Describe the main features of the policy/measure:
The measure is implemented through the adoption of strategic documents. - In 2020, the Strategy for the Improvement of the Position of Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Serbia for 2020-2024 was adopted (Official Gazette of RS, issue 44/2020). The Strategy’s main goal is to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to all civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, with full respect for their dignity and personal autonomy, while ensuring their independence, freedom of choice, and full and effective participation in all aspects of society, including community life. The target value is to increase the participation of persons with disabilities in society by 25%. The Strategy’s first specific goal, Increased Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, aims to overcome obstacles that people with disabilities face in exercising their rights as individuals, consumers, cultural participants, and in gaining access to information and communication, as well as to raise public awareness about the position of people with disabilities. The goal implies an increase in the number of public objects accessible to persons with disabilities by 10% annually, an increase in the number of programs dealing with improving the social inclusion of persons with disabilities by 20% annually, and that the effects of supported programs related to improving the social inclusion of persons with disabilities, i.e. the public awareness of persons with disabilities, are increased by 10% annually. The Strategy for the Development of the Public Information System in the Republic of Serbia for 2020-2025 (Official Gazette of RS, issue 11/2020) adopted in 2020, implies specific objective 1: Improved safety, socio-economic, and professional conditions for the work of journalists and media workers, which includes internal measures and procedures for employing persons with disabilities in the media, gathering and analyzing data on the inclusion, i.e. the work engagement of persons with disabilities in the media environment, equal opportunities for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the media sector, especially when their disability necessitates workplace adjustments. Objective 3: Functional, competent, professional, and open institutions, with mechanisms of protection against external pressures at their disposal, which consistently apply public policies and regulations, entails fulfilling the responsibility of public media services to provide media services that are equally accessible to people with disabilities, as well as fulfilling the responsibility of public media services to provide media content that is meaningful to and represents all social groups: women, the elderly, rural population, persons with disabilities, ethnic and national minorities, and other. Specific objective 4 of the Strategy for the Development of the Public Information System in the Republic of Serbia for 2020-2025—High-quality, plural, and varied media content that satisfy the information needs of various social groups—includes measure 4.2: Creating conditions for providing adequate information to persons with disabilities; achieving equal access to media contents for this category of media consumers. The following are indicators for measure 4.2: conducted analyses of the prevalence of programs for persons with disabilities as well as an analyses of the accessibility of programs to persons with disabilities; the number of supported projects related to public information for persons with disabilities; the number of supported projects for media content production presented in accessible formats for persons with disabilities (sign language, Braille, and the like); the level of satisfaction of persons with disabilities with the accessibility and quality of media content, sorted by sex (research); the number of media content available for persons with disabilities (REM’s report). Measure 4.2 entails the following activities: 1) making a gender-sensitive analysis of the prevalence of programs for persons with disabilities, as well as an analysis of how much (the other) programs, i.e. media content, are accessible to persons with disabilities; 2) making amendments to the law related to public information and the media that oblige broadcasting houses to increase the availability of content to persons with disabilities; 3) introducing fiscal measures to ensure the sustainability of media intended for persons with disabilities (including using digital and online services to facilitate access to content); 4) introducing media content for persons with disabilities, with a special focus on the availability of media content that acknowledge the gender specificities of persons with disabilities; 5) supporting the visibility of persons with disabilities in all media through project co-financing. - As for assuring accessibility, it is important to emphasize the approval of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (2013), which allows copyright exemptions to allow for the creation of accessible versions of books and other copyrighted works for visually impaired persons. The Republic of Serbia ratified this Treaty in 2020 though the Law on the Approval of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired, or Otherwise Print Disabled (Official Gazette of the RS – International Agreements, issue. 1/20).
What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?:
- In the Strategy for the Improvement of the Position of Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Serbia for 2020-2024, the description of the situation concludes that prejudices and stereotypes about persons with disabilities are widespread in society, as a result of media actions, while employees in state institutions continue to base their work on the medical model of disability. Topics such as the meaning, nature, and implications of disability are not included in educational programs. There are no disability studies at universities of social sciences and humanities, despite the fact that disability studies are taught at many universities throughout the world, resulting in a lack of knowledge of the social construct of disability among future professionals. Women with disabilities are faced with numerous forms of discrimination, including being invisible in the public domain, not participating fully in public and political life, having difficulty preserving their rights, and being subject to gender-based violence. The Strategy highlights the importance of sport, recreation, and culture for youth with disabilities to participate in, in order to increase their involvement in society. Activities aimed at developing disability awareness, eliminating stereotypes and biases, and promoting a positive image of persons with disabilities are particularly vital for all these fields. The Strategy emphasizes the importance of developing an ICT tool that would make it easier for people with disabilities to use new technology. Reliefs for assistive technology devices (e.g., duty exemptions, reduced VAT rates) are also required, as are incentives for the national ICT industry to develop new tools. The Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for the Improvement of the Position of Persons with Disabilities in the Republic of Serbia 2020-2024 for the period 2021-2022, was adopted in 2021. - according to the Strategy for the Development of the Public Information System in the Republic of Serbia for 2020-2025, the primary problem for informing persons with disabilities is that there are not enough persons with disabilities in the public sphere. Also, there are not many journalists who specialize in reporting on people with disabilities, which is a major issue. That is why it is important to combat stereotypes while reporting on persons with disabilities and their needs. Their needs are not unique; they are the same, but are met in different ways. Aside from the aforementioned, the Strategy notes that the media do not report in an indiscriminate or inclusive manner reporting (low resources are likely the reason for this), as well as a disregard for regulatory organizations’ policies and recommendations relating to citizens' equality.
Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure:
|Name of partner|
Ministry of Culture and Information, and other line ministries, UN Human Rights Office, Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, civil society organizations