Independent and functional equality institutions have a major role in the process of improving the situation in the area of equality, which is why it is necessary to make additional efforts to consistently implement the recommendations of measures addressed to public authorities, multi-sectional approach to combating discrimination and strengthening the capacity of the institution of Commissioner, said Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Janković at the regional conference “A Human Rights Bedrock: Effective National Human Rights Institutions for the Western Balkans”.
Equality bodies are facing a number of challenges, especially in terms of providing adequate resources and functional independence in practice, said Commissioner at the panel “Independence and resources – still a challenge”. She pointed out that regular consideration of the annual reports of independent institutions in the parliament, as well as the adoption of appropriate amendments to the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, would contribute to the systemic fight against discrimination. Commissioner also emphasized that the percentage of acting upon the Commissioner’s recommendations is very high, but that there is room for more efficient implementation of recommendations regarding the promotion of equality and protection of vulnerable social groups, and that citizens should be additionally encouraged to initiate the procedure for protection against discrimination.
In addition to Commissioner Janković, other speakers at the conference were also Siniša Bjeković, Ombudsman of Montenegro, Dr. Jasminka Džumhur, Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Robert Gajda, Commissioner for Protection against Discrimination of Albania, prof. Dr. Ivana Krstić, as well as representatives of organizations from the region, Civil Rights Defenders and the European Policy Institute.