Alternative Report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against woman in Serbia submitted to CEDAW

Praxis,in cooperation with the European Network for Statelessness (ENS), the European Center for Roma Rights (ERRC) and the Institute for Apatridia and Inclusion (ISI), submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women an alternative report on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in the Republic of Serbia, on 13 July 2018.

The report points to the difficulties faced by Roma women in Serbia in exercising their rights. Their position is particularly difficult as they are often victims of multiple discrimination on the basis of their gender and ethnicity. The report contains information about problems Roma women face in accessing rights to health care, social protection, education, employment. At the same time, it highlights the issue of child, early and forced marriages, which are disproportionately more frequent among the Roma population, but specifically affecting Roma women and girls.

Special  attention in the report is dedicated to obstacles aggravating birth registration and acquisition of citizenship, while the emphasis is specifically put on the issue of discriminatory regulations which prevent Roma women who do not possess personal documents to register their new-born children in the birth registry. For this reason, these children are also left without citizenship and registered permanent residence in the most vulnerable period of their life, and, consequently, the possibility to exercise rights to health and social insurance, as well as other rights for the exercise of which it is required to possess personal documents, which undoubtedly undoubtedly leads to the violation of the principle of the best interests of the child and also constitutes the violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which stipulate that every child has the right to be registered into birth registry books and to have a personal name immediately after birth.

The report proposes to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women many recommendations aimed at establishing equality and preventing discrimination of members of the Roma national minority, such as: amendmenthe by-law to ensure that all women can register the births of their children, proper interpretation and application of Article 13 of the Law on Citizenship (regulating the right to Serbiaancitizenship on the basis of the jus soli principle) in accordance with the 1961 Convention on the Statelessness and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, enabling access to health care for Roma women without permanent/temporary residence, equal access to preschool, primary and secondary education for female Roma population, improvement of measures for active employment of Roma, etc.

References from the Praxis website.

You can read the whole report here:

http://www.praxis.org.rs/images/praxis_downloads/Alternative_Report_concerning_Serbia_for_cosideration_at_the_CEDAW.pdf