The National Convention on EU represents an innovative model of network trough which NGOs from different fields cooperate. In this way, civil society engages and contributes significantly to the accession negotiations between Serbia and the EU in all 35 chapters and conducts comprehensive monitoring. The objective of the project is to achieve efficient and quality negotiations between Serbia and the European Union and to achieve sustainable reform in the areas covered by Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights and Chapter 24 – Justice, Freedom and Security through Inclusion and Civil Society Monitoring.
The overall objective of the project “Change the constitution on-line and off-line” is to set the stage for amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia that deepen formal and actual commitment to human rights and freedoms, in line with international human rights, freedoms and democracy standards and EU directives.
Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM implemented this project with the support of Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF) and the Open Society Institute.
Serbia still ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe according to the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (in 2010, Serbia ranked 78th out of 178 countries (followed with 86th out of 182 ranking in 2011 and 80th out of 174 in 2012). The latest EC country reports stated that Serbia has made little progress in harmonizing its judicial system with the European standards and that it failed to rein in corruption. One of the key challenges is that there are still no enough criminal reports filed against perpetrators by the prosecutor’s office, mainly because it is often difficult to provide sufficient evidence for reporting a corruption case.
– Coalition for Equality Step –
Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM with seven other civil society organizations (Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, CHRIS Network, the Center for Civic Education, Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo, Gay Straight Alliance, LGBT Forum Progress and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights Kosovo) conducted Networking project of civil society organizations on human rights violations in Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo and established regional Coalition for Equality Step.
The project is supported by the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Serbia.
Objective: Support to civil society organizations in addressing common challenges in the field of human rights, with a special focus on LGBT rights, women’s participation in political life and trials for discrimination.
Duration: October 2012 – October 2014
Location: Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo
Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM is implementing the ” Change the Constitution on-line and off-line” project from 1st January to 1st November 2013.
The main objective of the project is to identify the main disadvantages of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia considering human rights, freedom and democracy through the use of modern technology and social networks. To achieve this goal YUCOM has created www.mojustav.rs website where the public can comment on the current constitutional provisions. Comments of citizens will provide the necessary support and strengthen the arguments of civil society in advocating constitutional change.
Project Title: From Law to Justice – Sustainable Legal Aid System in Serbia
Duration: January 2014. – November 2014.
Donor: INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
About the project: The overall objective of the project is to develop a sustainable system of free legal aid and improving the capacity of providers of free legal aidin Serbia.This will be achieved through: 1) strengthening the capacity of providers of free legal aid to a comprehensive and coordinated way provide legal assistance, and 2) creating a favorable environment for improving access to justice and the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law.
Project: Unpacking 2014/15
Duration: December 2013 – February 2015
Donor: The project is supported by the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Serbia
From January 2014 to October 2014
Donor: British Embassy
Partner: Gay Straight Alliance – GSA
In October 2012, the Ministry of Justice and State Administration of the Republic of Serbia opened a public debate on the working version of the law amending and completing the Criminal code. In article 54a of this version, hate crime is defined for the first time: hate by reason of the victim’s racial, religious, national or ethnical belonging, sex, sexual orientation or sexual identity, as a motive to commit criminal offences is provided for as an aggravating circumstance in determining the sentence except where this circumstance does not characterize a criminal offence as provided for by law.
“Miss, but we need an attorney who is older, you’re young and you can not fight with them,” says a lady who is asking for legal help, one of many who came to our door.
In our organization,Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM) , since it was established in 1997, we only have lawyers. The first lawyer, defender of human rights and also the YUCOM President Biljana Kovačević-Vučo was the originator of the idea that YUCOM should provide free legal aid.
When A.M. fell victim of discriminationseveral years ago, she did not know who she could turn to for help. She had been enduring insults and was persecuted for years before she decided to take her friend’s advice and make a phone call to an NGO from Belgrade. At the time, she knew little about those organisations, let alone what they were dealing with; yet, she tried to receive legal aid from the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM) http://www.yucom.org.rs/. A.M. has found success and she is no longer the subject of discrimination and is one of many citizens of Serbia, who have managed to protect their human and civil rights by utilising YUCOM’s aid.