The Protector of Citizens submitted to the National Assembly the Annual Report on the activities implemented in the performance of the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) in the Republic of Serbia in 2018. In the reporting period, the NPM paid 44 visits to the locations where persons deprived of their liberty were located or may be located and based on confirmed irregularities in the operation of competent bodies 296 recommendations were issued.
The Report presents that in the previous year the progress was made with regards to the prevention and elimination of torture, but there was still inadequate treatment of official persons towards persons deprived of their liberty present in certain number of cases, which is, inter alia, the consequence of insufficient number of employees, rooted stereotypes and mild punishment policy toward official persons.
This year, too, the Report records poor material conditions at the premises for police detention, their insufficient equipment, lack of possibility for staying in an open space for detained persons and insufficient number of premises. In the field of operation of the Administration for Execution of Criminal Sanctions in the report it is stated that prisons in Serbia have been overcrowded for years, that they are in poor material conditions and in facilities which do not fulfill contemporary requests for the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty. In the institutions of social protection there still is a great number of users accommodated for a longer period of time, while in the process of deinstitutionalization no significant progress has been noticed.
During 2018 the trend of the decrease of the number of migrants entering the Republic of Serbia was continued, which resulted in temporary closing of three reception centers and improved conditions for the staying of migrants at existing facilities. Their health protection has been well organized and the inclusion of children of migrants in preschool and primary education has continued.
The Protector of Citizens symbolically presented the report on the activities of the National Preventive Mechanism on the day of birth of the president of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Rolilala Mandela, which by the Resolution of the United Nations General Assembly from 2010 has been celebrated as the International Day of Nelson Mandela as recognition of his contribution to the culture of peace and freedom.
In 2015 the General Assembly expanded the scope of the International Day of Nelson Mandela using this day to promote humane conditions of prison, values of the work of prison employees as social service of special importance and for raising of the awareness about prisoners being part of the society.