No 07-00-556/2018-02 Date: 14 November 2018
This Opinion was adopted in the proceedings concerning a complaint by A. V. from B, filed against the Hunting Society “B.”, citing discrimination based on age. The complaint states, inter alia, that the membership fee in the Hunting Society “B” is 25,000 RSD for people up to 20 years of age, 50,000 RSD for people aged 20 to 30, and 120,000 RSD for people over 30. The complainant believes that this constitutes an act of discrimination against people aged over 30. The answer by the Hunting Society “B” states, inter alia, that the contested decision was adopted primarily having regard to the fact that the majority of young people are unemployed, and/or have none or minimal income, and thus they wanted to appeal to as many young people as possible to join their ranks. With a view to accurately and fully weighting the findings of fact in these proceedings, the Commissioner asked the Hunting Association of Serbia for, inter alia, a statement on the age structure of hunters in Serbia. The letter by the Hunting Association of Serbia states, inter alia, that the average age of hunters is 47.2 years, and that there is an undeniable need to rejuvenate the membership in the hunting organisation, since young people should be taught to preserve natural resources and game animals in the future, in accordance with the environmental capacities, observing and fostering hunting traditions and knowledge, as a part of Serbian and global cultural heritage. In the course of the proceedings, an analysis of the allegations contained in the complaint, the answer of the Hunting Society “B” and the Hunting Association of Serbia as well as submitted evidence, it was ascertained that the Hunting Society “B” had an objective and reasonable justification for prescribing a lower amount of the initial membership fee for new young members up to 30 years of age. Namely, the social and economic situation of young persons in Serbia, as well as the need for stronger participation and accountability of young persons in the environmental protection, and the need to rejuvenate the membership of hunting organisations, which were also the reasons pointed out by the Hunting Association of Serbia, were the deciding factors for the Hunting Society “B” to prescribe a lower amount of the initial membership fee for new members aged up to 30, also in pursuance of the objectives prescribed in the Youth Strategy. In view of the above, the decision of the Hunting Society “B” to give advantage to new members up to 30 years of age, actually constitutes an application of the special (affirmative) measure prescribed in the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia and the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination. In view of the above, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality gives the following opinion: in determining that new members of the society who are up to 30 years of age shall pay a lower initial membership fee than new members over 30 years of age, the Hunting Society “B” did not violate the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination.
|COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY