UN report on disability and human rights in Serbia

People with disabilities have been facing many obstacles in terms of their access to justice, education, employment and political engagement in Serbia.

Also, the forced placement in medical institutions, isolation and forced treatment of large numbers of persons with mental, intellectual and psycho-social disabilities are all a cause for concern. Additionally, the current legal framework is inadequate to achieve de-institutionalization and enhance appropriate community-based support.

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These are just some of the facts pointed out by the United Nations Human Rights Committee on 28th March in its Concluding Observations on the Third Periodic Report on Serbia pertaining to the implementation of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Committee has also expressed its concern with the abuse of rights of certain minority groups, and pointed out to individual segments in which it is necessary to take measures to improve the position of the discriminated and marginalized groups in the society. The Observations also include a number of recommendations for the Serbian government, or rather measures that the government should take, namely:

  • take appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against in the enjoyment of their rights;
  • take all measures necessary to implement a policy of de-institutionalization of persons with disabilities accompanied by appropriate community-based support;
  • ensure that any decision to isolate, place or treat persons with mental, intellectual and psycho-social disabilities is made after a thorough medical assessment, that any restrictions are legal, necessary and proportionate to the individual circumstances and include guarantees of an effective remedy;
  • pursue legal amendments in order to eliminate full deprivation of legal capacity and strengthen its efforts to restore the legal capacity of persons with disabilities.

Additionally, the Committee noted a bad position of women with disabilities in institutions and recommended that the government should ensure that sufficient technical and financial resources and training are dedicated to addressing the problem of violence against women and children, and take all necessary measures to protect women from vulnerable groups.

(MDRI, 04.04.2017)


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