Round table “Current Problems of Discrimination, Harassment, Violence over Persons with Disabilities and Ways Out in Legal, Social and Educational Context in Serbia”

With the support of UN Women, University of Belgrade Faculty of Law organized bilingual conference “Gender (In)Equality of Persons with Disability”. An important part of the conference that was held on 20 September 2021 was round table “Current Problems of Discrimination, Harassment, Violence over Persons with Disabilities and Ways Out in Legal, Social and Educational Context in Serbia”. Round table was chaired by Prof. Dr. Dragica Vujadinović, while speakers were former Vice President of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Damjan Tatić, Natalija Ostojić from UN Women in Serbia, Ivana Nikolić Zelić from the NGO “Iz kruga – Vojvodina”, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality Brankica Janković and Dr. Ljubinka Kovačević, Associate Professor at the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law. Although conference included online session and offline work at the Faculty of Law, it received very good feedback with numerous comments and suggestions.

Conclusions of conference “Gender (In)equality of the Persons with Disability” are following:

  1. It is necessary to advance the legal framework of importance for the prevention and protection from the intersectional discrimination of persons with disabilities, and the basic preconditions in that respect are related also to an adequate education of teachers and students about these issues.
  1. Without raising awareness and education of the members of judicial professions,  political decision makers, parents and the society as a whole, the visibility of issues of disability and an inclusion of persons with disability would not develop in a proper direction.
  2. For achieving the visibility of persons with disability and fulfilling their human rights, necessary is restructuring of the society, institutional mechanisms and an advancement of the legislature.
  3. The society has to leave aside concievements of invalidity/imparement as an illness and as the condition which implies an isolation and the life at margins, and to accept the fact that at stake is 10% of the population, which has been equaly important and valuable for the society and which has to be included into an education and all spheres of social life in the highest possible degree. This presupposes also raising of a sensibility for interiorizing awareness about equal right to life and dignity of the persons with disability.
  4. It is necessary to advance a position of persons with disabilities in the sphere of employment and occupation in a sense of accommodating of the format of job advertisments and jobseekers applications, and stimulating persons with disabilities to apply for vacant jobs, preventing discrimination in the pre-employment testing, introducing special measures in favor of women with disabilities, according to their facing negative stereotypes related to imparement as well as to gender.
  5. Axiomatic shall be an inclusive approach in an educational process.
  6. It is necessary to establish the gender competent legal knowledge with taking into account disability at all levels of higher education and to implement gender mainstreaming in the mentioned considering of issues of disability.
  7. The following is necessary within LAWGEM project and legal education at the Faculty of law University of Belgrade regarding the disability issue:
    • Important is in depth considering of intertisectional discrimination, especially the one related to persons with disabilities in the framework of developing master`s study program Law and Gender, as well as in all modalities of studying where human rights issues have been dealt with, like as at the courses – Human Rights, Legal Clinic for Issues of Discrimination, etc.
    • It is Important to secure participation of experts with disability in giving lectures within the study program Law and Gender.
    • Important is making directly available prsonal experiences and knowledge of persons with disabilities in the educational process.
    • Introducing the course Human Rights as the mandatory one at undergraduate studies and to include in the mentioned course issues of gender equality and analysis of intersectional discrimination, with a special focus on the issue of impairment/invalidity.
    • Introducing the course Human Rights as the part of the bar exam.
    • Introducing the topic of gender equality and impairement/disabiliy into all existent courses at all levels of higher education.
    • Stimulating the students of master`s and doctoral studies to choose themes related to issues of gender equality and disability for their master and doctoral thesis.
    • Pointing to the problematic fact about a very insignificant number of cases which are important for the protection of persons with disabilities in regards of a multiple discrimination.Set featured image
    • There should be organized the round table concerned with the judicial practice related to multiple discrimination, with a participation of judges. It is especially important to be done concerning the enabled overview of the judicial practice due to the fact that the new Law on the Protection Against Discrimination makes as obligatory evidenting of the cases with elements of discrimination and their official delivering to the Commissioner for Protection of Equality.
    • It is necessary to conduct an adequate education of professors, lecturers and students.
    • A special discussion forum shall be included to the LAWGEM Life-long Learning Platform (, where persons with disability could exchange their experiences, as well as communicate with teachers of law faculties and other experts about the problems they face.
    • Sphere of employment is crucial for a proper inclusion of persons with disability, while even if they overcome obstacles related to education and inclusion into the community, by rule they become faced with the biggest obstacle related to their need for economic independence and achieving the employment status. The Faculty of Law can use the days devoted to career promotion and meetings of students with companies, law firms and others, for purposes of supporting the graduated students with disabilities.
    • It is important to secure a further cooperation and support for planned activities with international and domestic organizatiosn, governmental bodies and relevant ministries responsible for issues of disability.
    • Building of the inclined plain for entering into the library and the conference room at the Faculty of Law and securing of a full and adequate availability of the Faculty of Law the students and persons with disabilities.