Current best practice

AuthorKrstic, Ivana
The work of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality since its creation 10 years ago
must be evaluated as successful, despite the technical and spatial constraints, which were
finally resolved in 2017. In May 2015, Brankica Jankovic was elected as the second
Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, and she continued to perform all the duties of
her predecessor. In 2019, the Commissioner received fewer complaints than in 2018 (711)
and issued fewer opinions (in 70 cases), but it issued 686 general recommendations,
provided 31 opinion on draft laws and general acts, initiated six criminal charges in addition
to three misdemeanour charges, and issued 23 warnings and 34 announcements.266 The
Commissioner continued to support regional c ooperation and actively participate in
EQUINET. The body also organised and participated in 670 training sessions, conferences,
lectures and round tables; issued numerous handbooks and guides; and contributed to
awareness-raising on discrimina tion and the legal fram ework for protection against
discrimination. The inst itution also become more visible in 2019, which means that the
public is now more aware of the existence and activities of the Comm issioner.
Given the need f or judges to have more specialist knowledge and enhanced capacity and
sensitivity in dealing with complex issues, training for anti-discrimination trainers was
continued at the Judicial Academy in 2019 for eight judges from the higher courts and from
the jurisdiction of four appellate courts, with the support of th e OSCE mission in Serbia.
The training programme consisted of two seminars on different issues relating to
discrimination, including the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and the
CJEU. The main aim of this study group was to give Serbian judges a greater insight into
the CJEU’S work in the area of non-discrimination, as they currently have a very modest
level of knowledge of its functioning and jurisprudence. In October 2019, a two-day
refresher c ourse was organised, in which judges were informed about the latest
jurisprudence of international courts and had a chance to discuss the current practice of
Serbian courts. In addition, the J udicial Academy organised a five-day course of intensive
initial training on non-discrimination for future judges and prosecutors , which was held in
June in Zlatibor. The HELP anti-discrimination course was also available to them. In
cooperation with the O SCE mission to Serbia, the Judicial Academy also organised two
sessions with two days of intensive training fo r judges and prosecutors on non-
discrimination in the area of asylum and migration.
The situation of LGBTI rights in Serbia has improved since 2017. The 2018 Gay Pride march
was organised without any problems; hundreds of participants were joined by the city’s
mayor, the Serbian Prime Minister and a number of ambassadors and other state officials.
On 15 September 2019, Gay Pride in Belgrade gathered over a hundred LGBTIQ+ activists
and civil society organisations from across the W estern Balkans (Montenegro, Albania,
North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina), accompanied by acti vists from Greece,
Norway, Belarus and the United States, who shared their experience of the struggle in their
communities. A considerable number of police and social welfare staff have been trained
in LGBTIQ+ issues. In addition, public prosecutors hav e received training on hate crimes.
A positive trend is that in 2018 there were 175 pedagogical assistants in local self-
government units contributing to the inclusion of Roma students in education and support
them to achieve better results, whereas by 2019 the number had increased to 250.267
In 2019, two important strategies were adopted. The S trategy for the Development of
Artificial Intelligence was adopted for the period 2020 to 2025 with th e goal of developing
266 Commissioner for the Protection of Equality (2020), Regular annual report of the Commissioner for the
Protection of Equality for 2019, Belgrade, p. 7.
267 Atanackovic, I., Education of Roma in Serbia: The Hard Way from Discrimination to Integration
(Obrazovanje Roma u Srbijiх Težak put od diskriminacije do integracije), Danas, 8 December 2019,
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