Outreach by the ombudsperson institution
There are over 100 informal Roma settlements in and around Belgrade (over 600 are estimated to exist throughout the country). Their population lives in poor conditions, faces civil registration problems and lacks access to information.
Under the leadership of the Deputy Protector of Citizens for the Rights of National Minorities, a team from the Belgrade-based Office of the Protector of Citizens visits Roma settlements on at least a weekly basis to provide information and services to local Roma communities.
Consistent with this approach, the Office of the Protector of Citizens monitored closely the process of resettling the inhabitants of the informal Roma settlement near Belvil in Belgrade, issuing a detailed report, attending to both positive and negative aspects of the process.
The Protector of Citizens also operates local offices in Bujanovac, Medveđa and Preševo, as well as video links for contact with the institution from ten other municipalities. The office reports, however, that field visits have proven the most effective way to make the Office of the Protector of Citizens accessible to Roma.
What are the keys to success of this action? :
- Explicit targeting of Roma
- Direct focus on anti-discrimination
- Mainstreaming of problems faced by Roma
- Publication or report