Optional Protocol in the past decade, as a global system for preventing torture and other forms of ill-treatment, allows access for external and independent control, international organizations and national authorities to the places in which are placed persons deprived of their liberty. The fact that the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and the national mechanisms have the power to access any place where persons are deprived of their liberty serve as a deterrent against ill-treatment, increases transparency and promote responsibility for acts of torture and abuse.

More than 60 countries have established their National Preventive mechanisms. The Republic of Serbia has signed the Optional Protocol in 2003 and on 28 July 2011 at the session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia Ombudsman is designated to perform duties of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) in cooperation with ombudsmen autonomous regions and associations whose statute provided objective of association is promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms.

Read more ...The Serbian Ombudsman, in cooperation with the Administration for the enforcement of criminal sanctions (furtheron Administration) and the NGO Youth Initiative for Human Rights organized a round table on "Health care in the prison system in Serbia", which brought together doctors and other medical staff working in institutions for execution of criminal sanctions. Next to the deputy ombudsman and his associates, participants were were addressed by the Director of the Administration, head of the Special Prison Hospital, as well as the experts in the field of human rights and health care. The goal of the roundtable was to train participants on the standards of health care in prisons, as well as the introduction to the most important findings and recommendations of the Ombudsman and the NPM. In previous work on complaints and in conducting the NPM work, the Ombudsman sent to the Administration about 200 recommendations, relating to the improvement of health care in prisons.

SalcburgAccommodation and treatment in social welfare institutions with a special focus on homes for the elderly and restrictions on freedom with excessive medication was the topic of a meeting of the Network of national preventive mechanisms of Southeast Europe, held in Salzburg from 20 to 22 April 2016. On behalf of the National Preventive Mechanism of the Republic of Serbia (NPM), the meeting attended Milos Jankovic, Deputy Ombudsman and coordinator of the Serbian NPM and Milan M. Marković, Legal Adviser of the Initiative for the rights of people with mental disabilities MDRI-S and member of the team NPM Serbia. They presented experiences from the visits to the residential social care institutions in the Republic of Serbia. 

The Ombudsman invited the associations, whose statute intended goal of association promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms, to cooperate in the performance of the national mechanism for the prevention of torture. Cooperation relating to the participation of representatives of associations and co-workers of associations in visits of places where persons are deprived of their liberty, drafting of reports, recommendations, opinions and other documents, as well as performing other tasks of the National Preventve Mechanism (NPM).

Read more ...Deputy Ombudsman for the protection of the rights of persons deprived of their liberty Milos Jankovic and his associates from the professional services of the Ombudsman, visited the Belgrade District Prison and the Special Prison Hospital. On that occasion, he visited a unit of the Special Prison Hospital where works of material conditions are carried out, and the recently renovated prison block.

On the meeting, in which participated representatives of the Ombudsman, the Director of the Penal Sanctions, Warden of District Prison and judge for Execution of Criminal Sanctions, were presented the most important problems and challenges facing the system for execution of criminal sanctions in Serbia and whose advancement would improve the position of persons deprived of their liberty, as well as the exercise of their rights.