Vuk Raičević works as Legal Field Assistant with Praxis, who together with the Equal Rights Trust provides legal support to protect vulnerable groups in Serbia. In 2014 Vuk attended an interactive training workshop convened by Equal Rights Trust and Praxis. During the training Vuk joined activists, human rights defenders and lawyers where lectures and break-out sessions focused on advancing equality in Serbia. Specifically, the workshop topics looked at: the key concepts in equality law; the legal and policy framework on equality in Serbia; monitoring and documentation of discrimination; and developing strategic litigation cases on discrimination. Here he describes the value of the workshop and some of the lessons learnt.
What were the key lessons you learnt during the training?
The training was particularly useful as it outlined the experience of other countries, in particular, it gave a thorough explanation of both International and European Law. I am familiar with discrimination and equality in Serbia, but we don’t often get the opportunity to hear someone from London actually explaining what the situation is like in the UK as well as throughout Europe. I was able to compare European Law to Serbian law and see where there are gaps, and how much work must be done in Serbia to combat discrimination.
Was it useful to meet with other litigators working in Serbia? How so?
It was very useful to meet with others and share experiences, and to see what obstacles they faced in their work. It also allowed me to see that in some parts of the country, the knowledge of discrimination law is at a much lower level than in other areas. Anti-discrimination and equality law and policy is still an area that most law professionals in Serbia feel they need to learn more about, and so the training gives these professionals a good starting point which they can expand on.
What further support do you think civil society organisations such as Praxis need?
The experience of partner organisations like Equal Rights Trust is particularly valuable to help develop the knowledge and understanding of civil society litigators. We also need stronger financial support; civil society gets minimal support from the State, and with this extra funding we could reach so many more vulnerable groups.
- Read more about our work in Serbia.