizens, especially to young people.

The brochure is a result of our #UspraviSe! Instagram educational campaign. Using social media style we pointed out the basics of human rights as the foundations of a stable and democratic society where free development of every person is cultivated.

This brochure as well as our Instagram campaign is launched for education purposes, to raise awareness on the importance of human rights, the enjoyment and protection.

Ilustrations and text in this brochure bring together concepts of rule of law, human rights as an universal chategories that must be respected and protected, equality before the law, fair trial, free and fair elections, protection of equality and importance of fighting against discrimination and hate speech…

The brochure is available here in Serbian.

Online campaign and brochure #UspraviSe! is part of Project ‘Improving Culture of Rule of Law and Human Rights among Young People’, that BCHR implements with support of the OSCE Mission in Serbia.

AHRI Statement on the Russian aggression against Ukraine

March 4, 2022

Capture AHRI logoThe Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, as the only non-governmental organization that is a full member of the global network of the Association of Human Rights Institutions (AHRI), publishes AHRI statement on the Russian aggression against Ukraine:

We, the Association of Human Rights Institutes (AHRI), as a global network of academic human rights institutes, stand in solidarity with Ukraine and voice grave concern over aggression by the Russian Federation against the sovereign State of Ukraine.

The 24th of February 2022 marks a dark date for the twenty-first century. The decision of the Russian Federation to breach the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine, to put the fate of millions of Ukranian and Russian people at risk, is an indisputable violation of the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and poses a direct threat to countless rules of international law, including international human rights law and international humanitarian law. We recall AHRI’s Potsdam Declaration where mutual cross-fertilization of these two branches of international law has been underlined.

The Russian Federation and Ukraine both have committed to upholding the UN Charter, the sovereign equality of all Member States, and Article 2(4) which prohibits the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of other States. Both states are also members of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and subject to a range of agreements directed toward preserving peace, security and human rights. The Russian Federation’s invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory is a clear violation of international law and endangers the postWorld War II peace architecture that has prevailed over Europe these last seven decades.

The Russian Federation is bound, also, by seven of the core UN human rights treaties as well as the European Convention on Human Rights. We recall the position of the Human Rights Committee that States parties of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights who are engaged in acts of aggression as defined in international law, resulting in deprivation of life, violate ipso facto the right to life as protected by Article 6 of the Covenant. Each step the Russian Federation takes in Ukraine negates its commitment to respect and protect the rights of civilians in Ukraine and those in Russia who are unable to safely voice their opposition to their government’s actions. This unprecedented use of force and blatant breach of the UN Charter, the Charter of Paris, and the Helsinki Final Act brings suffering and misery to Ukraine and its people. A country that laboriously paved its path towards democracy. A country that in 1994 gave up its nuclear arsenal. A country that has sought to ensure peace and prosperity through the bonds of international agreement and cooperation.

Until the Russian Federation halts this course of action, many lives will be lost, many people will be internally or internationally displaced, children will be deprived access to education, healthcare, and safety. Ukrainian people will lose their homes, their forms of livelihood and their rights to be secure. There have already been documented indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

As an international network of human rights institutes, we cannot stand silent. We strongly condemn the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. We will use our network and undertake all actions at our disposal to help Ukrainian citizens.

We call on the Russian Federation to immediately cease hostilities in Ukraine. Until that point, we call on the Russian Federation and its armed forces to respect rules of international humanitarian law and international human rights law. We call on our governments and international organizations to take all steps that may stop the war and to help Ukraine and its people.

We urge all relevant actors to document atrocities and violations for future accountability.

We call on Russian academics and human rights institutes to fight misinformation and to speak the truth when international law arguments are misused and abused.

When peace is finally achieved, Ukraine will need the world, Europe and the support of all of us to rebuild. Not simply their physical surroundings, but their faith in the rule of law and its aims to promote peace.

We stand in solidarity with Ukraine, with our academic colleagues and students.

28 February 2022

AHRI Statement on Russian Aggression against Ukraine in English is HERE.

New Report ‘Human Rights in Serbia 2021’

March 3, 2022

Capture Izvestaj ljudska prava engl

Our new Report ‘Human Rights in Serbia 2021’ presents a comprehensive overview and analysis of the situation in Serbia last year. Exposed to constant internal political tensions, traumatised by everyday incidents, scandals and verbal and physical violence, Serbia has become a deeply polarised society. The year behind us was marked by numerous protests, strikes and other forms of organisation, the last recourse of citizens whose rights were jeopardised or violated. 2021 was also marked by the process of amending the constitutional provisions on the judiciary, ending with the adoption of the amendments by the National Assembly and their endorsement at a referendum held in early 2022.

