In conjunction with the Bulgarian presidency of the European Union, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic visited Sofia where she met with the president of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination Anne Dzumaliev and Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy Zornica Dimitrova Rusinova.
Commissioner Jankovic stressed that women and persons with disabilities are most often exposed to certain forms of discrimination, especially in the labor market, and that, therefore, in addition to numerous other activities, our institution has developed a manual “Code of Equality” which contains guidelines for anti-discrimination policies for employers in Serbia and which has already been accepted and made in several large companies.
During the conversation, Commissioner emphasized that Commissioner for the Protection of Equality has good cooperation with the National Council of the Bulgarian national minority and that they have not submitted complaints about discrimination during the last three years.
Deputy Minister Zornica Dimitrova Rusinova, in charge of the area of non-discrimination, confirmed that Serbia and Bulgaria are facing similar challenges, and that labor and employment are areas where discrimination occurs more than in other areas in Bulgaria, stressing that it is extremely important that neighboring countries exchange experiences, good practices and continuously improve regional cooperation.
Commissioner Brankica Jankovic and the president of the Commission for the Prohibition of Discrimination Ana Dzumalieva signed a Statement on the Cooperation that includes the exchange of experience and good practice, as well as joint participation in projects aimed at improving the respect of human rights for the benefit of all citizens in both countries.
The signatories of the Statement agreed that respect for human rights and the fight against discrimination are at the top of the agenda in all open societies and that respect for the principles of equality is also the presumption of every democracy and the system of values that they support.