no. 07-00-431/2020-02 date: 26.3. 2021.
The opinion was issued in the procedure regarding the complaint of AA, against the traffic company BB, due to discrimination on the grounds of disability. The complaint states that on August 14, 2020, she traveled by bus of the traffic company BB on the route Belgrade – Novi Sad, departing at 1 p.m. from the bus station in Belgrade. She alleges that the first door of the bus was closed and that she asked the conductor and then the driver to open the front door so that she could enter the bus unhindered, since she is a person with a disability, but they replied that that is not possible and that that door cannot be opened because disinfection has been carried out. She points out that she decided to enter the bus, with her own effort and with difficulty, by the second door, which had high steps, while the conductor entered and exited by the first door. The statement states that the transport company BB applies the entry of passengers by the front door when it comes to performing intercity traffic, as well as on the route Belgrade – Novi Sad, and especially when it comes to entering of passengers with disabilities by the front door. It was further stated that non-compliance with these measures, as well as rude and inadequate behavior of the bus staff towards passengers, represents acts of individuals, against which disciplinary proceedings were initiated and conducted, and not of the traffic company BB. When deciding in this case, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality applied the rule on redistribution and transfer of the burden of proof from Article 45, paragraph 2 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, according to which the burden of proving that the principle of equality has not been violated rests on the traffic company BB. During the procedure, it was determined that the complainant, due to her disability, had to be allowed to enter by the first bus door, which was accessible to her. However, the staff (driver and conductor) of the traffic company BB allowed access/entry to the bus only by the second door, which had an obstacle (3 high steps), and thus she was not allowed to enter the bus in an unhindered manner. In this particular case, the traffic company BB has not proven that it acted in accordance with international and domestic legislation that prescribes the obligation to ensure accessibility, in this case for transport, to persons with disabilities on an equal footing with others, in order to enable persons with disabilities to participate fully in all spheres of life. Therefore, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality issued the opinion that the traffic company BB violated the provisions of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. Along with the opinion, a recommendation was given that the traffic company BB send a written apology to the complainant, due to discriminatory behavior on August 14, 2020, as well as to take care in the future that it adheres to the regulations on the prohibition of discrimination within the scope of performing the tasks in its competence.
COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY