A representative of the National Preventive Mechanism participated in the European Network of National Human Rights Institutions' Asylum and Migration Working Group Meeting, held in Zagreb on 25 and 26 April 2019.

During the first day, the participants had capacity-building acticvity "Monitoring and Communicating on Asylum and Migration in a Challenging Context". The training combined panels, case studies and exchange of experiences in order to increase the capacity to monitor migrant issues, with a focus on communicating to the general public. On the second day, the members of the Working Group exchanged information on current issues related to migrants and asylum seekers at national, regional and universal levels and agreed on future activities, with particular reference to the social and economic rights of migrants.

On April 22, in the premises of the Protector of Citizens, mr Zoran Pašalić signed an Annex to the Agreement on cooperation with associations dealing with the promotion and protection of human rights, while thanking them for their cooperation and active role in protecting and improving the rights of persons deprived of their liberty and prevention torture.

The Annex to the Agreement on Cooperation with the aim of extending the cooperation to date in the work of the NPM, the Protector of Citizens signed with the Lawyers’ Committee For Human Rights, Mental Disability Rights Initiative of Serbia (MDRI – S), and the International Aid Network- IAN, with whom in previous period held joint meetings in order to improve and deepen the cooperation so far.

Associations with whom the annexes of the cooperation agreements are signed will continue to actively participate in visits to places where persons are deprived of liberty, make reports from these visits, recommendations, opinions, and perform other tasks of the NPM, envisaged by individual Agreements on cooperation.

According to the European Parliament and the United Nations, people with autism are one of the most excluded social groups from the community's life, who daily encounters unacceptability and environmental prejudice. The specific support services they need, to be fully involved in the community, are still not developed. Since families do not have the necessary systematic support to meet the needs of these individuals, in contrast Serbia's efforts to ensure the implementation of the values ​​and principles contained in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the number of institutional care and number of people with autism on admission to home accommodation are increasing.

Although it is known that at the institutional accommodation in Serbia there are about 90 people with autism, who are accommodated in two specialized institutions with people with this type of disorder, in Belgrade and Sabac, the exact number of people with autism in Serbia is not known, because there is no national register of persons with diseases of higher public health significance, which include persons with disabilities.

On the occasion of marking the International World Autism Awareness Day, National Prevention Mechanism (NPM) team visited the Stationary for Children and Youth with Autism in Zemun on April 1, to review the situation of people with disabilities at institutional accommodation and follow-up the recommendations of the 2015 Report. On this important day, NPM invites the institutions of social protection home type and other competent institutions, despite the need to ensure a safe home environment in order to protect the health and safety of the beneficiaries, makes additional efforts in order to develop activities aimed at developing and preserving the potential of the beneficiaries and creating the most natural conditions for the life in the institution.

Representatives of the Institute for Human Rights and Equality of the Turkish Republic were on March 6 and 7, 2019 in a study visit to the Institution of the Protector of Citizens Republic of Serbia. The aim of this visit was the establishment and strengthening of mutual cooperation in the area of prevention of torture and protection of human rights persons deprived of their liberty. During a two-day study visit, representatives of the Turkish delegation Abdulmuttalip ZARARSIZ, coordinator of the National Prevention Mechanism (NPM) of Turkey and Çiğdem ÇELİK, expert in this unit, had the opportunity to get to know with the competencies and methodology of the National Prevention Mechanism Republic of Serbia, exchange experiences in the field of prevention of torture, and make a joint visit to closed institutions in Serbia in which persons are or may be deprived of their liberty.

Representatives of the National Preventive Mechanism participated at the Round Table "Supporting the Application of Alternative Sanctions in Serbia", organized by the Network of the Committees for Human Rights in Serbia at the Media Center in Belgrade. The Round Table presented the results of the research on the implementation of alternative sanctions in Serbia, which the Network conducted during the 2018. The data and conclusions reached by the Network are published in the publication of the same name, together with the authors' recommendations for improving the application and further development of alternative sanctions.