The European Day for Victims of Crime is being marked in Serbia for the fifteenth time, and its goal is to make the consequences which the victims of crime suffer visible to the broader public and to encourage society to protect the rights of victims more efficiently and fully.
More efficient court proceedings, exercising of rights of victims of serious crime and improvement of court practice in the field of compensation of damage to victims of serious crime, were main topics of the expert meeting held in Novi Sad within the framework of the “Support for Victims and Witnesses of Crime in Serbia” project.
For the fourth consecutive time, Serbia is a part of a global campaign “16 days of activism against violence against women”, whose aim is to raise public awareness about the importance of the fight against violence.
Within the framework of the “16 days of activism against violence against women” campaign, from November 25 to December 10, branded orange buses will circulate across streets of Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš and Kragujevac carrying messages “Open your eyes, report violence”, “Maybe your sister endured violence”.
By improvement of court practices, victims of severe crime will be able to exercise their right to compensation of damage easier than before, when they were diverted to protracted litigation. This will be secured by the implementation of “The Guidelines for improvement of court practices for compensation proceedings for victims of serious crime in criminal proceedings” developed by the Supreme Court of Cassation Working Group, with support from the OSCE Mission in Serbia.
Pursuant to the working draft of the National Strategy for the Exercise of the Rights of Victims and Witnesses of Crime and Action Plan, OSCE Mission to Serbia coordinated and created two more expert groups within the framework of a 3-year project “Support for Victims and Witnesses of Crime in Serbia”, funded by the European Union, to work on working drafts of necessary amendments and modifications to criminal law and judicial laws and related by-laws.
During the first six months of this year, 65 victims and potential victims of human trafficking have been identified in Serbia, Director of the Center for Human Trafficking Sanja Kljajić told Tanjug news agency. She specifies that victims were identified in 53 of those cases, with 19 cases of sexual exploitation and 19 of labour exploitation.
Victims must have justice, including compensation, says Council of Europe Secretary General. To mark the 13th EU Anti-Trafficking Day, the European Commission is urging Member States to end the impunity of traffickers by stepping up prevention efforts and bringing perpetrators to justice.
Three international organizations invited all citizens to join the fight against modern forms of slavery today, ahead of the European Anti-Trafficking Day. This statement was made by the heads of the International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and OSCE.
The possibility of exercising the right to compesation in criminal proceedings is one of the preconditions for establishing a criminal justice system that focuses on the needs of victims of crime. This is why considerable attention at this year's ‘Judges’ Days,’ the Annual Conference of Judges of the Republic of Serbia, was also dedicated to the presentation of “Guidelines for the Improvement of Court Practice in Procedures for Compensation for Victims of Serious Crimes in Criminal Procedure.”
The Law on Free Legal Aid came into force today, which means that welfare or parents’ benefits recipients, members of vulnerable groups – refugees, victims of violence, victims of human trafficking can now receive aid which will be covered from the budget.
The annual conference of judges of the Republic of Serbia “Judge Days – 2019” will be organized by the Supreme Court of Cassation from 10th to 12th October in Vrnjačka Banja. The topics of the conference are: Judiciary today, Laws and their application and Current disputed issues in the court jurisprudence.
The right to free legal aid will be enjoyed around 600,000 citizens as of 1st October. It will only be provided by attorneys and legal departments of self-government units. The cases will be sent from municipal offices to attorneys from a list. Assistant Minister of Justice Čedomir Backović told RTS that this was the first systemic law on free legal aid in Serbia.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development announced that it would hire 74 counselors for violence prevention in schools in the upcoming school year. These counselors will go through additional training on regulations and procedures in the field of protection from violence, rights, responsibilities and obligations of employees and children, students and parents.
In the first half of this year, sixteen victims of trafficking, including eight minors, who were victims of sexual exploitation and forced marriages, were registered in Serbia - announced IBS SA (Office for Combating Human Trafficking) regarding July 30 - World day against trafficking in human beings.
