Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic spoke in the introductory part of the meeting with the members of Equality and Non-Discrimination Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe about the role of Commissioner for Protection of Equality in Serbia, as well as priorities for the following period. Meeting was organized under auspices of the Serbian Parliament.
Presenting the activities of the institution and challenges regarding the equality, she particularly pointed to hate speech, which our country encounters, as well as other states in the region and Europe, stating that it is worrying that some individuals do not see their responsibility and publish attitudes which are openly discriminatory and are confronting the principle of equality. She stressed that such speech is especially upsetting on social networks.
Speaking about numerous activities conducted by the institution, she emphasized with importance that Commissioner for Protection of Equality became a member of EQUINET team which will participate in proceedings before European Court of Human Rights as the involving party, thanks to the experience of in leading strategic litigations.
Commissioner Jankovic reminded that three years ago she initiated creation of Regional Equality Bodies Forum, stating that as good example for improving neighborly relations.
Speaking about challenges, she said that equality institutions sometimes feel like lonely guards of justice who always warn, but that is a role that we should not be scared of, on contrary, justice in its essence has the equality as one of its key values. That is why, according to her, Commissioner continues its mission to protect every single individual and all our citizens.
Concerning priorities in the following period, Jankovic said that they will be removal of various barriers that are causing discrimination of all social groups, through initiatives for law amendments, general recommendations, as well as single opinions and other measures available.
At the end, Commissioner answered to many questions by the members Equality and Non-Discrimination Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.