Despite the fact that this year we are celebrating the International Human Rights Day in the shadow of a pandemic, we must never allow the shadow to fall over respect and realization of human rights, because such it covers the dignity of every individual – man, woman, child, said Commissioner for Protection of Equality, Brankica Janković.
She emphasized that both as individuals and a society, we are faced with a global awakening call to unite forces and create a new vision of a better, more prosperous, more stable and safer world, in which no one will be left behind. Regardless of the severity of the situation at the moment, we have already experienced difficult times and we still have the opportunity to show commitment to the universal principles of equality, as well as an individual intention to show more understanding, tolerance and solidarity.
On the eve of Human Rights Day, Janković talked with representatives of the Roma-Zajecar Association and the Timok Youth Center in Zajecar, as part her traditional visits to a municipality or city, with aim to symbolically demonstrate that all citizens are equal and equally important for the institutions.
During the meeting with the representatives of the Roma-Zajecar Association, Commissioner pointed out that Roma men and women faced great difficulties before the pandemic, such as high poverty rates, living in informal conditions and non-standardized settlements, and that situation became even more difficult during the pandemic. During the pandemic, most Roma children could not attend distance learning due to the lack of conditions, which is why the institution of Commissioner submitted several recommendations of measures during the state of emergency. Commissioner pointed out the negative impact of discrimination on society, as threat to democracy, and called on the representatives of the association to encourage people from their environment to report discrimination.
At the Timok Youth Center, the Commissioner also participated in the Webinar “Reducing Inequality in Society in the Context of Reducing Discrimination on All Grounds”, where she spoke about the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She pointed out that only the joint work of all actors, including the private sector, leads to the achievement of goals, because we as a state are committed to respecting the universal principle that no man should be left behind and outside the general progress.