The report “Advocacy for women’s and men’s Roma rights in Serbia” is part of the wider project “Advocacy for women’s Roma rights”, which was implemented by the organization Roma Center for Women and Children “Daje” in 2021 with the support of the Swedish organization Kvinna till Kvinna . This project is a build-up and continuation of the activities that the organization started in 2018. in the framework of the project “Roma women in public advocacy” also supported by Kvinna till Kvinna.
1. Final and report
Summary of the project
The project is focused on monitoring and analyzing the national legislative and strategic framework regarding the rights and position of Roma women in society, including the NAP for chapters 23 and 24, advocacy of Roma rights for women towards local and national bodies and institutions, EU institutions and international reference bodies for monitoring gender equality and minority rights.
1. 1 Monitoring and analysis of legislation and strategies on VHR for Roma
1.1.1 In the reporting period, we monitored the implementation of laws and strategies in the field of gender equality and minority rights. Based on our experience with beneficiaries, Roma women who experience gender-based violence, we concluded that the effectiveness of emergency measures (defined in the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence) is questionable, given that many Roma women live in multigenerational families consisting of relatives perpetrators. Institutional inactivity due to racism and discrimination remains a problem when Roma women report violence or seek help. Also, the rejection of the proposed amendments to the Family Law, which required the minimum age for marriage to be 18 years, without the possibility of granting exceptional approval for marriage at the age of 16, remains problematic, especially from the perspective of the fight against early marriages, which are widespread in Roma. community. As for the strategic framework, the Republic of Serbia adopted the Strategy for the prevention and fight against gender-based violence against women and domestic violence, after a delay of 6 years.
1.1.2 At the beginning of the project year, we started collecting data to monitor the implementation of the Instructions on how social work centers work in protecting children from child marriage for 2020. Requests for access to information of public importance were sent to the Centers for Social Work in Belgrade, Požarevac, Smederevska Palanka and Kragujevac. Initially, the research was planned to cover the entire territory of Serbia, but we abandoned this intention because in the meantime the CSO Praxis published a study on Child, early and forced marriages in Serbia – regulations, reactions and prevention, which presented data on the implementation of the Guidelines for 2020 . a year
1.1.3 As part of the monitoring of state obligations arising from the CEDAV Convention, we analyzed part of the State Report on the implementation of recommendations no. 12a, 26a, 44 and 48g from the Concluding Observations of the Committee for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in connection with the Fourth Periodic Report on the Elimination of All Forms of Women, which the State of Serbia submitted to the CEDAV Committee in March of this year. Our analysis referred to part of the report on the implementation of recommendation no. 44, which refers to the position of women from sensitive social groups. The conclusion of our analysis is that, although some progress has been made in collecting data on the position and needs of Roma women in Serbia, there are still numerous problems. Institutions do not separate data on gender-based violence and support services by nationality. Therefore, it remains unclear how the implementation of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence in the Roma Community is monitored, as well as progress in the implementation of action plans for relevant strategies. Also, the state report calls for the establishment of the National Coalition for Ending Child Marriage as an activity aimed at improving the position of Roma women. Although the establishment of the National Coalition indicates that the state recognized the need to eradicate the harmful practice of child marriage, as well as the need for cooperation with CSOs, we believe that the work of the National Coalition is not transparent enough – for example, systematized information about the work of the coalition, including contact information and reports, can be found on the websites of the institutions and organizations involved in the coalition. A complete analysis of the state report is available in the attachment.
