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.
Regional Anti-Corruption Action: Supporting the Judiciary in Combating Corruption in the Western Balkans
The main aim of the project is moving the rule of law agenda forward, supporting judicial reform in the region and reducing corruption.
Duration: March 2013 to February 2014
Sponsor: Open Society Foundation, Serbia
About the project: the project “Partnership for protection of Human” is being implemented by the National Association of Public Prosecutors and Lawyers’ Committee for Human Fights (YUCOM)
Project’s objective: Establishing the more responsible judiciary system and improving the capacities of public prosecution in their application of national legislation concerning criminal law protection of human rights as well as the international human rights standards with the aim in increasing citizens’ trust in judiciary system.
Strengthening of the institute of Public hearing in the Parliament of Serbia – enhancing the role of the civil society
Project title: Strengthening of the institute of Public hearing in the Parliament of Serbia – enhancing the role of the civil society
Duration: Jun – November 2011
Donor: OSCE Mission to Serbia
OSCE Mission to Serbia
Local Civil Society Organization for developing and promoting a concept of modern day care service for elementary schools
Project Title: Local Civil Society Organization for developing and promoting a concept of modern day care service for elementary schools
Duration: December 2013. – March 2014.
Donor: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), International Management Group (IMG) and Gender Equality Directorate of the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy of the Republic of Serbia (GED).
About the project: The overall objective of this project is to develop and to promote a concept of modern day care service for elementary schools, in aim to encourage equal opportunities and affirmative action for woman, and also to address the need to improve economic status of women, reduce discrimination at work towards them and therefore create the practice of equal opportunities and economic equality among genders.
Legal aid consultant – cross country comparison of regional free legal aid experiences (part of the fiscal impact assessment for legal aid legislation)
Project: Legal aid consultant – cross country comparison of regional free legal aid experiences (part of the fiscal impact assessment for legal aid legislation)
Duration: November 2013 – December 2013
Donor: World Bank
About the project: Right to free legal aid is one of the fundamental rights of democratic society. It enables equal access to justice for all citizens. Constitution of Serbia foresees existence of Law on free legal aid, but it has not been adopted yet, this means that base for free legal aid system does not exist. Very significant issue is financial sustainability of the free legal aid system.
Project: Antidiscrimination mechanisms in practice
Duration: April 2012 – December 2012
Donor: This project is supported by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany.
About the project: The project objective is the litigation of strategic cases and monitoring the implementation of anti-discrimination mechanisms in specific cases, refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees based on readmission and Roma. It is the continuation of activities in line with the findings of previously realized project, which showed a strong need of members of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups for more support and consistent monitoring of the implementation of anti-discrimination mechanisms. Also, it appears that there are still laws and regulations that prevent members of the aforementioned social groups to enjoy their fundamental rights – which requires testing their legality and constitutionality. YUCOM’s legal team came to the conclusion that many of these rights are directly related to the right to adequate housing.
From Lawbreaking to Lawmaking is an advocacy campaign for a reform of the criminal system in Serbia from within, i.e. based on proposals made by prisoners and ex-prisoners using the Legislative Theatre model.
Duration: from January to December 2013
The project is supported by Open Society Foundation.
About the project: The project is carried out by three Serbian NGOs: the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM), the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) and ApsArt Centre for Theatre Research. From Lawbreaking to Lawmaking combines the expertise of law analysis, human rights campaigning and Theatre of the Oppressed.
Hate crime in criminal legislation – an efficient way for the prevention and reduction of violence
Duration: January 2013 to April 2013
Sponsor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
About the project: the project “Hate crime in criminal legislation – prevention and reduction of violence in Serbia” was implemented by the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Fights (YUCOM) and the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).
Project’s objective: Support from interested parties to the introduction of the concept of hate crime in the Criminal Code of the Republic of Serbia and development of an efficient network for this concept.
YUCOM – Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights and Secons – development initiative group, supported by USAID and the Institute for Sustainable Communities, implemented from November 2012 to March 2013 the ’Access to Justice (Justice for All)’ project.
The goal of this project is to formulate a strategy for the reform of the free legal aid system in the country. This strategy will be based on the analysis of the perception of access to justice and the role of free legal aid to citizens and capacity analysis of free legal aid. The survey will be conducted in 25 cities in Serbia on a sample of 1200 respondents. The findings will be used as a basis for training courses and seminars for free legal assistance providers and for making a practical booklet that will be available to the public. The results of this research will be the subject of separate publication and will be presented at the final conference.
The project “Open Parliament” at the national and local levels implement joint initiative of civil society organizations consisting of CRTA – Center for Research, Transparency and Accountability in Belgrade, the National Coalition for decentralization based in Niš, YUCOM – Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights from Belgrade and SeConS – Development Initiative Group from Belgrade.
Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM, together with the Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, in the period from March to December 2012 implemented the project that aims to determine the effect of the recommendations coming from the Ombudsman of the Republic of Serbia and to investigate the influence of the authority of this institution in relation to public bodies for which the Ombudsman’s office found a violation of the principles of good governance.
Supporting the mechanism for the protection of individual rights by the Ombudsman is necessary considering that the recommendations of the Ombudsman are not legally binding and having also in mind the determined practice that although the Ombudsman gives recommendations, public authorities that committed a violation of law often do not follow these suggestions.
The aim of the project “Access to justice (Justice for all)” is to map the existing institutional practices, the legal framework, the access to justice, the advocacy to improve the legal aid system and the participation of civil society organizations in order to foster efficiency and fairness of the judiciary in Serbia.
Combating discrimination on all grounds education system in Serbia
Duration: July, 2011 – July, 2012
Donor: European Commission