On the occasion of marking June 26, the International Day of the Support of Victims of Torture, the Protector of Citizens takes the opportunity to remind that the Constitution of Serbia and numerous international instruments guarantee the inviolability of the physical and psychological integrity of man, that no one should be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Any intentional infliction of pain or suffering to a person who is in any way detained, on the basis of a decision or consent of an official is prohibited in order to obtain information or recognition, or for intimidation or punishment.

The absence of the struggle against the impunity of torture in the Republic of Serbia, to which the Protector of Citizens often draws public attention, can in time lead to an increase in the number of physical abuse cases. In addition, on the basis of numerous visits, the Protector of Citizens assessed that in institutions where persons deprived of their liberty are placed, where there are continuously poor material conditions, which are overcrowded, with inappropriate treatment, poor health care and lack of social support, treatment which gets the character of the inhuman or degrading can occur.

In order to further improve the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty, as well as the prevention of torture, the Protector of Citizens reminds that it is necessary for the competent authorities to conduct effective procedures in cases of allegations of torture, as well as the need to develop a system of continuous human rights training for decision-makers and all officials who act directly with these persons.

b_280_0_16777215_00_images_Palata-CPT-640x360.jpgDelegation of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) has carried out seven-days-thematic-visit to the Republic of Serbia. The acting Ombudsman Milos Jankovic and representatives of the NPM attended the final meeting between the delegation of the CPT and representatives of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice, which was held to present the findings of the CPT visit. The meeting was held at the Palace of Serbia, organized by the Office for Human and Minority Rights.

The main topics of the meeting were findings of the CPTon police treatment of persons deprived of liberty. Also, it was said, and on how to deal with detainees allegations of ill-treatment by police officers and by staff in institutions for execution of criminal sanctions. The delegation presented the observations of the material conditions in detention facilities in police stations, as well as in prisons.

b_280_0_16777215_00_images_20170525.jpgThe tretment of people with mental disabilities who are confined in institutions is unfavorable and difficult and these people represent one of the most vulnerable groups in Serbia, said today Acting Ombudsman Milos Jankovic at the two-day conference of the Network of National Preventive Mechanisms (NPM) of the countries of South Eastern Europe, organized by the Ombudsman in Belgrade.

Armenia.jpgThe Ombudsman delegation on 22 and 23 December 2016 organized a study visit to the Ombudsman of Armeniain in Yerevan.

Special attention during the visit was dedicated to the realization and protection of rights of persons deprived of liberty and reviewing mode of Armenia NPM. On that occasion there were conducted joint visits to institutions where persons are deprived of their liberty (prison and police custody).

The delegation of the Ombudsman was able to familiarize himself with the powers of the Ombudsman of Armenia and good practices and models in contact with the citizens, such as offices for fast responses and telecast on case reports from the work of this institution, which is broadcast weekly on national television.

The visit was organized at the invitation of Dr Arman Tatoyan, human rights defenders of Armenia, who confirmed their readiness to expand cooperation in the field of human rights protection.

The preventive approach to protecting the human rights of refugees and migrants in the countries of South Eastern Europe was the theme of the meeting of South-East Europe National Prevenitve Mechanisms Network (SEE NPM Network), held on 13 and 14 December 2016 in Belgrade.

b_280_0_16777215_00_images_Zira.jpgDeputy Ombudsman Milos Jankovic at the meeting stressed that Europe did not bring a uniform policy for addressing migrant crisis, but the countries were protecting their own interests. Janković said that during 2015, nearly one million people passed through our country. Serbia, in its liberal approach, enabled the smooth entry and passage of refugees and migrants through the country. As he said, NPM's are one of the few institutions in the countries of Eastern Europe, who have done their job within its mandate - followed the attitude of state authorities towards refugees, and whether there has been abuse of these people.

On the first day of the meeting members of the Network shared experiences from visits of the shelters in countries of origin, as well as future plans and challenges related to the protection and promotion of the rights of refugees and migrants. After the presentation, the meeting participants, divided into two groups, visited the Asylum Center in Krnjaca, as well as an informal meeting place for migrants in Belgrade. On the second day, members of the Network shared their impressions and observations from visits in Belgrade and discussed the future challenges in the work of the Network, after which some further steps of NPM's in the region were appointed, in relation to the prevention of abuse of refugees and migrants.

The regional meeting of the Network was organized by the Serbian Ombudsman in cooperation with the UN Office in Serbia and the participants were representatives of the members of the Network, as well as representatives of associations from Serbia.