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Nov 29

Human Rights Program

Overall Program Directions

Human Rights House, in cooperation with organizations addressing rights of different marginalized groups, will work on the respect of diversity and reduction of social distance toward marginalized groups; it will monitor implementation of the Antidiscrimination Law and other laws containing anti-discriminatory provisions; it will represent victims of human rights violation and build legal practice in these fields; it will document the conditions of human rights. In particular, Human Rights House recognizes the fact that, inter alia, the right to free gathering of LBGT community has been flagrantly violated by the State institutions in Serbia in the past few years, wherefore a part of its activities will be focused on exercising this right of the LGBT community. Human Rights House will work also on education of public (with special focus on youth) about human rights. Special attention will be paid to raising awareness of the media for questions of HR, discrimination and diversity in general. HR House will be a source for students and academia in the area of human rights.

Within this program concrete activities in first year will be:

Monitoring  of human rights respect in the first year of new Serbian Government – Monitoring team will follow implementation of legislation and work of institutions in area of human rights (for example Anti-discrimination Law, Ombudsman, national councils etc.). Monitoring will be done through different actions: analyzing of implementation of laws by testing of existing mechanisms, following of strategic cases of violations of human rights, monitoring work of judiciary, media reporting and hate speech, etc. Any relevant issues that appear in the process will also be timely targeted. Comprehensive report about monitoring results will be prepared and printed after one year of new Serbian government. The report will include methodology used, main findings, important cases and practice, and recommendations. The report will be printed in Serbian and English. The report will be presented on public one day conference which will involve all relevant stakeholders. Based on monitoring findings, possible examples of good practices will be presented from EU or region, in order to foster good developments of human rights. Report will be disseminated to relevant institutions, ministries and domestic and international organizations.

Public events – Within this program, HRHouse will implement three types of public actions. First one is based on watch dog function and public reactions (public releases, debates, etc.) to any findings or new developments during monitoring process. For example, in the next period, new Ombudsman should be elected (or old one re-elected) and there is a big possibility that this process would not go without any turbulences. Any possible misdoings will be timely noticed and reacted upon.  Second type of public actions will be organizing events that are setting up human rights agenda in the public sphere. Six round tables on human rights issues as a subject will be organized (one in two months, with possible changes in timing if society situation needs adequate reactions).  The participants will be representatives of human rights organizations, relevant ministries, independent institutions, experts, academic community, journalists and international organizations. Special intention will be paid to a promotion of these issues through traditional media (broadcasting on national media, articles in relevant newspapers), new media (Facebook, Twitter etc.), and promotion through blogs and relevant web sites. Possible subjects of round tables are: introducing hate crime in criminal law, respect of the Law on National Councils, impunity of hate speech on internet, freedom of assembly and LGBT rights, protection of human rights defenders in Serbian legal system etc. The concrete issues will be chosen based on current society situation and relevance of the different issues at the moment. As a third direction of public activity, the wide campaign about importance of human rights being one of the main values promoted and implemented by institutions and Government in Serbia will be implemented. Primarily target group will be representatives of the institutions and political parties. The goal of the campaign will be greater commitment of representatives of the institutions to human rights respect in all areas of the society and implementing of rule of law in this area. Campaign will be organized through media and public actions with special focus on use of new media.

Watch-dog function – HRHouse will continue to monitor human rights respect in Serbia, including individual cases of human rights abuses and institutional implementation of human rights policies and laws, issue reports on the situation of human rights and alert both domestic and international stakeholders.

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