New intercultural workshop part of the CoolTour Tube program

June 28, 2021
ct 1Last week, young people, who are part of the CoolTour Tube program – Mina and Karox, had an opportunity to run an intercultural workshop for local youth.
Participants learned more about interculturality, prejudices, and diversity, while Mina and Karox were given a space to share the knowledge that they have acquired. Besides that, young people wrote haiku poetry inspired by solidarity and togetherness. We will share their poems soon.
The workshop is part of the CoolTour Tube program, which is part of the project “Support to refugees and asylum seekers in the Republic of Serbia”, which is implemented by the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights with the support of UNHCR.
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BCHR Publishes “Sentencing Policy with Respect to Ill-Treatment in Montenegro”

May 28, 2021

Capture-nova-publikacija-252x300The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights has published Sentencing Policy with Respect to Ill-Treatment in Montenegro, prepared by Vladica Ilić, Aleksandar Trešnjev and Tea Gorjanc Prelević. The prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is one of the few international human rights law norms that are absolute and non-derogable. Despite the crucial importance of the prohibition of ill-treatment, human dignity, that is, the physical and mental integrity of individuals, is still violated, while various crimes committed by public officials remain the “dark figure of crime” or are inadequately punished. This was the main reason why we researched and analysed Montenegro’s sentencing policy with respect to ill-treatment. 

The publication is available in Serbian HERE. 

The BCHR will soon publish a report on Serbia’s sentencing policy with respect to ill-treatment.

Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia – Periodic Report for January–March 2021

May 17, 2021
Capture periodicni azil engBelgrade Centre for Human Rights has compiled a periodic report “Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia – Periodic Report for January–March 2021” covering the first three months of 2021, addressing specific issues that, in view of its team, were particularly important in the reporting period. They include Constitutional Court decisions on claims concerning violations of some of the fundamental human rights of asylum seekers and migrants, which the BCHR had alerted to in its prior reports, as well as analysis of the asylum authorities’ practice and some of their noteworthy adopted decisions. 
Difficulties and challenges in integration of refugees maintained, however, there are some identified headways in exercising of particular rights, such as right to education. Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants were allowed to sign up for vaccination and be vaccinated in the first quarter of the year, following the procedure of immunization launched in the Republic of Serbia at the end of 2020.
The authors endeavored to point to examples of good practices, but also to certain gaps in regulations and in the work of competent authorities, through the perspective of human rights standards, as well as through the personal stories of asylum seekers.
The aim of such an approach is for the Republic of Serbia to develop a more functional asylum and integration system. In this regard, the BCHR team offered recommendations for improving existing solutions.
The “Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia – Periodic Report for January–March 2021” is available HERE.

Call for project proposals for national grants for addressing migrant smuggling prevention and/or the protection of smuggled migrants

April 29, 2021

2The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights invites you to apply for a call for project proposals for the award of national grants related to the prevention of smuggling of migrants and/or protection of smuggled migrants, within the project Security for People and Borders – Combating Smuggling of Migrants in the Western Balkans. The project is implemented with the European Union funds.

All (non-profit) civil society organizations can apply by May 31, 2021 at the latest.

For more detailed conditions and rules for submitting proposals, please see document: 2. Guidelines for Applicants.

An online information session on project implementation, financial monitoring and reporting will be organized on May 11, 2021 at 1 p.m. All those interested can apply for participation in the information session no later than May 10, 2021 at:

Project proposals, applications for the information session, as well as all questions and requests for clarification should be sent to:

Please take note of the following documents:

1. Call_for_Proposals_ENG

2. Guidelines for Applicants_ENG

3. Annex A – Application Form __ENG

4. Annex B_Budget template_ENG

5. Annex C

BCHR online campaign #MiLjudiZajednoMožemoViše in order to inform the wider public on importance and benefits for the society from the full integration of all its members

April 20, 2021

Kampanja INTEGRACIJE_16x8Today’s world has become a place of conflict and persecution, creating a large number of refugees who seek peace, the opportunity to work, to continue their education, have a safe childhood, gather the family together and friends.

Many refugees in search of a peaceful life fleeing conflict or persecution see our country as a place where they can start life anew. The successful process of their integration is consisting of: achieving a dignified life, adjusting to cultural norms and the local community, but also a significant contribution that refugees can make to the development of society with their previous experience, knowledge and talents. In this process, they need the help of all of us!

Public discourse in Serbia, including television with a national frequency, is full of false news and inappropriate content on most social and political issues. Manipulation of facts, especially numbers when the topic of refugees in this regard is also present, especially on the Internet, and contributes to the spread of hate speech and fear among the citizens of Serbia.

