• 2021-11-30

Position of Foreign Workers in Serbia - Debate

"Labour Rights are Our Rights" project

On 30 November 2021, the Center for Democracy Foundation organised a debate on the topic: Position of Workers in Serbia, as part of the Labour Rights Are Our Rights project.

Keynote speakers during the debate included: Nebojša Miletić, Union of Employers; Saša Torlaković, Construction Workers’ Trade Union; Ivana Gordić-Perc, Journalist, VOICE, Andrijana Radoičić-Nedeljković, ATINA; Olga Vučković-Kićanović, Consulting in Labour Rights and HR Fides; Branislav Markuš, Zrenjanin Social Forum; Nataša Vučković, Center for Democracy Foundation. The debate was moderated by (journalist) Ljubica Gojgić.

The issue of the position of foreign workers in Serbia and the problem of labour shortage in many economic activities are increasingly current topics, especially in light of the fact that our country has neither an economic development strategy nor a clear plan to hire workers from abroad. Furthermore, Serbia has a large number of foreign workers. According to legislation, a foreigner who is issued a work permit has the same rights and obligations concerning labour, employment and self-employment as a citizen of Serbia. However, in practice, the situation is often quite different. Foreign workers are often employed without the prescribed work permits, that is, they work ‘under the table’ and do not have regulated employment status or social security.

How often are the issues faced by foreign workers similar to those faced by employees who are Serbian nationals? Are legal norms under violation and how do the Labour Inspectorate and other competent bodies act in these cases? Do judicial authorities react adequately and what does judicial practice demonstrate? To what extent are trade unions and employers’ associations involved in this issue? How does the media report on the position of foreign workers in Serbia? In terms of this issue, what role does the public and civil society play? We attempted to respond to this and other open issues during the Position of Foreign Workers in Serbia debate.

The debate was organised through the Labour Rights Are Our Rights project with the financial support of the Olof Palme International Center.

Center for Democracy Foundation 


Position of Foreign Workers in Serbia - Debate

Ivana Gordić-Perc

Branislav Markuš

Olga Vučković-Kićanović

Saša Torlaković

Andrijana Radoičić-Nedeljković

Nebojša Miletić

Nataša Vučković