1.1.4. As part of monitoring the implementation of the recommendations of the expert group GREVIO, in the period from April to May 2021. In 2016, the organization sent requests for information of public importance to 34 basic public prosecutor’s offices in Serbia in order to provide data on the number of criminal reports and criminal proceedings for the criminal acts of forced marriage (Article 187a of the Criminal Code) and cohabitation with a minor (Article 190 of the Criminal Code) in in 2020 Of the 34 basic public prosecution offices to which requests were sent, 29 prosecution offices submitted a response to the organization within the legal deadline, while 5 prosecution offices did not submit the requested information or any response to the submitted requests. The processing of the obtained data, as well as the analysis indicates that the number of criminal reports for these crimes is extremely low, when the prevalence of forced and underage marriages in the Roma population is taken into account. Based on the analysis, we also conclude that it is necessary to conduct research that would examine the reasons for the small number of reports of these criminal acts and, accordingly, the even smaller number of initiated criminal proceedings.
|Prosecution||Number of criminal reports for the crime of forced marriage||The number of criminal reports for the crime of extramarital union with a minor||Number of initiated criminal proceedings for the act of forced marriage||The number of initiated criminal proceedings for the act of extramarital union with a minor||Comment from the prosecution|
|OJT Požarevac||0||6||0||1||For 4 cases, evidentiary proceedings are underway; For 1 case, the application of the institute of postponement of prosecution is in progress; An indictment was filed in 1 case.|
|OJT Vranje||0||1||0||1||A plea agreement was concluded, the defendant was found guilty with a suspended sentence with a fixed prison sentence of 3 months, which will not be imposed if the defendant does not commit a new crime within 1 year.|
|OJT Paracin||0||1||0||0||The pre-investigation procedure is ongoing due to the existence of a well-founded suspicion that extramarital union with a minor has been committed, i.e. the criminal procedure has not yet been initiated|
|OJT Niš||0||5||0||1 submitted to jurisdiction 3. OJT, 1 delivered to the jurisdiction of OJT in Leskovac, for 3 ongoing evidentiary actions|
|OJT Jagodina||0||1||0||0||The criminal complaint was dismissed because the suspect fulfilled his obligation from Article 283 paragraph 1 point 2 of the CPC|
|OJT Bor||0||1||0||1||A guilty verdict was handed down by the Basic Court in Bor|
|OJT Subotica||0||6||0||6||In 4 cases the applicant was the MUP, in 2 cases a report on the commission of a criminal offense was submitted by the CSW|
|First OJT Belgrade||0||4||0||1||For 3, the procedure of conducting investigative actions is ongoing, for 1, an indictment proposal has been submitted to the First Basic Court in Bgd|
|Other OJT Belgrade||0||4||0||4|
|Third OJT Belgrade||0||6||0||0||2 applications were rejected, for 4 the procedure of undertaking evidentiary actions is ongoing|
Number of filed criminal reports for the act of Forced conclusion of marriage: 0
Number of filed criminal charges for the crime of extramarital union with a minor: 45
The number of initiated criminal proceedings: 18 + 15 are in progress, the implementation of evidentiary actions is in progress + 1 is in progress, the institute of postponement of prosecution is in progress + 2 rejected + 2 sent to the jurisdiction of other prosecutor’s offices
- 2 Public advocacy for the protection of Roma women at the local and national level
1.2.1. Participation in a meeting with Gordana Čomić, Minister for Human and Minority Rights and Social Affairs and Dialogue. In addition to representatives of the ministry, the meeting was attended by representatives of about 20 civil society organizations. The goal of the meeting was for CSOs working in the fields of gender equality and minority rights to present to the Ministry the problems and challenges they face and to discuss potential solutions. Although we believe that the Ministry’s effort is to initiate and maintain a dialogue with civil society organizations, one gets the impression that these goals are achieved only at the declarative level, while essential cooperation and changes based on it are absent.
1.2.2. Participation in the meeting on the occasion of International Roma Day in the municipality of Voždovac with the president of that municipality and board members. On that occasion, we received a promise that more work and investment will be done in the inclusion of Roma and the NGO sector that deals with Roma issues in the decision-making process in Voždovac.
1.2.3. Representatives of our organization participated in the CARE International Balkans regional conference – “Forgotten communities: Romani men and women during the Covid 19 pandemic” held on 05/20/2021. in Belgrade, where representatives of Roma CSOs, authorities and international organizations discussed how the Corona virus pandemic affected the Roma population in the region and what are the methods of future joint actions to prevent negative consequences for the vulnerable. Representatives of Roma CSOs from the region discussed the problems faced by Roma women in their countries, as well as potential solutions.
1.2.4 Media and communications representative of the Roma Center Daje je 29. and on November 30 participated in a working focus group with representatives of institutions and Roma civil organizations.
In the premises of the City Administration of the City of Belgrade, a SWOT analysis was presented for the development of the Draft Strategy for the social inclusion of Roma and Roma women in the territory of the City of Belgrade for the period from 2022. until 2032 and the Draft Action Plan for its implementation. On the first day, five groups were formed whose members worked on SWOT analyzes for health, employment, social protection, education and housing. Some of the biggest threats identified in the analyzes are electronic registration for preschool education, limited access to the Internet and technical means, the Covid pandemic, and non-updated data on Roma settlements. The advantages that have been identified are the existence of mobile teams for inclusion, Roma coordinators, mediators, pedagogical assistants, affirmative measures for the enrollment of high school students and students, scholarships, IPA funds, etc.
All those present agreed that the introduction of new laws or regulations should not be sought, but that it is necessary to insist on the application and respect of existing legal frameworks.
The first part of the drafting of the Draft has been completed and a public hearing is planned as an event where all stakeholders will have the opportunity to submit their proposal for supplementing and amending the Draft Action Plan.
1.2.5 In the continuation of the research for 2021. “Roma Center for Women and Children Daje” sent requests for access to information of public importance to primary schools in Belgrade on the territory of 11 different municipalities. The request was sent to 35 addresses electronically, as well as by mail. We received a response within the legal deadline from 33 elementary schools, while 2 schools did not submit the requested information. Based on Article 22 of the Law on the Basics of the Education and Training System, the school is obliged to inform the parent or other legal representative about a student who attends irregularly or who has stopped attending classes, no later than two days after the day of cessation of classes. If the parent or other legal representative, after receiving the notification from paragraph 5 of this article, does not ensure that the student continues to attend classes regularly within 3 days, the school immediately informs the local self-government unit and the competent social protection institution.
1. Does the school act according to the rights and obligations stipulated by the Law on the Basics of the Education System?
2. How many cases of absence did the school respond to during 2021. year, in accordance with the above-mentioned Article 22 of the Law on the Basics of the Education System?
3. Did the parents, or other legal representatives, answer the calls or were you forced to contact and involve the local self-government unit and the competent social protection institution?
The following table contains the obtained data.
|ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS||Does the school act according to the rights and obligations stipulated by the Law on the Basics of the Education System||The number of cases of absence to which the school responded during 2021. in accordance with Article 22||Did the parents respond or was it necessary to involve the authorities||Number of attached documents||Comments|
|Josif Pančić Primary School, Čukarica||Yes||10||Center for social work included 1 time||0||The school states that the coordinator for the Roma national minority of the municipality of Čukarica has been hired during 2021. was included 5 times in the work of 10 reactions|
|Elementary school “Filip Kljajić Fića”, Čukarica||no replies||–||–||–||–|
|Elementary school “Vlada Obradović Kameni”, New Belgrade||Yes||4||Yes, but we don’t have info about the number||0||The school states that parents mostly respond, bearing in mind the structure of the population – socially vulnerable Roma families. The Center for Social Work Novi BG conducts an interview with parents|
|Elementary school “Milan Rakić”, New Belgrade||Yes||0||0||0||/|
|“Jovan Sterija Popović” elementary school, New Belgrade||Yes||3||Center for social work involved 3 times||0||/|
|“Novi Beograd” Elementary School, Novi Beograd||Yes||0||0||0||/|
