Human Rights House Belgrade

Keeping Human Rights in Focus in Serbia

Keeping human rights in focus, member organisations of Human Rights House Belgrade have issued thematic and country reports on human rights for 2018. Taken together, they highlight the human rights trends and priority issues in the country and the situation for civil society.

These reports also give a good overview of the work of members of Human Rights House Belgrade in continuing their fight to provide help to citizens in exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Human Rights House Belgrade

Supporting civil society, Human Rights House Belgrade and its member organisations have a focus on economic and social rights, discrimination, hate crime, minority issues, and access to justice.

The House was established in Serbia in 2012. Today the House unites five organisations under its roof: Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, Civic Initiatives, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia, YUCOM – Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and Policy Center.

The House supports human rights defenders, providing free legal aid in the first instance. It is also a leader in Serbia’s EU negotiation process, coordinating with the National Convention on the EU – the platform for discussion on Serbian accession – as a genuine civil society movement for reforms and further EU integration.

Human Rights in Serbia 2018

The first of two recent publications presented by Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), Human Rights in Serbia 2018 provides a detailed analysis of the human rights situation in the country. Published on 21 February 2019, it analyses the constitution and laws of the Republic of Serbia in respect of civil and political rights, as well as the state authorities’ practices in enforcing provisions relating to the exercise of human rights.

Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia

Monitoring the treatment of refugees and migrants by authorities, Belgrade Centre for Human Rights published “Right to Asylum in the Republic of Serbia”, as its seventh annual report on the right to asylum in the Republic of Serbia. The report is based on the information that BCHR collected while representing asylum-seekers and providing legal advice to migrants on integration-related rights.

Freedom of Expression and Media Freedom in Serbia in the EU Integration Process (currently published only in Serbian)

Analysing the basic rights and freedoms in a democratic society in relation to Serbia, Civic Initiatives published a report outlining the main obstacles and problems that the society in Serbia encounters in the EU integration process regarding freedom of expression and the media. Civic Initiatives advises that the report will soon be available in English.

Shrinking Civic Space: Serbia 2014-2018 (currently published only in Serbian)

Civic Initiatives created this analysis in response to a growing number of problems, obstacles, and threats to the legal framework and practice of civil society development in Serbia.

The analysis details the space for the functioning of civil society in Serbia during the last five years in a systemic way and through practical examples. It finds that on the one hand, most people living in Serbia are not aware of issues such as the violation of fundamental rights and freedoms or shrinking civic space, while on the other hand, institutions do not make enough efforts to solve these issues. It asserts that this is a circle that can be broken by raising people’s awareness and urging the government to act in accordance with European principles, which are precisely the main goals of the analysis.

During this period, the report warns of an increase in the number of physical attacks on activists, attacks on property, threats and pressure on members of citizens’ associations, as well as campaigns against civil society, humanitarian foundations and civic movements in the media, which seriously undermine the right to freedom of association.

YUCOM, Annual Report 2017-2018

Summarising the previous year, the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM presented its Annual Report for 2017-2018 on 22 February 2019.

It details events in the area of the judiciary and human rights, and YUCOM’s successes in providing free legal advice, advocating on individual cases, assessing the draft law on free legal aid, and bringing the first case before the courts for a hate crime.

Latest

July 16, 2019

HRC41: Joint NGO end of session statement

Some 16 human rights organisations, including Human Rights House Foundation, issued a joint statement on 12 July 2019, responding to the outcomes of the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council.

July 11, 2019

HRC41: Concern about recent handling of protests in Georgia

On 11 July 2019, Human Rights House Foundation delivered a statement at the Human Rights Council expressing concern at the recent handling of peaceful protests in Georgia.

July 10, 2019

HRC41: Freedom of Expression in Crimea

In a statement to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC41) on 10 July 2019, HRHF focused on freedom expression in Crimea which has deteriorated since the beginning of the Russian occupation of the peninsula.