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The impact of Covid 19 on the social inclusion of vulnerable groups

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The Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the Orga­ni­za­tion IZ KRUGAVOJVODINA, Svjet­lana Tim­o­t­ic par­tic­i­pat­ed in the round table The impact of COVID 19 on the social inclu­sion of vul­ner­a­ble groups. The round table was held online, on Octo­ber 29, from 10:00 to 12:30.

The round table was orga­nized with­in the frame­work of the Euro­pean Union Sup­port Pro­gram for Social Hous­ing and Active Inclu­sion, which is fund­ed by the Euro­pean Union and imple­ment­ed by the Unit­ed Nations Office for Project Ser­vices (UNOPS).

The par­tic­i­pants of the round table dis­cussed the chal­lenges that mem­bers of the Roma com­mu­ni­ty, chil­dren with­out parental care, women vic­tims of domes­tic vio­lence and peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties face dur­ing the COVID 19 virus pan­dem­ic, but also the oppor­tu­ni­ties that arise for social inclu­sion of vul­ner­a­ble groups.

The best prac­tices of social inclu­sion ser­vice providers from the pub­lic and civ­il sec­tor were pre­sent­ed at the meet­ing, as well as suc­cess­ful­ly tak­en mea­sures to reduce the neg­a­tive effects of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic.

Svjet­lana Tim­o­t­ic, spoke about the basic good prac­tices and oppor­tu­ni­ties in the field of social inclu­sion that have arisen from sit­u­a­tions caused by the coro­na virus.

With­in the project aimed at improv­ing sup­port for women with dis­abil­i­ties exposed to vio­lence, which the orga­ni­za­tion …IZ KRUGAVOJVODINA is imple­ment­ing in coop­er­a­tion with the UN Women Agency, with the sup­port of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, reusable pro­tec­tive masks were made in accor­dance with the prin­ci­ples of acces­si­ble com­mu­ni­ca­tions. The masks were dis­trib­uted to hear­ing impaired women and sign lan­guage inter­preters in 10 cities in Ser­bia. Through the Inter­net media of the Dis­abil­i­ty Por­tal and social net­works, we con­tin­u­ous­ly informed the com­mu­ni­ty about the exist­ing ser­vices avail­able to them, so that they could con­tact for sup­port and get infor­ma­tion about the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion caused by the coro­na virus. An instant sec­tion of the Quar­an­tine Notes was estab­lished, in which the sto­ries of women with dif­fer­ent types of dis­abil­i­ties, who live in dif­fer­ent cities in Ser­bia, were pub­lished, in order to make the expe­ri­ences of women with dis­abil­i­ties dur­ing the pan­dem­ic vis­i­ble. Also, in coop­er­a­tion with the Unit­ed Nations Pop­u­la­tion Fund through the Capac­i­ty Build­ing of Women with Dis­abil­i­ties project to advo­cate for their sex­u­al and repro­duc­tive rights, we empow­ered 59 women with dif­fer­ent types of dis­abil­i­ties to self-advo­cate and advo­cate. Women with dis­abil­i­ties from five munic­i­pal­i­ties in Ser­bia mapped bar­ri­ers to access­ing repro­duc­tive health and con­duct­ed pub­lic events and advo­ca­cy activ­i­ties. Local part­ners in Vran­je, the Human Rights Com­mit­tee and the Asso­ci­a­tion of Per­sons Suf­fer­ing from Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis, through advo­ca­cy activ­i­ties, ver­i­fied the Mem­o­ran­dum of Coop­er­a­tion with health insti­tu­tions and local gov­ern­ment, which decid­ed that the hydraulic table for gyne­co­log­i­cal exam­i­na­tions from the red kovid zone, where dur­ing the pan­dem­ic housed, relo­cat­ed to a green, safe zone, and gyne­co­log­i­cal exam­i­na­tion ser­vices are now avail­able to women with dis­abil­i­ties. The mem­o­ran­dum also defines the orga­ni­za­tion of free pre­ven­tive exam­i­na­tions for women with dis­abil­i­ties, in coor­di­na­tion with asso­ci­a­tions of per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties of the City of Vran­je and con­tact per­sons of the gyne­col­o­gy and obstet­rics depart­ment of the Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal Vran­je and the radi­ol­o­gy depart­ment for pre­ven­tive breast exam­i­na­tion — says Svjet­lana.

The con­clu­sion of the round table is that the chal­leng­ing and unfa­vor­able posi­tion of mem­bers of vul­ner­a­ble social groups was fur­ther aggra­vat­ed dur­ing the cur­rent health cri­sis and that deci­sion-mak­ing on mea­sures to pro­tect the pop­u­la­tion must include rep­re­sen­ta­tives of vul­ner­a­ble groups.

Among the par­tic­i­pants were rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Del­e­ga­tion of the Euro­pean Union to Ser­bia, the Min­istry of Labor, Employ­ment, Vet­er­ans and Social Affairs, local gov­ern­ments, nation­al and local insti­tu­tions and civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions work­ing to reduce pover­ty, pro­mote and pro­tect the rights of vul­ner­a­ble groups.

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