|Grabovac Elementary School, Obrenovac||Yes||13||Center for social work included 8 times||0||The school states that it continued to have a problem with one family of 8, so the case was forwarded to the misdemeanor court|
|O Š,, Živojin Perić ” Stubline||Yes||12||Center for social work involved 3 times||12||The school submitted evidence of all 12 written invitations sent to parents and 3 reports for CZSR|
|O Š, Zaga Malivuk , Palilula||Yes||7||Center for social work included 1 time||0||/|
|Kindergarten ” Rade Dreinac “ , Palilula||Yes||We have not received information about the number||We have not received information about the number||0||The school states that in the previous period it had a problem with some students of Roma nationality. The school has a social worker, a pedagogue and a pedagogical assistant who managed to solve problems with students and parents within the school.|
|O Š, Vasa Pelagić , Palilula||Yes||20||The Center for Social Work was involved 4 times||4||The school states that the pedagogical assistant went to the field several times, the mother says that the chosen pediatrician did not want to give them an excuse, but also that the children have nothing to wear. And after the wardrobe for all the children is collected, the children do not come again|
|O Š,, Jovan Cvijić “, Palilula||Yes||We have not received information about the number||We have not received information about the number||0||The school states that they send written invitations to parents, as well as visit families, also inform the Center for Social Work Palilula, and when there are no results, misdemeanor proceedings are initiated, but they do not state the figures for 2021. Years|
|O Š, Stevan Sinđelić , Zvezdara||Yes||2||Center for Social Work included 2 times||0||The school states that it regularly informs parents by phone, if there is no number, a telegram is sent, then the assistant goes to the address and invites the parents to come to the school. Mostly these mechanisms give results|
|O Š, Pavle Savić , Zvezdara||Yes||10||The Center for Social Work was involved 10 times||0||The school states that a number of Roma families, with several children, still attend school irregularly. CZSR application – return children to school only for a short time. Several requests for the initiation of misdemeanor proceedings were initiated, and in one case a fine of 5,000 dinars, while the other cases were suspended due to statute of limitations.|
|Elementary school Dragojlo Dudić , Zvezdara||Yes||0||0|
|Elementary school, Vladislav Petković Dis , Zvezdara||Yes||6||Center for social work included 6 times||6|
|Despot Stefan Lazarevic Primary School , Zvezdara||Yes||29||We didn’t get a figure, but less than usual because of Covid||The school states that when the telegram is returned as undelivered, the school sends a pedagogical assistant to the address. If no one is found at the given address, the school includes CZSR. During this year, there was an option for online classes, so fewer reports were sent|
|Desanka Maksimović primary school , Zvezdara||Yes||15||Center for Social Work included 2 times||0|
|Elementary school Sveti Sava , Mladenovac||Yes||37||Yes, but it doesn’t have the exact number||The school states that it is inviting the Roma Center for Women and Children “Daye” to help solve the common problem|
|Momčilo Živojinović elementary school , Mladenovac||Yes||12||Center for Social Work included 2 times||0||The school states that the students returned to school after the reaction of the CZSR|
|Sveti Sava elementary school , Lazarevac||Yes||28||The Center for Social Work was involved 13 times||0|
|“Vuk Karadžić ” elementary school, Lazarevac||Yes||2||0||2||The school states that the parents duly responded to the invitation, and in the following period measures of increased educational work will be taken with the students.|
|Anton Skala elementary school , Savski venac||Yes||0||0||0|
|Đuro Salaj elementary school , Savski venac||Yes||0||0||The names of 9 students who attend school irregularly were sent, but there was no response based on Article 22|
|Stefan Dečanski elementary school , Savki venac||Yes||0||0||0|
|Milorad Mića Marković Primary School , Sopot||Yes||3||Center for social work included 1 time||0|
|Elementary school “Branislav Nušić “, Vo ždovac||Yes||18||The Center for Social Work was involved 4 times||0|
|Primary school, 22. October“, Sur act||Yes||35||The Center for Social Work was involved 13 times||13||Also delivered were 6 photocopies of the invitation to parents and 13 documents that were sent to the center for social work|
|“Vuk Karadžić ” primary school, Sur čin||Yes||0||0||0|
|Gavrilo Princip Primary School , Zemun||Yes||1||0||0|
|Primary school “Sutjeska “, Zemun||Yes||4||Center for Social Work included 4 times||4||The school says it is experiencing difficulties because written invitations sent to parents are mostly returned with indications|
“incorrect address” and “not served”
|Primary school “Sava Jovanović “, Zemun||Yes||0||0||0|
|“Petar Kočić ” elementary school, Zemun||no replies|
