On the occasion of the World Population Day, 10 July, a project “Living Library” was presented on the plateau in front of the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade. “Living Library” is a project of the Council of Europe which is being implemented by the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality in Serbia. In this specific project books are actually living people, carefully selected from social groups that we often judge based on deeply rooted prejudices and negative “stereotypes”. The project goal is to allow many people learn about authentic life stories directly from those who are different. Breaking down negative stereotypes and prejudices is a basic requirement for reducing discrimination, which ultimately leads to the creation of conditions for a better life, better understanding and mutual respect.
“Serbia is the third demographically oldest country in Europe and the challenge of aging is one of the most complex in our state. This year, after a long time, we have more babies born, which is undoubtedly a reason for joy, but not for optimism. The problem was recognized and the state adopted a package of population policy measures. However, they should not be focused only on financial support, which is very important, but not crucial. It is not enough only to work on increasing the number of children, but also on better migration management. Only through a good education, social and health care system, better economy and stability, with strong institutions and equal opportunities, we can create such conditions which would motivate young people to stay in Serbia – said Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Jankovic, adding that measures of population policy do not give results immediately, but in period of two or three decades.
The World Population Day, as well as the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development is marked by the United Nations Population Fund in Serbia in cooperation with Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and the Cabinet of Ministers without portfolio in charge of demography and population policy. The accompanying activity of the event is painting of messages that will be ‘sent to the world’ through social networks, as a symbolic connection of Serbian citizens with other parts of the planet.