Friday, 25 November 2011

Public Hearing Held on Interdepartmental Cooperation and Support Mechanisms for Victims of Violence

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Gender Equality Committee held a public hearing on Interdepartmental Cooperation and Support Mechanisms for Victims of Violence.


The public hearing was opened by the Chairperson of the Gender Equality Committee Gordana Paunovic-Milosavljevic who stressed that violence against women, prostitution and trafficking in women are alarming problems of our society and today’s public hearing would contribute to strengthen interdepartmental cooperation and the support mechanisms for victims of violence. The Committee Chairperson stated that the Gender Equality Committee enjoys excellent cooperation with the Gender Equality Council, as well as the governmental and non-governmental sector.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and President of the Gender Equality Council Snezana Lakicevic said that the Government had adopted a General protocol on action and cooperation of institutions, bodies and organisations in instances of violence against women within the family and partnership, and that the Ministry was launching a campaign titled Do not turn your back on violence - report it. The protocol contains the recommendations of the Council of Europe Convention. Lakicevic stressed that this year 46 women lost their lives to violence, and two police officers were killed when intervening in cases of violence against women.

Director of the Gender Equality Directorate Natalija Micunovic spoke of the need to establish interdepartmental cooperation and develop support mechanisms for victims of violence, also commending the media campaign and excellent cooperation with the Committee.

Advisor at the Ministry of Interior Slavica Radovanovic stressed that since 2006 the Ministry has been training its staff in suppressing violence and implementing the Violence Suppression Strategy. She also stressed that the Ministry is in possession of several violence suppression modules and cooperates with the Autonomous Women’s Centre, UNDP, Government of the Kingdom of Norway, AP Vojvodina Executive Council and many other organisations.

On the behalf of the Women’s Health Promotion Centre, Stanislava Otasevic presented the Special protocol – instrument for the protection of women exposed to gender-based violence aimed at raising the rate of reported violence, reducing the number of murders and increasing the number of convictions. The protocol defines the procedure by healthcare institutions, role of healthcare professionals in providing assistance to victims of violence and examples of good practice, stated Otasevic.

Silvija Kranjc, on the behalf of the Sombor Centre for Social Work, Traffic Police Chief Milan Glumac, Prof. Dr Zorica Mrsevic on the behalf of the Faculty of European Legal and Political Studies, UNDP Coordinator Vesna Jaric, Head of the Department for the Rights of the Disabled at the Ombudsman’s support service Dragana Grabovica, Zorana Antonijevic on the behalf of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, as well as MPs Donka Banovic, Milica Vojic-Markovic, Zlata Djeric, Jelena Budimirovic and Miletic Mihajlovic took part in the debate.

The participants of the public hearing agreed on the need to continue strengthening cooperation with independent regulatory bodies, non-governmental sector and raise awareness on violence against women.


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