|“Rade Končar ” Primary School, Zemun||Yes||8||0||0||The school states that it has a big problem with Roma students. Out of 8 requests, 6 were returned as unclaimed. When they turn to the Center for Social Work in Zemun after 2 written calls and a visit to the family, it happens that the social workers call and scold them for imposing additional work. Also, the school gave us information that some children do not come to school because they have to help their parents with household chores and take care of their younger brothers and sisters, as well as that in the past ten years there have been cases of 14-year-old girls getting married and leaving school . And when they get married, the parents do not report it to the school but claim that they have moved abroad.|
|Elementary school “Ilija Birčanin “, Zemun||Yes||53||We have not received information about the number||0||The school states that the parents who do not respond and the student is in school, the school initiates a misdemeanor procedure. However, the misdemeanor court returns the documentation as incomplete due to the absence of JMBG|
In accordance with Article 22 of the Law on the Basics of the Education and Training System*, 33 elementary schools reacted a total of 332 times during 2021. Out of 332 reactions, in 77 cases the schools involved the Center for Social Work. It should be emphasized that these numbers are less than in previous years, taking into account the Corona virus and the possibility of online classes.
The organization “Roma Center for Women and Children Daje” was in active contact with schools during the research in order to get the best possible insight into the information and data we were looking for. Also, a psychologist and a journalist responded to the call for a physical inspection of the requested documents.
Although primary schools generally act in full compliance with the law, we notice that many schools have not been deeply involved in the issue of identifying the reasons why children do not come to school, as well as in the issue of their continuation in further, compulsory education for all. Also, important information is that some schools do not have positive cooperation with the Center for Social Work, which makes it difficult to further solve this problem. Analyzing the obtained data, we conclude that the vast majority of those who attend classes irregularly or completely give up schooling are children of Roma nationality. Such information is very important to us in order to recognize, first of all, the possibility of early, forced marriages and work on their prevention. Also, we can assume that different types of problems occur in the families of children who do not come to school. Accordingly, our organization has offered help to schools and is ready for any type of cooperation with the goal of returning children to school. The opinion of the organization is that it would be good to have a legal procedure that would not include punishment for irregular attendance in cases of violence and lack of material conditions for life, but as a priority to provide assistance to families.
1.2.5. Day 2. August 2021 in the premises of GO Palilula in Belgrade, a meeting was held on the topic of housing care for Roma from Kotež at the initiative of the Citizens’ Association “Council of Tenants of Sutjeska Block – Kotež”.
In addition to members of the Daya team and residents of the Roma settlement Kotež, the member of the Municipal Council in charge of national minorities of Palilula, Saša Mehmedović, and the representative of minority communities, Muhamed Osman, were also present. It was agreed to jointly work on finding a donor to pay for the costs of creating technical documentation, as well as to determine the coordinator of the entire project between the parties, the technical staff and GO Palilula.
1.2.6. The organization “Roma Center for Women and Children Daje” was invited by the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Janković, to attend the conference on Tuesday (November 16) on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Tolerance, which was held in the Club of Deputies. Emphasis was placed on the new law, this year’s, which was adopted on January 1. June, which concerns gender equality. This law made a big step forward in terms of gender equality in a society that still does not meet the standards on this important issue. Accordingly, the guests were presented with the results of the research “Gender equality and the balance of business and private life”
1.2.7. The members of the Daje team, a psychologist and a journalist, met on the 14th. November with the director of the school Sava Jovanović Sirogojno. The principal of this school showed great interest in our research, so at the request of the school, we visited the school and personally examined the documentation and discussed the problems and ways to solve them. This school is an example of good practice of school cooperation with relevant institutions of importance for children, as well as with the civil sector whose task is to improve the position of these children.