The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights is launching an online campaign #MiLjudiZajednoMožemoViše to highlight the importance refugee’s integration into Serbian society and the mutual benefits that both society and its new members have from this process. In addition, we want to point out the importance of social cohesion, multiculturalism and contribute to reducing the gap between communities in order to create a tolerant society where everyone has a chance for a dignified life.

Once again, we want to point out the importance of transparent migration policy, which would make citizen information on this issue accessible and clearly presented. 

You can follow the campaign #MiLjudiZajednoMožemoViše on our social media profiles – on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

BCHR presents its annual “Youth Rights in the Republic of Serbia in 2020” Report

April 15, 2021

DSC_8953The Belgrade Centre for Human Rights today presented its new annual report  “Youth Rights in the Republic of Serbia in 2020” at an online event.

The Report shows that youth in Serbia faced numerous challenges in exercising their human rights in the year behind us, including their rights to work, education, freedom of movement, information and, in particular, their right to health and access to healthcare amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic. Paradoxically, no data are available on the number of youth tested, infected by or treated for coronavirus although they were stigmatised as the main carriers of the disease since it struck.

DSC_8980“Neither the Public Health Institute nor the Health Ministry were able to provide us with data on the number of youth tested, infected by or treated at home or in hospital for coronavirus last year. This additionally complicates the situation in view of the fact that the media have been targetting youth as the main carriers of the disease. Our analysis of media reports in 2020 shows that the greatest number of claims that youth were to blame for the spread of COVID-19 came from the Crisis HQ,” said Nevena Nikolić, BCHR’s Youth Programme Coordinator and one of the authors of the Report.

DSC_9035Restrictions of the youth’s freedom of movement in the context of the pandemic in 2020 included, notably, the curfew, quarantine and ban on entering or leaving the country. Long lockdown periods, coupled with prohibitions of movement in parks and other sites designated for recreation, impinged on the youth’s mental and physical health. Data show that as many as one-third of the fines for violating the curfew were levied against young people and that youth (18-30 years old) were on average imposed higher fines than the other generations.

DSC_9051The year behind us also showed that youth attached key importance to environmental protection, aware that the resolution of these challenges would impact on the quality of their lives in the long term. Assessments are that at least 44% of youth are as interested in environmental topics as in other political issues and that they qualify environmental protection as the greatest value for society. Around 1,250,000 youth live in Serbian cities and muncipalities registering excessive pollution levels.

DSC_8928Youth employment levels dropped even more due to the pandemic – only half of youth between 20 and 29 ears old have jobs, compared with nearly two-thirds of their peers in EU Member States. Many youth working from home and so-called freelancers lack awareness of the legal provisions on remote work or their employers’ obligations.

The closing down of schools and colleges impinged the most on poor youth and youth from rural areas, who did not have access to the Internet, computers or other devices for communication, information and remote learning.

DSC_8929Roma youth faced even greater challenges during the pandemic than their non-Roma peers, especially given that most of the Roma population was unable to comply with epidemiological measures since numerous informal Roma settlements lack access to drinking water, a sewage system and electricity. Roma youth’s access to education was particularly undermined due to lack of technical prerequisites for remote learning (lack of electricity, the Internet, computers, tablets and smart phones).

The pandemic particularly impinged on the lives of youth with disabilities, who are not independent and are living with their parents who are over 65, and youth with HIV or other chronic or systemic illnesses. Education of youth with disabilities was further fraught with challenges when the pandemic struck, due to the lack of clear procedures, needs assessments and additional support in inclusive education.

DSC_9053Participants in the event at which the “Youth Rights in the Republic of Serbia in 2020” Report was presented were addressed by Gordana Čomić, the Minister of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue; Snežana Klašnja, the Youth Policy Adviser of the Minister of Youth and Sports; Milan Marković, the Head of the UN Human Rights Team in Serbia; Sonja Tošković, the BCHR Executive Director; and the Report authors Nevena Nikolić, Goran Sandić, Luka Mihajlović and Marina Simeunović. 

DSC_8931The research, translation and publication of the “Youth Rights in the Republic of Serbia in 2020” Report were supported by the UN Human Rights Team in Serbia. The Report includes an analysis of the youth’s realisation of their civil, political, economic, cultural and social rights. The Report focuses on 15 rights and freedoms, the human rights situation of youth with disabilities and the status of Roma youth.

The Report is available HERE.

The video recording of the online presentation of the “Youth Rights in the Republic of Serbia in 2020” report is available here: