ON 10 DECEMBER 2018 CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS MOBILISE ACROSS EUROPE FOR A CIVIC PRIDE DAY: NO DAY WITHOUT US!
On 10th December 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human rights was adopted.
Everyday our democratic, independent civil society organizations and movements work, provide assistance and care or services for millions of people, advocate, mobilise people and protest, contributing to make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights promise a reality.
All over Europe, we act to make those rights effective for all, and we are proud of it!
Our daily activities oppose any discriminatory attempts to exclude from their rights people because of their identity, gender or sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality… Our actions are concrete tools to repair the social damages of our economy that puts private interest before the common good.
Every day our organizations contribute to bring about more democracy, equality and solidarity for all – while in Europe these values are in danger and illiberalism, inequality, poverty, insecurity, social division are on the rise.
We denounce that in the EU today we, civic activists and human rights defenders, are under pressure.In many EU countries, civic space and fundamental freedoms are restricted
Civic organizations and movements promoting and defending human rights are facing smear campaigns. Solidarity and humanitarian care for migrants and asylum seekers is being criminalized. Organizations and activists are facing intimidation through legislation and court action by illiberal governments or multinationals…
When our critical role is disregarded, denied or threatened, the whole democratic space is shrinking.
On December 10th, more than 100 independent and democratic civil society organizations and platforms across 27 countries mobilise for a civic pride day.
In big cities as in small communities, at their usual place of work, or gathered in public spaces, we spread across over 200 local initiatives, reaching more than 100 000 people through on line and off line activities.
We take pride in the work we do and we claim there cannot be one day without our actions for the common good and rights for all.
On this day, it is our way to show the added value our civic organizations and movements bring to society. And we commit ourselves to resist together against any attacks to the civic space.
We call national and European institutions and political leaders, to comply with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We demand recognition and support for our activities in defence of rights and democracy for all.
The future of Europe will be about democracy, equality, solidarity, inclusiveness, or will not be at all.
The Initiative for Development and Cooperation (IDC) as a member of the European Civic Forum joined the MEGA campaign together with its numerous partners whom it worked with in the previous period. In addition to IDC, Arbeiter Samariter Bund (ASB), European Movement in Serbia (EminS), Hausing Centar, Our House (Nasa Kuća), Proaktiv, Initiative A11, Center for Democracy Foundation, Psychosocial Innovation Network (PIN) Sigma Plus and The Muslim Humanitarian Society Merhamet Sandzak. In order to highlight the importance of civil society organizations, we highlight only a part of what would not be possible or achieved without the work of these organizations. Below you can read only part of the contributions of these organizations:
- In order to provide support to migrants and refugees in the form of medical assistance, 5 medical teams were hired into 4 reception/transit centers that provided 20,806 medical interventions, as well as 768 volunteer actions;
- The social enterprise Agro Iris, recognized by the quality of its products, but also by significant contribution to the economic and social rights of 22 farmers and their families that do not have stable sources of income;
- donation of 67 motor beds and special mattresses and 26 special cabinets with a tray, 3 sterilization machines for medical equipment, towel dryer and hydraulic bathtubs (total value of 250,000 Swiss francs) by the Swiss municipality Zollikon for equipping the gerontology center and the hospital in Sombor.
- As a result of providing permanent housing solutions to internally displaced persons, reconstruction of 724 houses was supported, 65 families received new montage houses with furniture, while 332 families received furniture and electronic appliances, and 358 people received grants to help small businesses and agricultural households.
- Social Dimension Initiative is the result of identifying common potentials and obstacles to the social prosperity and welfare of the citizens of the Western Balkan countries on their way to the membership in the European Union. 180 projects with a social dimension from 6 Western Balkan countries will be funded through this initiative.
- The transit/reception center for refugees in Dimitrovgrad built during 2016/2017, was a haven for several hundred migrants, out of which more than half were children. The capacity of the Center is 120 beds, as well as 3 large bedrooms, a registration and administration office, a medical block with isolation, a dining room, sanitary blocks and a space for children.
- Through the “Black on White” Initiative – a sustainable internet platform www.crnonabelo.com, citizens are informed about their rights and the ways to protect them, are provided with free legal advice and are linked with law enforcement institutions and involves them in the exchange of experience. The Initiative has over 200,000 reviews and an online community of about 20,000 members.
- 4 seminars for over 60 representatives of civil society organizations with a major focus on young people, old and women, as members of vulnerable groups in the labor market.·
- In the framework of the Rule of Law and Democratic Institutions Program, we conducted a campaign Justice before the policy aimed at better informing of the citizens on the importance of amending the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia. During the campaign, we animated the citizens and informed them about constitutional amendments through outdoor and online campaigns.
- During 2017, 1321 refugees, migrants and asylum seekers received comprehensive psychological support through interventions focused on mental health, psychological assessment, psychosocial support, and advocacy.
- 548 children and 50 adults received some form of psychosocial support. Psychosocial support to refugee children was provided at six locations / towns in the territory of Serbia. This type of assistance included individual and group psychological counseling, as well as participation in psychological, IT and English cafe workshops.
- 41 individual sessions of psychological support; 55 group sessions of psychological support; 13 psycho-educational workshops for children and adult refugees in Belgrade. 37 assistants received continuous support within support groups and individual counseling. 41 professionals who works in direct contact with refugees has gone through one of three conducted trainings in Belgrade and Novi Sad, in order to get to know the psychological difficulties that refugees face and ways of improving their own mental health.
