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Projects 2004-2013

From 2004-2013, the Provincial Protector of Citizens – Ombudsman (PPCO) participated in implementation of several tens of various projects. These projects were initiated and implemented either using own institutional resources or in collaboration with / with the support of various international and local institutions and organizations, provincial authorities, local self-governments, services and civil society organizations (CSOs).

Starting from the most recent, here is a list of selected projects which were either most innovative or unique at the time they were being started or implemented:

This campaign was organized in 2013 with an aim to increase the level of primarily inter-ethnic tolerance among the youth in the Autonomous Province of Vovjodina (APV). The lead organization was the Civil Society Development Center (CRCD) supported by the Provincial Secretariat for Education, Government and National Communities and the PPCO. The project was funded by the Sustainable Communities Institute and logistically supported by the Parliament of the APV as well.

A series of recent youth studies in Serbia indicates alarming results concerning young people’s attitudes towards human and minority rights, rights of vulnerable social groups and violence in general. The findings of the 2012 research of the PPCO (Vojvodina High School Students on Discrimination), as well as those of the CRCD (Temerin – The Present or the Future of Vojvodina) and Save the Children are extremely disconcerting concerning the issues of inter-ethnic distance and intolerance among the youth from different ethnic groups in multiethnic communities, indicating also an increase in political radicalism and right-wing extremism among the youth in Serbia.

Besides several trainings, producing a handbook on gender equality for public servants and a special fender equality section on the institutional website, the project included over 20 visits to small settlements in 15 local self-governments all over APV. These visits included human rights promotion public events at the seat of the local self-government followed by talking to citizens and taking their complaints, as well as meeting rural women active in women’s organizations and clubs. These women also attended three trainings on gender equality, discrimination, project management and public appearance, while several public companies in APV decided to sign and promote the UN Principles of Women’s Empowerment in their work. 

Once the possibilities of organizing a peer mediation training for students and teachers of the Temerin high school had been presented to them, and after organizing a youth forum theatre performance in the local Cultural Center, the PPCO addressed three Provincial Secretariats with a request to consider possibilities of introducing peer mediation into high schools in APV, as well as youth training courses in forum theatre engagement.

Four public discussion events were held in four local self-governments in APV with the Provincial MPs from these local communities speaking about combating discrimination in them. The project aim was promoting the need for non-discriminatory action on every social level and promotion of positive values that would motivate citizens to get actively involved in the public life of their local communities. 

A promo campaign in all 45 local self-governments in APV focusing on four topics relevant to the work of the PPCO (good governance, discrimination, vulnerable social groups and mediation). 

The project involved delivery of 21 community or peer mediation trainings to 132 people and a mediation promoting campaign advocating for using mediation as an alternative way of conflict resolution. 

Participating in an international campaign from 25 November to 10 December as the institution coordinating the Life Without Violence network in APV. 

An international conference held in Novi Sad with participants from 10 European ombudsman institutions. 

Bringing together 11 ombudsman institutions dealing with children’s rights in the SEE region, the network has one annual conference each year, along with two additional thematic meetings in order to facilitate experience sharing concerning children’s rights exercise and protection. The member institutions collaborate within the framework of other regional projects as well. 

Six public discussion events on the role of the PPCO and one training for journalists reporting about human rights were held during this project.