On the occasion of reviewing the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in the Republic of Serbia, the A 11 Initiative together with civil society organizations and unions submitted the report on the implementation of rights under the Covenant to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The report calls attention to discriminatory exclusion of Roma children from receiving the parental allowance, discrimination of internally displaced Roma in accessing the right to adequate housing, as well as all obstacles faced by Roma and internally displaced people in the attempt to register permanent or temporary residence, causing them to be deprived from rights guaranteed under the Covenant. Since the state completely omitted to provide data on the four-year pension reduction in its report, the report also refers to the arbitrary reduction of pensions and intentional avoiding of the Constitutional Court to rule on the constitutionality of the regulations reducing pensions without issuing individual decisions and ensuring the right to appeal.
The report reminds that Serbia failed to follow some of the key recommendations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the previous reporting cycle, as the provisions on interruptions in receiving financial social assistance are still in force, and the situation in the field of social protection is further aggravated by reduction of social benefits and introduction of forced unpaid labor for social assistance beneficiaries. Finally, the report indicates why the situation in Serbia is not in line with the obligations arising from the Covenant with regard to the exercise of the right to work, collective rights of employees, right to health, right to housing, as well as right to free legal aid without which numerous members of vulnerable groups cannot exercise the rights guaranteed under the Covenant.
The report was prepared by the A 11 Initiative together with the Center for the Politics of Emancipation, Clean Clothes Campaign, Centre Living Upright, Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization, Alliance of Independent Labor Unions of Kragujevac, Trade Union Confederation Nezavisnost, Urban Policies Institute, MS Platform Serbia, Association for Women’s Labor Rights – Roza, Alliance of Independent Labor Unions of Vojvodina and Committee for Human Rights Niš.
The full report, available in English only, can be downloaded here.