No. 07-00-115/2022-02 date: 2. 6. 2022.
The opinion was adopted regarding the complaint of A. A, which she filed on behalf of her minor child B. B, against the Secretariat for Social Protection of the City of Belgrade and the City Center for Social Work Department New Belgrade for discrimination based on health status. In the complaint, it was stated that child B. B. needs the support of a personal assistant in order to progress in development and socialization, which is why the parents submitted a request to the Center for Social Work in October 2021, after which they were informed that the child was placed on the waiting list, due to the filled capacities of service providers. In the statement, it was stated that after the submitted request of the mother of minor B. B. for exercising the right to the personal assistant service, the user’s assessment and a service plan have been drawn up, and that the capacity of the licensed service provider where filled, which is why the child was placed on the waiting list until the conditions for using the services are met. It was further stated that the City of Belgrade provides the services of a personal assistant for 610 children and youth with developmental disabilities, while user requests for this service were submitted for another 307 children, and that the city will increase the number of users successively. It was further stated that since April 2016, the service of a personal assistant for a child has been provided by the licensed and authorized service provider V. V, with which the city of Belgrade – the Secretariat for Social Protection has concluded a contract on the public procurement of the services of a child’s personal assistant. In the course of the procedure, it was determined that the City of Belgrade prescribed the service of a personal companion as a social protection service provided by the city by the Decision on Social Protection Rights and Services, that the common opinion of the interdepartmental commission is that the minor B. B. needs additional support of a personal companion in order to attend kindergarten to be able to progress in development and socialization, as well as that the child was placed on a waiting list because the capacity of the service provider was filled. The Law on Social Protection stipulates that social protection services provided by the local self-government unit, for which there is a need, and which cannot be provided in the necessary scope by the social protection institution, are procured from a social protection service provider that is licensed for this through the public procurement of social protection services. The Secretariat for Social Protection, as the body of the local self-government unit responsible for social protection, did not provide evidence that any activities were undertaken to increase the number of service providers. The Commissioner states that it is not enough to prescribe this type of support by a decision, but that it is necessary to provide means for implementation, sufficient scope, and continuity in the provision of services for every child who needs the service. The Commissioner gave the opinion that the Secretariat for Social Protection of the City of Belgrade and the City Center for Social Work, Department of New Belgrade put the minor B. B. in a disadvantaged position based on the state of health, by failing to provide him with the service of a personal assistant of the child, thus violating the provisions of Article 6 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. The Commissioner gave the recommendation that the Secretariat for Social Protection of the City of Belgrade and the City Center for Social Work, Department of New Belgrade, without delay, take all measures and activities within their jurisdiction, in accordance with the regulations, to secure the provision of personal assistance services for the minor B.B., as well as to adhere to regulations on the protection of discrimination in the future within their activities. Also, the Commissioner recommended the Secretariat for Social Protection of the City of Belgrade to contact the City of Belgrade in order to secure the necessary funds for providing the service of a personal companion for all children who meet the requirements prescribed by law, and for whom this service is necessary.
COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY