• 2015-01-23
  • |  Belgrade

Remarks of the CoE Committee on Violation of European Social Charter Acts Still Valid

Press release on the Report of Council of Europe’s European Committee for Social Rights

Press release on the Report of Council of Europe’s European Committee for Social Rights and information published in media that Council of Europe’s European Committee for Social Rights assessed that only third of the Labor Law acts are in accordance with the Revised European Social Charter. Media report that out of 22 acts, only 8 are in accordance with the Charter, 3 are violating it, and 11 need further clarification, stating that this is concerning “the old Labor Law”.
Based on the news media published, a wrong image that European Committee for Social Rights is tackling only Labor Law is created. However, the Report of European Committee for Social Rights serves to assess the level of fulfillment the obligations from the Revised European Social Charter, which was ratified by Republic of Serbia in 2009. Republic of Serbia, by signing the European Social Charter (ESC) is obliged to provide periodic reports on the respect of Charter’s acts. 

It is important to emphasize that Republic of Serbia was late with provision of first periodic report for the period 2009-2012, having in mind that periodic report is provided within 2 years of Revised European Social Charter ratification. This first report Committee attempted to analyze, but taking into account the lack of particular information, it stated that there are no sufficient data to reach the conclusion on obligations related to implementation of any rights encompassed by it. Committee requested additional information from the government of Serbia in July 2014, which were never delivered. European Committee for Social Rights in its Report from January 2015 stated that failing to deliver requested information represents violation of the reporting obligation by Serbia. 

Last Report of the Committee is concerned the thematic group “rights from labor relations”, whilst the closing date for delivering the report concerning thematic group “children, women and migrants”; and which should encompass children and youth rights on protection, rights of employed women on protection, rights of mothers and children on social and economic protection, migrant workers and their families rights for protection and assistance, residential rights, etc. According to the known data from the field, it can be expected that more critics will be addressing this thematic group, but let us get back to the group relating to “rights from labor relations”. 

Explanation of the government representatives that it is “the old” Labor Law is completely without grounds. Firstly, because there is no “old” and “new” Labor Law, but it is the same law put into force in 2005, and which modifications and amendments were performed several times. Majority of the articles that faced negative stand from European Committee for Social Rights have not been changed during modifications and amendments in 2014. Instead, articles that were not in accordance with ESC or those required additional clarification remained mostly the same. Taking this fact into account, we can conclude that remarks of the Committee related to violation of ESC are still valid.
Center for Democracy Foundation is continuously promoting and protecting economic and social rights and monitors the implementation of European Social Charter in Serbia.
For all additional information, you can contact Nataša Nikolić, Project Coordinator 
Tel: +381 11 3627 780, e-mail: nikolicn@centaronline.org  

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