The most recent survey „Citizens and their views on discrimination in Serbia“ registered improvements compared to 2013, among other things that the percentage of citizens who would apply with state institutions in case of discrimination has doubled and is now 63%. Parameters such as visibility of and confidence in the institution of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality have increased the most: with 18% of citizen who would apply to the institution in case of discrimination, compared to 2013 when this figure stood at only 2%. Confidence in the police is also improving.
This survey is important as it shows us views and opinions of our citizens, how they see the Commissioner’s office and the real impact of our work and activities. Details from the survey indicate whether we are on the right track – how citizens perceive our institution and what is the impact of our numerous activities, in particular regarding training and education for employees working in the police and the courts, said Commissioner Janković at the opening of the survey results presentation.
Ivana Krstić, professor at the Faculty of Law in Belgrade and head of research on this project, presented the survey results in detail. She pointed out that members of the Roma, LGBT and the poor are considered to be most exposed to discrimination, primarily in the area of labor and employment.
She added that citizens think that discrimination is now as wide spread as it was three years ago and that percentage of interviewed who think that discrimination of some social groups is acceptable also remained unchanged. Citizens have the greatest social distance towards the members of the LGBT population, Albanians and migrants.
Research reveals that it would be necessary to continue with activities that are aimed at increasing the visibility of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, intensifying information dissemination about discrimination and ways of detecting it. Particular attention should be attached to young people who are not familiar with the concept of discrimination and response when it happens, as well as to social groups that are often subject of discrimination, said professor Krstić and added that cooperation with the media and continuous education of journalists would remain a priority in combatting discrimination.
Other speakers at the conference included Vladimir Pejić, director of Faktor Plus agency and sociologist Gradimir Zajić.
This research is part of IPA twinning project of the EU, aimed at establishing full protection of equality and zero tolerance to discrimination, by strengthening and implementing legal framework related to human and minority rights. The survey was administered by Faktor Plus agency in June 2016 and organized by the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, a third consecutive survey of this nature since the establishment of the institution.