Effective social protection and full respect for the rights of vulnerable groups should be one of the priorities of public policies and the topic of continuous improvement of employees in the social and health care system, said the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Janković, at the opening of the final conference of the German-Serbian development cooperation project GIZ “Services of social protection for vulnerable groups” held in Belgrade.
The current situation indicates the necessity of improving the protection of human rights and the position of vulnerable groups, taking care that the measures taken are better targeted, especially towards certain groups, such as women from the countryside, the elderly, people with disabilities, the poor, chronically or terminally ill patients, and Roma men, women, and children, the Commissioner stated. She pointed out that the availability of social protection services largely depends on the circumstances at the local level, which is why it is extremely important to establish inter-municipal cooperation through efficient but sustainable use of resources and partnerships of various actors involved in providing support.
The Commissioner stated that the increasing number of elderly people is putting pressure on the social and pension insurance system, as well as on health care and protection, and she also cited insufficient support for informal caregivers as a significant challenge. Integrated services in the community, such as daycare and help at home, have the potential to solve these problems more effectively, as well as the introduction of innovative and mobile services, with a special emphasis on the elderly, children, and people with disabilities, as well as people in rural and inaccessible areas, said Janković.
At the opening of the conference, the Minister of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs Nikola Selaković, the Minister of Family Care and Demography, Darija Kisić, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Anke Konrad, and the Director of the GIZ Good Governance Program, Stefan Hayek, also spoke. The working part of the conference discussed the process of deinstitutionalization, the interactive approach in the provision of social protection services, and the gender-responsive approach.