For years now, the persons with disabilities and members of Roma national minority stand as the social groups which are frequently facing discrimination, while their position has been documented not only through statistical data related to the number of complaints that were filed to Commissioner for the Protection of Equality but also by the numerous relevant researches and analysis, said Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic at the tribune “Citizens of the Last Order” in Pancevo.
She emphasized that good legislative frame, like we have in Serbia, does not necessarily mean justice and fair society and that the greatest obstacles are prejudices and stereotype attitudes toward specific social groups which are extremely hard to overcome, as well as the non-implementation of existing laws in practice.
Commissioner reminded that, in spite of numerous challenges, there are shifts in the improvement of the position of these social groups, primarily when speaking of educational system, health care and certain number of social care services, but she also warned that we should do more to include Roma children in the pre-school educational system, because it is a key link in growing up, a depending factor for breaking the vicious circle of poverty and social exclusion.
Slavica Vasic from NGO Roma Women Center Bibia stated that the poverty is a key obstacle for social inclusion of Roma men and women, as well as discrimination, but that there is a disinclination of major population when the affirmative measures for this social group are being implemented.
Mirjana Maric from NGO BigSmall warned on difficult position of the children with disabilities who are still often discriminated in the area of education so that there are numerous prejudices existing implying that these children feel better in institutions instead of family environment and that they are not capable to attend regular schools.
Moderator, journalist Danica Vucinic, reminded that there are no innocent when talking about the position of these vulnerable groups and that we all are some kind of accomplices in discrimination, starting from state institutions, citizens, family members, even right-wing organizations.
Tribune titled “Citizens of the Last Order” was held in the club “Kupe” in Pancevo, in the organization of an association of citizens Pescanik, with the support of the Embassy of Netherlands.