Each year, 75 million in people become victims of violence, rape and robbery. Every victim that receives support has a chance to continue their lives with as few consequences as possible, experts say, which is why the government needs to establish a victim support system. Serbia has prepared the Strategy for Protection of Victims and Witnesses of Crime, and it has also prepared a draft Action Plan for the first three year of the strategy’s implementation.
Niš – From 2012 to May 2019, SOS phone in Serbia received 36,770 calls from 5,589 clients who reported some form of human trafficking and abuse. In their reaction to those calls, 504 victims of human trafficking were identified. Of that number, 34% were children – this is some of the data that Maria Anđelković, CEO of Astra NGO, revealed during the media workshop organized in Niš by the OSCE Mission to Serbia within the “Support to victims and witnesses of crime in Serbia” project.
Competent bodies in Serbia have discussed 88,188 reported cases and have carried out 23,176 plans of protection and support to victims within 22 months since the application of the Law on Prevention of Domestic Violence began, announces the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia on the occasion of the Remembrance Day for Murdered Women Victims of Violence.
Novi Sad – In addition to informative, the media also occupy a significant educational role, and the sensitization of public largely depends on the reporting style. Hence, greater cooperation with the media, as well as improvement of their knowledge of rights and support to victims are an important part of the implementation of the “Support to victims and witnesses of crime in Serbia” project. To this end, after the Belgrade event, the second media workshop was held in Novi Sad. It was attended by media representatives from several cities in Vojvodina.
Belgrade – Knowing the rights of victims, including the right to support, is the first step towards claiming them. The role of the media is extremely important in this matter – this is one of the messages of the very first media workshop on ways to improve reporting on victims and witnesses of crime, which was held in Belgrade within the “Support to victims and witnesses of crime in Serbia” project.
Belgrade – Approximately 85 percent of women in Serbia think that violence against women is a common practice and that it is common, and nearly one third (29%) agree that domestic violence is a private matter that should be handled within family, according to the OSCE Survey on Well-being and Safety of Women in South East and Eastern Europe, that has been presented today in Belgrade.
State Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Biljana Popović Ivković, announced that new measures will be introduced as part of the “Improvement of Women’s Safety in Serbia” project for protecting victims of domestic violence – a system of bracelets for victims and perpetrators of violence, the Internal Ministry of Serbia announced.
The OSCE Mission and the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, in partnership with the Ministry of Justice, held a conference in Belgrade today to mark European Day for Victims of Crime. The organisations presented the draft 2019-2025 National Strategy on the Rights of Victims and Witnesses of Crime.
Every year, approximately 1,500 people in Serbia commit suicide, which puts our country at the 13th spot in Europe, and in order to save lives, a national SOS suicide prevention line was opened at Dr Laza Lazarević Clinic for Mental Disorders.
People who are having suicidal thoughts or their family members can call 011/7777-000 and they can speak with psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.
A ceremony at the Belgrade Modern Art Museum marked the Human Rights Day, the 70th anniversary since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the ending of the Human Rights Week, the organizers of the event stated.
Members of the Working Group for drafting the National Strategy for Support for Victims and Witnesses visited Sweden at the beginning of December, in order to learn about the functioning of one of the most developed and comprehensive systems in this field.
The European Anti-Trafficking Day was marked in Serbia with a series of activities whose goal is to raise awareness in the Serbian public about the information, trends and ways in which they can contribute to discovering and preventing human trafficking.
The “Support for Victims and Witnesses of Crime in Serbia” project was presented at the annual meeting “Judge Days”, held in Vrnjačka Banja, which gathered 1500 judges from all over Serbia.
The goal of this three-year project is to establish a comprehensive national system of support for victims and witnesses; it is funded by the European Union with EUR 1.5 million, and the project is implemented by the OSCE Mission to Serbia.
The OSCE Mission to Serbia and the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia launched today in Belgrade a three-year project entitled Support for Victims and Witnesses of Crime in Serbia.
"I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must
take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor,
never the tormented." - Eli Vizel
This website was produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. The content of this website, the views, opinions, findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the OSCE Mission to Serbia.