„Discrimination of the Roma – Experience of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality“ conference was organized by the institution of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and supported by the GIZ. The main objective of this conference was to encourage key players tasked with the protection of Roma rights to use equality protection mechanisms more efficiently, including the possibility to file a complaint, but also to offer suggestions and put forth proposals aimed at promoting the position of the Roma national minority.
Brankica Janković, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality said that the number of filed compalints suggests that the Roma is a social group most frequently exposed to discrimination on the grounds of national affiliation in different areas: employment, education, procedures before public authorites. The Commissioner stressed that in the forthcoming period the institution would present the results of its most recent surevey on citizens’s views on discrimination which would offer a glimpse into the perception of citizens of social groups most exposed to discrimination and marginalization.
The Commissioner stressed that the a strategic document regulating aims, objectives and measures for tackling the issue of Roma discrimination in differenct social areas has been adopted, underlining that the institution of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality supports the adoption of such strategic documents, but she also said that those documents need to be implemented.
Gerhard Sippel, the Director of GIZ Serbia said that Serbia 2015 EU Progress Report states that Serbia must pursue anti-discrimination measures in an effective way and that it must encourage equality and integration of marginalized vulnerable persons who are particularly vulnerable. He also said that the Progress Report states that Anti-discrimination Strategy must continue to be implemented and that the efforts and results of the Commissioner and the institutions must be supported.
The activities of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality towards combating discrimination of the Roma national minority were presented by Kosana Beker, assisstant to the Commissioner and by Relja Pantić, adivisor with the Professional Service of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality.
Vitomir Mihajlović from the National Council of the Roma National Minority, Osman Balić from the Standing Conference of Roma Citizens Associations – Liga Roma, and Slavica Vasić from Roma Women’s Center Bibija spoke on the position of the Roma minority.