01 December 2021
The Protector of Citizens, in performing the work of the National Preventive Mechanism, participated in the ENNHRI project (European Network of National Human Rights Institutions) „NHRI’s work to promote and protect the human rights of migrants at borders“ within which the NPM team went to the borders with Northern Macedonia, Bulgaria and Croatia, as well as at international airports in 2021. On the grounds of these visits, the NPM submitted a report on the treatment of migrants at the borders, which ENNHRI combined with the findings of other national human rights institutions into one regional report http://ennhri.org/rights-at-borders/#reports. The report outlines regional trends and challenges in respecting fundamental human rights of migrants at state borders.
Since July 2019, ENNHRI has supported NHRIs (National Human Rights Institutions) in the promotion and protection of migrants' rights at borders. As part of this project, national human rights institutions in Croatia, France, Greece, Serbia and Slovenia have produced national reports that include good practices, findings and recommendations. These are based on monitoring conducted between July 2019 and April 2021.
The National Preventive Mechanism visited Stari Grad Police Station in June 2019, and based on the established facts, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and the police station were sent a Report on the visit with Recommendations. Not even by the early 2020 did the NPM receive the MOI’s response regarding the Recommendations issued, so the NPM paid a follow-up visit to PS Stari Grad on 30 January 2020. Following that visit, MOI submitted a response stating that all the NPM’s Recommendations were acted upon.
Acting upon a recommendation, Stari Grad Police Station designated two rooms where interrogations would be conducted, both were painted, and since they were not equipped and put into operation, PS Stari Grad sent a written request to the Sector for Material and Financial Affairs of the MOI. As reported by the police officers, in the MOI budget for 2020, funds were allocated for equipping special interrogation rooms with technical equipment and PS Stari grad should be the first one within the Belgrade Police Administration to have these rooms equipped with the necessary technical equipment for audio and video recording of the interrogation procedures.
In PS Stari grad, also in accordance with the recommendation by the NPM, a special room was designated for adequate storage of confiscated items related to a criminal offence. The NPM monitoring team visited the room and determined that inside, in a metal cabinet, confiscated items related to criminal offences were stored, properly labelled and they had the evidence number identifying the case to which they refer. Upon reviewing the register of confiscated items, it was determined that the unified record of confiscated items is kept properly.
Finally, the recommendation to keep videos from video surveillance in PS Stari grad for at least 30 days was accepted.
The Clinic for Psychiatry of the Clinical Center of Serbia has informed the Protector of Citizens about the activities it has undertaken in accordance with the recommendations of the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture, which it received in the Visit Report of October 30, 2019.
Regarding the recommendations concerning more detailed and orderly keeping of the medical history and an increase in the availability of physicians to the patients for interviewing, with the protection of privacy and confidentiality of personal information, the Clinic stated that compliance with these procedures will be subject to continuous internal quality review of professional work.
In addition, the Clinic has compiled a list of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that can be followed with even the least minimal risk to the health of the patient in order to create an appropriate form used at the Clinical Center of Serbia for informed consent of the patient to a subsequently introduced medical measure. The clinic has accepted the NPM's recommendation to expand the psycho-social rehabilitation plan by developing accessible and tailored psycho-social rehabilitation activities to suit patients' individual needs and capabilities.
In connection with NPM's recommendation that the Clinic develop a program of continuing specialist education for nursing staff, the Clinic submitted a 2019 Report and an Education Plan for 2020 and informed the Protector of Citizens that it has a long tradition of educating nurses, technicians and therapists, that the lectures accredited by the Health Council of Serbia are compulsory and necessary for the re-licensing of the work permit, and that the nurses-technicians from the nursing and treatment of psychiatric patients department are also educated by attending specialist meetings, symposia and conferences of professional associations.
The Clinical Center of Serbia and the Ministry of Health were requested information on the activities undertaken to procure the prescribed equipment for performing the health care activity and to carry out standard diagnostic procedures, investment maintenance of the building and installation of an external lift for the needs of the Psychiatry Clinic.