1.2.8. On the occasion of Roma Day, which marks the memory of the non-canonized Holy Bible, GO Voždovac organized a meeting of representatives of national minority organizations to start joint activism. As a member of the team for cooperation with the civil sector, Bojan Lešović started a discussion in which the other members of the team expressed their initiative for cooperation with non-governmental organizations and associations, as well as examples of good practice and the desire of the Municipality to be involved in further work.
1.2.9. On the occasion of the International Human Rights Day, the communications manager of our organization was a guest on the live program of Kurir Television. On this occasion, the work of the Roma Women’s Network of Serbia was presented, as well as the research conducted by Daje in 2021. with the aim of recognizing early marriages and whether and to what extent the relevant institutions respond to the registration of early, child and forced marriages. The communications manager pointed to the problem of the institutions’ lack of response in the case of child crime, forced and forced marriage, and repeatedly stated that child marriage is not a Roma tradition but a crime that threatens the basic rights of children.
1.2.10. The presentation of the report on discrimination against children, which was organized by the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Janković, was attended by the representative of the organization Nada Đuričković and the communications manager Biljana Jovanović.
Presenting the report at the conference in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, the Commissioner pointed out the achievements so far in areas such as education, health, as well as population policy measures.
In the part where three civil society organizations that implement activities with children are invited to give their views and recommendations for reducing discrimination against children, the representative of the Daje team states:
• Recommendation to institutions not to punish parents and children for absenteeism without first determining the cause of the absence and introducing a family support/assistance procedure.
• It is suggested that child victims of violence and/or witnesses of violence be exempted when it comes to punishment. To enable the child to continue his education unhindered. Release the parent/guardian from punishment when the child’s absence is the cause of domestic violence.
• When a child’s poverty/hunger is the reason for not coming to school, a rule should be adopted to justify teaching, i.e. impunity of parents due to absence. It is important to understand that justifying absences is not a goal in itself, but the importance of the school to determine the reason for the child’s absence and enable a change in the situation, i.e. include all actors who could help in the situation.
1.3. EU Advocacy
1.3.1. Representatives of the organization participated in the meeting of Regional Planning of Public Advocacy of the SB organized by Kvinna Till Kvinna on the 25th. February. The training consisted of lectures and discussions on the topic of mental health policy, as well as strengthening the cooperation of regional organizations through the joint exchange of planning for 2021. During the meeting, the advocacy efforts for 2021 were planned, including which processes and actors we connect or need to connect, what are the priorities and strategies, primarily at the regional but also at the national level, as well as building synergy between regional programs with EU advocacy elements . We also participated in the regional meeting that Kvinna organized on the 25th. May. The general conclusion from this meeting was that some progress in our efforts is evident, but insufficient. We agreed that a successful advocacy process takes time.
1.3.2. Our representatives participated in the workshop “Gender Action Plan III and CLIPs Serbia”, which was organized by Kvinna Till Kvinna as a preparation for the European Commission’s consultations with civil society organizations in the process of creating CLIPs, as one of the steps in the implementation of GAP III.
1.3.3. CLIPs were analyzed from the perspective of our organization’s work and experience, while written inputs were sent for collective entries that Kvinna till Kvinna handed over to Anna Milenić (contact person for gender equality), Aleksandra Miletić (UN Women) and Ingve Engstroem (head of EUD cooperation).
1.3.4. An individual contribution to the answer to the questionnaire for civil society organizations regarding the gender profile of the country in Serbia and the implementation plan at the state level was submitted to Ana Milenić, Aleksandra Miletić and Ana Stefanovic.
