Discrimination

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Discrimination Established in Five Decisions of Kraljevo City Assembly

Handling the complaints lodged by Praxis, the Commissioner for Protection of Equality issued an opinion establishing discrimination in five decisions of the Kraljevo City Assembly that denied the rights to the internally displaced persons with temporary residence registered in the City of Kraljevo. More precisely, in the Decision on Free Bus Transportation in the City of Kraljevo, the Decision on the Right to One-off Financial Assistance for the First-born Child, the Decision on Financial Assistance to Unemployed New Mothers and the Decision on Scholarships for Students of the City of Kraljevo, the Kraljevo City Assembly imposed the condition of permanent residence in the city, thus preventing internally displaced persons from exercising the rights granted by these decisions. Although the decision maker had a clear intention to use funds from the local budget for improving the position of the most vulnerable citizens, the imposed condition of permanent residence excluded all internally displaced persons and refugees residing in the City of Kraljevo over 20 years and fulfilling all other requirements set forth in these decisions. 

Responding to the allegations of complaints, the President of the Kraljevo City Assembly did not deny that the concerned decisions had violated the right of citizens to exercise the rights under equal conditions and stated that the City Assembly would undertake necessary measures to alter the disputed decisions.

The Commissioner established that the entire group of people in the City of Kraljevo was excluded in that way, violating Article 7 of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, and therefore recommended to the Kraljevo City Assembly to undertake all measures within its purview to make the said decisions applicable also to the internally displaced persons residing in the city.

The Commissioner also issued an opinion concerning the Decision on Financial Assistance to Multi-child Families in the City of Kraljevo, according to which parents must have the citizenship of the Republic of Serbia, children must be 7 - 15 years old, while the parents who exercised the right to social assistance from the social welfare centre were not eligible, and established that Articles 6 and 8 of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination were violated. For that reason, she recommended to the Kraljevo City Assembly to undertake measures within its purview to align the said decision with anti-discrimination regulations. 

We remind that Praxis withdrew the complaints related to the Decision on Free Bus Transportation in the City of Kraljevo, the Decision on the Right to One-off Financial Assistance for the First-born Child and the Decision on Financial Assistance to Unemployed New Mothers after the President of the Kraljevo City Assembly had accepted our objections and expressed readiness to alter the disputed provisions. Praxis will certainly continue to monitor further actions of the competent authorities in terms of aligning the disputed decisions with anti-discrimination legislation.

On this occasion, we once again appeal to public authorities, both at the local and national level, to pay attention to the importance of respecting human rights, adherence to the principles of non-discrimination and needs of the most vulnerable citizens in the policy-making process. Active citizen participation in the decision-making and policy-making process can prevent the adoption of discriminatory and inappropriate decisions and make the work of administration accountable and efficient.  

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action