HRW: Limited progress in human rights protection in Serbia

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. [EPA/NEMANJA JOVANOVIC]

Serbia made limited progress in 2020 when it comes to protecting human rights, according to Human Rights Watch’s annual report about the state of human rights in the world published on Wednesday.

On Serbia, the international NGO declared that, during last year, journalists faced threats, violence, and intimidation to which the Serbian authorities failed to respond adequately. That same year, attacks, threats, and smear campaigns against LGBT people and activists continued the annual report states.  

And while it was noted that efforts in the criminal prosecution of war criminals still focused on lower-ranking perpetrators, thousands of adults and children with disabilities remained in institutions across Serbia while the government failed to adopt a de-institutionalisation plan to move them out of institutions and into community-based living arrangements.

According to the report, the country’s asylum system was said to be flawed as asylum seekers had difficulties in accessing procedures. Besides, the rate for recognising asylum seekers was low compared to EU averages, and long delays before asylum decisions were made had also been recorded.  

The NGO also stated that small progress had been made when comes to finding lasting solutions for the refugees and internally displaced people from the Balkan wars living in Serbia. (EURACTIV.rs | betabriefing.com)

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