‘Violence against women – Achievements and challenges in implementation of the Istanbul Convention’ was the title of yesterday’s consultative meeting on composing the First Serbian National Report on Implementation of the Istanbul Convention attended by one of the …IZ KRUGA — VOJVODINA staff. Over 50 representatives of national and international, institutional and civic actors in prevention of gender-based and domestic violence attended the event. Amongst others, some of the attendees were representatives of national ministries, the Human and Minority Rights Office of the Government of Serbia, Serbian Ombudsman, Provincial Secretariats and the Ombudsman of the AP of Vojvodina, UN agencies in Serbia, as well as civil society organizations, including the SOS Vojvodina Network.
After the introductory address of Jelena Tadžić on behalf of UNDP in Serbia, Ljiljana Lončar from the Gender Equality Coordination Body of the Serbian Government presented the obligations of the state concerning implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (i.e. the Istanbul Convention). The process of preparation of the First Serbian National Report on Implementation of the Istanbul Convention was presented by Nevena Petrušić, PhD, a Professor with the University of Niš, an activist and the first ever Serbian Antidiscrimination Commissioner at the time of her election to the post. Being written for the first time and relating to the 2014–2015 period, the report will be a baseline comprised of the existing data which, in their current form acc. to Prof. Petrušić, are mostly incompatible with the GREVIO questionnaire the relevant state authorities should respond to. On the other hand, this process is a unique chance for Republic of Serbia to advance the activities of relevant authorities, particularly as related to recordkeeping and data collection. Both the state and civil society organizations will share their position on these and other matters by means of their (shadow) reports addressed to the GREVIO Committee.
The meeting participants agreed that the report preparation and writing process would be challenging primarily due to very short deadlines for its completion. Noting that the 2016–2017 positive advances resulting from ratification of the Istanbul Convention, such as adoption and implementation of the Domestic Violence Prevention Law, would be presented in the Second Serbian National Report on implementation of the Convention, the meeting attendees were invited to cooperate during the forthcoming Report writing process, primarily by exchanging relevant data at their disposal.
The ‘Violence against women – Achievements and challenges in implementation of the Istanbul Convention’ meeting was in Belgade. Its organizers were the Gender Equality Coordination Body of the Serbian Government and UN Mission to Serbia. The two actors are partners within the framework of the Integrated Response to Violence against Women and Girls in Serbia Project together with the Swedish Embassy in Belgrade, who is funding the implementation of this project via the Swedish International Development Agency.