Nevertheless, the government’ persistent refusal to engage in meaningful dialogue, above all with the citizens, remained the crucial problem permeating all social processes and manifesting its most drastic forms and effects in the field of human rights.

The numerous problems concerning the rule of law, exacerbated by the increasingly manifest primacy of the executive undermining the separation of powers and the breakdown of the institutions, continued in 2021.

The general opinion is that Serbia still lags substantially behind European and global trends despite its headway in adopting environmental legislation. Serbia ranked 9 th on the global list of pollution-related deaths and 1st on the list of European countries by death rates from
combined pollution risk factors. Such a situation and lack of interest of the authorities to take urgent steps to address numerous environmental problems prompted environmental protests across Serbia throughout the year.

Report ‘Human Rights in Serbia 2021’ is available HERE.

The research, translation and publication of the Report ’Human Rights in Serbia 2021’ were supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany through the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Belgrade. The report does not necessarily reflect the official position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany.


Seeking asylum in Serbia (русские субтитры) (українські субтитри)

March 1, 2022

Capture azil ukrajinski i ruskiMore than 660,000 refugees have now fled Ukraine to neighbouring countries in the last 6 days. The situation looks set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century, and we have reinforced our operations to respond as quickly and effectively as possible.

The first refugees from Ukraine also reached Serbia. According to Vladimir Cucic from the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration  Republic of Serbia, they are mostly in transit here or staying with relatives and friends.

BCHR remind on video for asylum seekers in Serbia in Ukrainian and Russian.

A new brochure of BHCR: “Encounters- a short guide on interculturality, acceptance and togetherness” promoted in Polet

December 30, 2021

polet-1 (1)A new brochure of the Belgrade Centre for Human rights: „Encounters- a short guide on interculturality, acceptance and togetherness“ provides information on important terms connected to the topic of interculturality and cultural identities. This guide also shares concrete examples and practical guidelines on intercultural communication, acceptance and diversity, solidarity, and allyship.

The brochure was promoted during an interactive event “Encounters” that took place in Polet,  where the audience had the opportunity to discuss interculturality topics and became familiar with the brochure.  We have a plan to translate the brochure to english and /or farsi and other languages. 

brošura susretiThis youth-friendly guide motivates youth to explore their own identities, question their own prejudices, and develop intercultural competencies. The guide can be useful to youth as well as to those working with youth in formal and non-formal education activities.

The guide is one of the results of the CoolTour Tube program. It is a program for integration, intercultural learning and solidarity of youth, which encourages communication between youth with different cultural backgrounds.The program is part of the project „Support to refugees and asylum seekers in the Republic of Serbia“ which is implemented by Belgrade Center for Human Rights with the support of UNHCR in Serbia.

The brochure is available here in Serbian.

BCHR Holds Annual Final Event “Challenges in Refugees’ Integration in Serbia, Focusing on (Tertiary) Education”

December 27, 2021


On 23 December 2021, the BCHR hosted the final annual event Challenges in Refugees’ Integration Process in Serbia, Focusing on (Tertiary) Education in the Human Rights House. The BCHR has traditionally been holding final events on issues relevant to the integration of refugees in Serbia’s society at the end of the year.

IMG_8496The event provided the participants with the opportunity to discuss refugee integration in Serbia,  share experiences and good practices and map the problems in the process. It was also an occasion to review the successful models of refugee integration via their access to tertiary education. The participants discussed the challenges faced in practice and the first steps of accessing high education, scholarship opportunities, cooperation with state institutions and heard about Italy’s successful practice in this area.

The event was moderated by Anja Stefanović, the Coordinator of the Asylum and Migration Programme. The first session was devoted to challenges refugee integration in Serbia faced in practice, with focus on the refugees’ access to tertiary education. The panellists included Dajena Ristić of the Serbian Refugee and Migration Commissariat, Ivana Jelić and Ksenija Papazoglu of the UNHCR Durable Solutions Team, Časlav Mitrović of the Serbian Qualification Agency, and Jelena Ilić, BCHR’s Senior Integration Adviser, who presented the BCHR integration team’s practice. 

IMG_8494Michele Telaro, UNHCR Italy Durable Solutions Associate, joined the second session via ZOOM and presented the work of the Italy office, providing good practice examples concerning refugees’ access to high education. 

Between the two sessions, Nina Miholjčić, BCHR’s Integration Advisor, presented the results of the public opinion survey on refugees/migrants.

The event was held in a hybrid format – the panellists met in the Human Rights House while the other participants followed the discussions live via ZOOM, BCHR’s YouTube channel and Facebook profile.

The event is available on the link below.