- 15 young people with disabilities go through educational training, work training and engagement, while annually through our programs, between 10 and 20 young people pass through our programs. This number has a tendency to grow. For this purpose, we deduce about 8,500 euros per year from our operating revenues.
- Production of cardboard packaging, alternative cultivation of herbs, salad and vegetables in water (hydroponics), we have developed a catering service on the order, as well as a service for preparing and distributing cooked dishes to the home addresses of the purchaser (Kitchen on wheels). Annually we distribute about 4,500 meals. Also, since 2014, we launched the so-called sweet line of craftsmanship of chicken delicacy and Choco raspberry with basil. People with disabilities are working in all these activities.
- Parents and caregivers of disabled persons receive advice and actively participate in many panels, conferences, seminars and working groups where we advocate concrete measures to improve the position of persons with disabilities and better protection of their human rights.
- 4000 citizens gave their assessment of public services that were used throughout Serbia, based on which we made suggestions for improving the system of public services that we have sent to the competent ministries.
- 1510 best students of our universities participated in the Travel to Europe program for three weeks traveling and acquainting European countries. 130 high school students from 5 different cities of Serbia have attended the European Union on the European Union, European values and opportunities for young people in the past two years. 160 women at the beginning of their career passed our mentoring program and various lectures on professional and personal improvement.
- 720 civil society organizations and experts have gathered in the National Convention on the European Union that follows, analyzes the process of European integration and makes recommendations for reforms in Serbia’s accession negotiations with the EU. 50 journalists and editors from Belgrade and local media held training on economic issues, environmental protection, food safety and energy from negotiation chapters. 10 local civil society organizations, libraries and local media received financial support for the implementation of their projects and information campaigns.
- The total number of internally displaced persons provided with legal assistance is 539. 366 counseling/information provided related to access to the right to social protection and 82 counseling related to the right to housing and 142 advising / information related to access to other rights. 26 settlements inhabited by internally displaced persons in 18 municipalities or cities were visited.
- 32 procedures have been initiated which, in addition to legal aid for exercising rights in individual cases, should have an impact on a larger group of vulnerable persons (as they try to modify or test the practice of the competent authorities or provide a more favorable interpretation of the law).
- Due to the continuous monitoring of the treatment and operation of state institutions with socially vulnerable groups, a number of different procedures, initiatives and complaints on the work of the competent authorities have been initiated to achieve the full accessibility of economic and social rights of these groups without discrimination.
- Egages in the promotion of equal opportunities and gender equality of citizens of Serbia in exercising their rights, actively participates in the creation and implementation of local sustainable development strategies, encourages vulnerable groups of citizens to participate in local development programs.
- Assistance and empowerment of local stakeholders in the municipalities where reception centers are located. Through joint activities involving the migrant and domicile population, donations were provided for equipping 2 elementary schools in Bela Palanka and Pirot, equipping of the Chess Club and sports center in Pirot, as well as the repair of the Children’s court in Divljana resort.
- Humanitarian aid distribution (clothes, footwear, food, medicine) in 16 towns in Sandžak and wider. 3 national cuisines were opened in Novi Pazar (1995-2005), Tutin and Priboj (1999-2005), where daily meals were given to 1500 persons from socially vulnerable categories of the population.
- Around 6000 displaced persons from Kosovo have been provided with food, accommodation and medicine assistance, as well as assistance for return to Kosovo when conditions have been created. 25 houses of solid materials for displaced Roma from Kosovo were built. In partnership with the town of Novi Pazar, 9 housing units for displaced Roma from Kosovo were built, and a project was implemented where 33 Roma homes were attached to the city water supply network.
- In the period from 2008 to 2010, 1440 sheep were donated to Peštera, 200 goats and 15 greenhouses in the suburbs of Novi Pazar. Organizing free courses for computer work (2007-2010) for 440 young people and those requiring retraining. Organizing free English courses (2009-2010) for 80 people.
- Through the My MP platform, we have enabled the mechanism of direct communication between citizens and elected representatives in the National Assembly. Also, they participated in the formation of the EKONET platform and started monitoring the work of local utility companies from the perspective of citizens.
- In 5 local communities (Prokuplje, Blace, Nis, Aleksinac and Svrljig) we work on the topic of youth employment from the corner and direct participation of young people.
- We have enabled and supported 40 young entrepreneurs to launch their ideas through innovative businesses in creative industries through the Creative Space Workspace. In 2018, we organized more than 80 free events, where over 5,000 young people took part·
- We have enabled the 773 most vulnerable households – about 5,500 most vulnerable citizens in Serbia to improve housing conditions by building 373 housing units for social service users. We built 58 montage houses for refugees and families affected by floods and reconstructed 342 residential buildings after floods in May 2014.
- We have built a preschool institution for Roma children in Bujanovac and 2 pavilions for accommodation of migrants in the center of “Šikara” in Sombor. We completely reconstructed the facilities of the Accommodation center for migrants DP SVETLOST in Bujanovac, Special Hospital for Lung Diseases in Jaša Tomić, National Cuisine in Šabac and the Amadeus of Switzerland in Belgrade. We have improved the conditions for accommodation in 27 collective centers for the accommodation of refugees and internally displaced persons after the wars in the former Yugoslavia.
This is only a small part of the results achieved by the aforementioned organizations. Imagine what our society would look like and what kind of living would our fellow citizens have if it was not their work and contribution. It is therefore important that you support us in the everyday struggle for securing human rights for everyone so that there is No day without us!