Statement: IDPs living for over four months without electricity in an informal collective center

Representatives of the A 11 – Initiative for Economic and Social Rights visited at the end of July an informal collective center in Voždovac ring road in Belgrade. Therein, they found families that had been living without electricity for more than four months. The Akord Engineering Company, who own the plot, cut the electricity to the internally displaced families who had been living there since 2007, in order to try and force the residents of the collective center to move out.  

Due to the electricity cut, this internally displaced community of some 50 people have faced serious difficulties, bearing in mind the fact that there are at least two people with diabetes, one of whom is forced to keep insulin in the fridge of a nearby post office. Within the last month, several people have had to be admitted to hospital due to lack of appropriate treatment facilities at the collective center. None of the residents can cook food, use a fridge, and in future they will not be able to heat the space they are living in. There are also school-age children who due to the above circumstances do not have the option of attending school. 

The residents of this collective center have raised this issue with the EPS Distribution and Ministry of Justice, and the A 11 Initiative informed the Commissariat for Refugees and Migrations, the Office for Commissioner for Refugees and Migrations of the metropolitan municipality of Voždovac, as well as the emergency service of the Protector of Citizens. To date, no response has been received, and there has been no response to assist the residents of the center. 

Given the seriousness and long-term nature of this situation, which prevents residents of the informal collective center in Voždovac from living a dignified life and exercising their guaranteed rights, this problem requires an urgent solution by competent institutions familiar with the case in order to avoid further violation of their human rights that could cause more severe consequences.