The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Maja Gojkovic attended the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the institution of Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and on the occasion stressed that Serbia is determined to build a society grounded in the respect of human rights and the protection of all the citizens from any form of discrimination.
Gojkovic said that the institution of Commissioner for the Protection of Equality has helped the country take great strides toward increased equality and protection against discrimination, stating that the adoption of the Anti-Discrimination Law had launched a process of creating anti-discriminatory legislation and an institution that protects a fundamental human right – the right to be equal in the eyes of the law and under the Constitution.
Gojkovic said that in its efforts to prevent the gravest consequences of inequality, discrimination and violence against women, the Parliament had passed the Law on of Domestic Violence and instated new forms of criminal offenses into the Criminal Code. She said that the adoption of amendments to the election laws, viz. the stipulation that an electoral lists must contain at least 40% of members of the less represented gender, has been a huge step forward in the achievement of gender equality.
“It is important to keep improving our legislative framework in line with the needs of the society and to insist on a consistent implementation of the laws. That is how we help build trust between the institutions and the people”, Gojkovic said.
Gojkovic said that in the decade behind us the Serbian Assembly has enjoyed good, productive and dynamic cooperation with the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality.
“I believe that this is an excellent opportunity to say that our chief achievement in terms of equality in the past 10 years is raising awareness on equality as such and different categories and groups. Awareness of social equality is essential for achieving it”, said Gojkovic.
Gojkovic added that only a society that respects equality, made up of people who deeply believe in it and exercise it daily, can successfully overcome modern challenges and have a secure foundation of development and improvement.
“As we sum up a decade worth of work today, we must stress that equality is not just one of the values promoted by our society, it is also the foundation of many other values, essential for their achievement such as a just society, civil liberties and many others”, said Gojkovic.