As a part of the project “Partnership for Tolerance and Anti-Discrimination Protection in Serbia” (PTAPS), from November 2011 to August 2012, six one-day trainings were held for local civil society organisations (CSOs), legal aid providers and other representatives of marginalized groups on how to file complaints to the Commissioner for Protection of Equality (CPE) office. Trainings were held in Kraljevo, Nis, Novi Pazar, Valjevo, Subotica and Belgrade. All trainings were facilitated by two representatives of the CPE office, supported by a representative of Partners Serbia. Trainings included an overview of what constitutes discrimination in Serbia, based on national legal framework and relevant international instruments, and provided detailed step-by-step training on what actions are needed by CSOs and other representatives of marginalized groups to file a complaint in a potential discrimination case.
Total of 123 participants were trained. Trainings primarily improved knowledge of CSOs and other target groups about technical requirements for the CPE complaints. Activities also enabled participants to be better informed on the anti-discrimination protection system and empowered them to use the CPE office as a method of effectively addressing discrimination concerns. In addition, trainings improved capacity of the participants to provide better service to citizens in addressing discrimination concerns by utilizing the CPE office. In addition to providing technical knowledge to participants, the trainings also contributed to the development of an external case referral mechanism to the CPE’s office, allowing for civil society and general members of the public to have more streamlined access to the CPE office and improved contact with other individuals and organizations working on discrimination issues throughout Serbia.