Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality Committee Chairman Meho Omerovic at Conference “Monitoring the Implementation of the Istanbul Convention: New Synergies”

At the invitation of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, the Chairman of the Committee on Human and Minority Rights and Gender Equality Meho Omerovic participated in the conference on “Monitoring the Implementation of the Istanbul Convention: New Synergies”, organised in Sarajevo, on 21 October 2015, in the context of the Chairmanship of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

In his address, Meho Omerovic said that Serbia had ratified all of the most important international conventions concerning the fight against violence and discrimination against women, namely the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention) and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

He pointed out that it is our duty to adjust our legislation to these conventions and improve the practice in the implementation of their standards.

The National Assembly plays an important role in the implementation of the legislation aimed at preventing violence against women, primarily though awareness-raising campaigns that attempt to change social and cultural patterns of behaviour and eradicate the existing prejudice about the position and role of women in society and the family. Conducting awareness-raising campaigns is the task of every state body, civil society organisation and especially the media, and I believe we should all approach this issue in a more serious and responsible manner. The National Assembly, particularly in view of its representative function, should be the place where the zero-tolerance principle for violence against women should be given the highest priority.

Meho Omerovic stressed that the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia will continue to monitor the implementation of the two conventions primarily by organising public hearings and sittings outside of the Assembly seat, as it has done before, and by discussing bills implementing some of the provisions first of all of the Istanbul Convention because this is an area that could be significantly improved.

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