A 11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights held a workshop titled „Refugee integration in Serbia through improved access to social and economic Rights“ on 2nd of September, 2019. The workshop was organized as part of the project “Advocacy efforts of CSOs supported with solid analysis of access to economic and social rights of migrants living in Serbia”, supported by Oxfam Italia, and together with RAS (Refugee Aid Serbia).
The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations to monitor, document and report on violations of social and economic rights of refugees in Serbia.
Representatives of the following organizations were present at the workshop: RAS – Refugee Aid Serbia, Belgrade Center for Human Rights, PIN – Psychosocial Innovation Network, ATINA – Citizens Association for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and All Forms of Gender-Based Violence, CIM – Center for Youth Integration, Praxis, HCIT – Humanitarian Center for Integration and Tolerance, IAN – International Aid Network, as well as Oxfam Italia.
There was a discussion in the workshop about the international and domestic legal framework for protection of economic and social rights of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, data collection and documentation of violations of these rights, as well as the use of various techniques to collect data on human rights violations, including interviews, statistics, situational testing and analysis of the practice of independent human rights institutions.
The participants discussed a number of practical examples they encountered during their field work, and together came up with two main groups of problems in this area for asylum seekers, persons who were granted asylum protection and persons with granted subsidiary protection, namely health issues and access to health services, as well as work and employment. In the first group, health emergency situations were identified as main problems, alongside with providing secondary and tertiary health care. Within the matter of employment, issues related to the labor exploitation of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers were mapped, as well as problems of regulating the employment status of persons who were granted the protection.
At the end of the workshop it was concluded that there is a lot of room for improvement in the above mentioned areas, which can be achieved through joint cooperation of organizations dealing with this topic, exchange of information and informing the users themselves.