2.1. Building organizational capacities
2.1.1. Our representatives participated in the “Activists’ Introduction to GAP III” workshop organized online by Reactor.
2.1.2. The Daje organization participated in the network training “Building the capacity of women’s CSOs and other actors to advocate for policy creation, expanding knowledge and cooperation on the topic of sexual violence in the Western Balkans and in Turkey” organized by the WAVE network.
2.1.3. Organizational training “Strengthening the capacity of the organization for monitoring and public advocacy in the field of gender equality”, which was realized in March 2021, with the aim of increasing the competencies of all members of the project team for policy monitoring and public advocacy in the field of gender equality and minority rights. The lecturers at the training were Biljana Stepanov (On the subject of the CEDAV Convention and CEDAV reporting), Vera Kurtić (On the subject of forced and child marriage and the Istanbul Convention) and Osman Balić (On the subject of Accession Chapters 23 and 24).
The training was financed by the Women’s Ecumenical Initiative, which meant a lot to Daya members as an opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills.
Thanks to the training and the transferred knowledge, the members of the Daje team held a training on the same topic to the members of the United Roma Women Against Violence (URPN) network.
2.1.4. The members of the Daje Roma Center are 18, 19, 21. and on October 22 held training on the topic – Strengthening the capacity of the organization for monitoring and public advocacy in the field of gender equality for the members of the United Romani Women Against Violence network.
Respecting the epidemiological recommendations, we implemented the training in different places: Zemun Polje Smederevska Palanka, Zvezdara and Veliki Mokri Lug.
We introduced the members of URPN to the concept of public advocacy, analyzed the situation in Roma settlements, and talked about possible advocacy in the future.
The topic of the training was familiarization with the CEDAW report as well as the Istanbul Convention, familiarization with chapters 23 and 24, as well as the Action Plan.
Also, the training included methods of collecting, classifying and presenting relevant data to the public, with the aim of public advocacy.
2.1.4 Attending the Digital Security Training #HerNetHerRights brought more knowledge and experience to the Daje team members in the mentioned field. On the basis of the discussed topics, such as recognizing risks and how to react in case of them, experiences were exchanged among the participants.
2.1.5 During the Advocacy Week in Brussels, the representative of the Roma Center for Women and Children Daye presented the daily problems faced by Roma women in Serbia. This year, the event was organized online due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
During two weeks of preparation and active meetings with representatives of European institutions, the representative of the Roma Center Daje presented the most important topics that speak about the position of Roma women in Serbia: early marriages and gender-based violence, the position of Roma women in society and political life, digital violence against Roma women, the SOS telephone , as well as the consequences that made the position of Roma women even more difficult.
All actors were very satisfied and showed their interest in the topic with their questions.
2.4 Other comments
In the past year, the Roma center Daje, in addition to the Covid pandemic, also faced a change of staff. In order for the Daje Roma Center to be as efficient as possible, in the month when three members of the team changed – a lawyer, a psychologist and a manager for media and communications, double salaries were paid, all for the purpose of training new members and transferring knowledge and experience from old members to new ones. during those months.
The Daje Roma Center for Women and Children is advocating for the City of Belgrade to change the budget of the Republic of Serbia in order to introduce a new type of service – Emergency Shelter. The project is supported by the Autonomous Women’s Center.
The emergency shelter would provide services to women victims of violence. A woman, a victim of violence, especially a Roma woman, often has nowhere to go with her children, and the very procedure of entering the Safe Women’s House is very complex and requires time that she does not have at the time. The service that would be available to women victims of violence in the Emergency Shelter would include a warm overnight stay and a meal, both for the woman victim of violence and for her children. Also, during those 2-3 days, while the woman is safe, she would have time to collect her personal documents and prove the violence and initiate court proceedings.
After the proposal to amend the budget of the city of Belgrade was rejected, the Daje Roma Center submitted a request for the relocation of funds, awaiting a response.
Belgrade, December 2021.