Women in Black – Solidarity with asylum seekers, activists and the LGBT community

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Women in Black were established in 1991., and since the beginning of the work they are focused on human rights, the fight against all forms of discrimination and promote of equality. Activities include working directly with individual activists from disadvantaged social groups, work with groups, empowerment, taking out the problems in the public sphere, protest actions.

1.This program will continue to empower activists including activists from socially marginalized groups. Seminars will be held in Kotor at the Summer Academy in August of this year.

2.The plan is to continue working on issues related to asylum seekers, to re-visit the asylum seekers in the July-September this year. In continuation of work the plan is to require from the State following:

                – Respect for the rights of asylum seekers

                – Harmonization of national legislation with European

                – Sanctioning violence

3.We also plan to draw public attention to the LGBT population as discriminated group and pressure on state institutions for the adoption of new legislation to better regulate the rights of discriminated groups.


Implemented activities from 16.7. – 16.08.2014.

As soon as the project was accepted (July 16, 2014) by the Coalition for Equality STEP, Women in Black started working on planned activities.

Contact was made with the Center for asylum seekers in Bogovadja and with its director was agreed that first visit should be in the second half of August, since the director was going to the holiday. In the meantime, the request to visit Bogovadja was sent to the Commissariat for Refugees. The visit was endorsed and Women in Black will be in communication with Centre director and as soon as he comes back visit will be made. With the director, WiB will be agreed what might be brought as a small and symbolic humanitarian help. Meanwhile, the issue about documents, i.e., ID cards for asylum seekers got new attention and in the coming visit WiB activists will see the situation in Bogovadja regarding valid documents for asylum seekers.

Concerning the other part of the project, participation at Summer Academy in Kotor, several women were contacted and talks were made and it was decided that six women go to Summer Academy. Three will be at the part Working Together and other three at Trauma and Recovery.  With women who will attend the SA talks were made and preparations were done. It was agreed that each of them writes an essay about the SA experience and learning. Right now, the first group will be returning and the second group is in final preparations for the SA.


Implemented activities from 17.8. – 17.9.2014

Within the project helped by the Coalition for Equality STEP, Women in Black continued working on planned activities.

The first group of activists returned from Summer Academy held in Kotor, where they participated at workshop Working Together. They were coming from Priboj and Zrenjanin, from two groups that are at the beginning of their organized activities. The second group was attending workshop Trauma and Recovery. They were from Leskovac and Kruševac, towns where forceful military drafting was very intense, so their families, as well as they themselves, suffered from that drafting and its consequences.

In the second part of August the visit was made to the Center for asylum seekers in Bogovadja. Two WiB activists were there. With previous agreement made with the director of the Center some humanitarian aid was brought, mainly personal hygienic items for children and women, diapers for babies, as well as sweets and biscuits for children. WiB activists collected some toys and clothes for children and that was brought, too. On that day in the Center were recorded 133 persons in comparison to 110 recorded on the previous day. It was obvious that the Center lives under very dynamic conditions at daily basis. It was agreed to continue the cooperation after visits covered through this project.

Several WiB activists attended the presentation of all projects supported by the Coalition for Equality STEP where contacts for further work were made with a few groups and organizations.


 Implemented activities from 15.09.-30.09.2014

Within the project helped by the Coalition for Equality STEP, Women in Black continued working on planned activities.

In the second part of September another visit was made to the Centre for asylum seekers in Bogovadja. Two WiB activists were there. With a previous agreement humanitarian aid was brought, mainly personal hygienic items for children and women, diapers for babies, and sweets and biscuits for children. On the previous day in the Centre were recorded 131 people in comparison to 112 recorded on the day of the visit. Improvement was noticed. Now in the Centre is a doctor on full time engagement, as well as the person from MIA (Ministry of Internal Affairs). MIA clerk is mainly engaged on issuing statements for received asylum statements, which enables asylum seekers to receive temporary shelter. Now, there are no people sleeping outside of the Centre. The Centre is dynamic and cooperation should continue after visits covered through this project.

Several WiB activists from the WiB Network Serbia participated in the PRIDE Parade. Unfortunately, the decision not to ban the PRIDE came too late, therefore several activists were not able to come on such a short notice. WiB, together with the Police security enabled entrance for activists through a few rings of police cordons.

Within visibility of human rights, in Media Centre was held a press-conference, which had as a topic crimes committed on regular soldiers of the Army Guard of Serbia in October 2004.

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