Government of the Republic of Serbia, in cooperation with the European Commission, organized the fourth seminar “Social Inclusion of Roma in the Republic of Serbia” in October 2017. The seminar is a biennial meeting, first organized in 2011, dedicated to the status of Roma in the region organised by the European Commission. Roma seminars are the main channel of communication between the European Commission/EU Delegation and Serbian authorities dealing with these issues. The Seminar discussed actions to improve the status of Roma in education, implemented activities and observed problems at the national and local level in the field of employment of Roma, social and health protection of Roma, housing and legalisation of Roma settlements as well as challenges and possible solutions to the issue of personal documents and the status of IDPs and returnees under the Readmission Agreement.
At the seminar held in October 2017, priorities were defined for the next period in the form of Operational conclusions that represent undertaken obligations by Serbia for the period 2017-2019. Operational conclusions, together with the Action Plan for chapter 23 are the key elements of the legislative framework for Roma inclusion in Serbia.
Ivanka Kostic, Praxis’ Executive Director, once again pointed at the problem faced by undocumented parents when registering the birth of their children, and advocated for the systemic solution of the problem through the amendments of relevant regulations/bylaws.
The Operational conclusions recently published prescribe that the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government will continue to monitor the situation in the field of exercising the right to register in the birth register in accordance with the relevant laws.
It is particularly important that in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government will ensure the fulfilment of the right to report and register births of children born in health institutions whose parents do not have personal documents, as well as of children born outside health institutions.
By achieving this goal, new cases of statelessness would be prevented. Children whose parents do not possess personal documents could be registered in the birth registry immediately after birth and exercise their other basic rights.
You can download the Operational conclusions HERE.