Belgrade Bus Station discriminated Roma baggage porters


In a procedure initiated on the complaint submitted by A 11 Initiative, Commissioner for Protection of Equality issued an opinion establishing that the Belgrade Bus Station (BBS) acted contrary to the obligations under Art. 6 and 12, and in connection with Art. 24 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, concluding that the Belgrade Bus Station commited discrimination against members of the Roma national minority who worked as the baggage porters at this station.

We are reminding that after moving the arrivals platforms at the Belgrade bus station, the porters, who worked as registered entrepreneurs for years on delivering luggage, were denied access to the platforms by the security, explaining that “Roma cannot work here anymore”. At that time, the baggage porters also suffered pressure from the police officers, who confiscated their baggage carts forcing them to leave the platform under the pretense that they do not have “authorized access to the station”.

The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality issued a recommendation according to which the BBS should send a written apology to persons who have been discriminated, conduct training for employees on recognizing discrimination with special reference to discrimination against members of the Roma national minority, enable all members of Roma national minority use of station services without obstruction and also consider the possibility of implementing affirmative measures for members of the Roma national minority in the eventual organization of the station service during employment, having in mind their previous representation in performing this job.

A 11 Initiative will continue to monitor the actions of the Belgrade bus station and to represent the interests of baggage porters, especially in terms of the announced organization of a new baggage transfer service at this station.