Statement concerning adoption and entering into the force of the Decree on the Measures of Social Inclusion of the Beneficiaries of Financial Social Support
Law on Housing Not in Compliance with Human Rights
Belgrade, February 10, 2015 - Human rights organisations express their deep concern about the propositions of the Proposal of the Law on Housing and Building Maintenance that are not completely in compliance with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, as well as European Convention on Human Rights.
The proposed law does not proscribe that the forced evictions can be enforced only when all other possibilities are exhausted, as it is defined by the international conventions which were ratified by the Republic of Serbia. Considering this, the proposed legal solution will not provide adequate protection for individuals or groups at risk from forced evictions.
Additionally, the proposed body of Law does not contain the specified characteristics of adequate alternative housing, the provision of which is the duty of state towards the persons who are at danger by forced evictions and are not in the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families a roof over their heads. State authorities have stubbornly refused to respect their obligations, especially in the cases of mass forced evictions, which is an additional reason for precise definition of characteristics of alternative housing in the body of Law.
We remind that one of the key components of displacement of persons in accordance with human rights is the organization of consultations during which the citizens could participate in finding a solution that would satisfy their needs concerning housing. Considering the fact that the consultations are of utmost importance for properly conducted displacement and acknowledging that it does not require additional material resources, it is unacceptable that the law has not defined this procedure and proscribed it as obligatory.
Taking into account all the arguments above as well as lack of transparency in the process of drafting the Law – absence of public debate, exclusion of professional public and human rights organizations; we call upon the proposers of the Law and all of the members of parliament to withdraw the Proposal of the Law on Housing and Building Maintenance and to return it to be re-drafted.
Coalition Against Discrimination comprising: Centre for Advanced Legal Studies, Civil Rights Defenders, Labris – Organization for Lesbian Human Rights, CHRIS – Network of Committees for Human Rights, Association of Disabled Students, Gayten LGBT, PRAXIS and Regional Centre for Minorities
Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM)
Standing Conference of Roma Associations of Citizens (SKRUG) – League Roma
Humanitarian Law Center
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights
Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR)