Results of the Cooperation between Citizens and Civil Society in Monitoring and Protection of Labor Rights
Center for Democracy Foundation presented results of the project “More Efficient Civic Role in Monitoring and Protection of Labor Rights”
Center for Democracy Foundation presented results of the project “More Efficient Role of Citizens and Civil Society in Oversight and Protection of Labor Rights” in the big hall of Media Center in Belgrade.
Project is a part of action for improvement of conditions for decent work “Black on White – Toghether We Are Louder”. During the past two years activists talked with over 20.000 people on street actions in 20 towns of Serbia, and lawyers provided over 1000 legal advices. Alongside with monitoring of legal framework changes, this year we continued to inform the employed and those looking for employment on their rights, stated Bojana Ružić Coordinator at Center for Democracy Foundation.
Nonetheless, several thousands of workers cannot attain their monthly salary and 30% of employable population is working undeclared. According to earlier research, every second women looking for employment is a victim of discrimination, which can be supported by numerous testimonies. Prolonging job contracts for a single month has become frequent practice, which brings insecurity among employees not knowing if he/she will keep their job the next month. In order to keep his/her working place workers most frequently do not dare to demand some other rights, such as overtime compensation, protection from mobbing, absence from work in case of medical problems, protection from different types of discrimination…
At the conference on Decent Work Agenda, participants were addressed by Jovan Protić, representative of the International Labor Organization (ILO).
Bogdan Gavanski, Head of the Institute for Sustainable Communities Mission presented the achievements of the program “Civil Society for the Future” that supported efficient advocating on the national level of crucial importance for fulfillment of the European Union standards and overall democratic development of the society, in addition to civic activism in communities throughout Serbia.
“Black on White” initiative financially supported 5 projects and engaged new organizations thanks to this program. Svetlana Kozić from the Association of Women “Artesa” from Kikinda acknowledged how much this project was important for members of this organization – women entrepreneurs. They identified “invisible workers”, hence the importance of practicing labor rights for those who are working in illegal, unregistered businesses. She also talked about the research and reached conclusions, as well as the need of forming the initiative of entrepreneurs aimed to eradicate shadow economy.
Snežana Pavković, representative of Timok Club from Knjaževac, talked about the campaign “You Say It Loud Too” and the results of the research with “easy questions” related to work conducted by local organization in 12 towns throughout Serbia during June-July, in addition to the support gained by younger population at the EXIT festival.
Video stories about citizens whose labor rights were violated and who are determined to fight for them through existing legal mechanisms, about the status of entrepreneurs, role of unions, were also recorded within the campaign. This is how we continued to present Decent Work Agenda concept from all angles. Angelina Zečević also presented her story being successful decision on labor dispute over illegal firing.
Bojana Ružić added that Coalition actively cooperates with representatives of most relevant institutions and follows their work. Activities of the “Black on White” initiative is followed by several thousand citizens over the internet.
Project is implemented in partnership with the following organizations: "Together Together" and Dokukino Foundation from Belgrade, "Timok Club" from Knjaževac and "Resource Center" from Majdanpek, and it is supported by USAID through Institute for Sustainable Communities within program “Civil Society Forward”.
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