Project title: ” Strengthening access to justice for women victims of violence in Serbia”
Project duration: April 2021 – September 2021
Donor: Embassy of the Czech Republic – TRANSITION FUND
Project value: 275,000.00 CZK
The primary problem the project seeks to address is the lack of adequate free legal aid and support for victims of gender-based violence in Serbia. The project aims to protect the victims of gender-based violence and domestic violence whose human rights are threatened, while the capacity of national free legal aid providers is still lacking.
Serbia is one of the first countries to ratify the Istanbul Convention, which is the core standard to ensure equal access to justice for women victims of violence. Many of its provisions aim to ensure the right of access to justice and to provide adequate protection and assistance during judicial proceedings. Although the national Law on Free Legal Aid came into force in October 2019 and recognized victims of domestic violence as beneficiaries of free legal aid, there is still no real evidence as to whether the newly established system works in reality. Also, the new Law on Free Legal Aid, in addition to domestic violence, does not recognize other forms of violence covered by the Istanbul Convention as free beneficiaries of legal aid.
Strengthening access to justice for women victims of violence in Serbia project provides free legal aid and support to victims of gender-based violence that is on the rise during the Covid19 pandemic, as the impact of the current crisis shows long-term consequences on a large scale. The project also seeks to identify challenges and address remaining gaps in establishing a national legal aid system across the country.