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22. May 2020.

BelgradeThe Protector of Citizens Zoran Pasalic sent to all local self-governments in Serbia a special report containing recommendations on the conditions in Roma settlements during the state of emergency and the use of protection measures due to the corona virus pandemic.

The special report, which was drawn up in cooperation with the A11 Initiative, is the result of visits to Roma settlements during the state of emergency and it contains ten recommendations, the Protector of Citizens said in a statement. The report is the result of the situation established during a tour of ten Roma settlements in Belgrade, Kovin, Pancevo and Kostolac, during the state of emergency in April and May.

"A large number of residents of informal settlements, of which there are close to six hundred in Serbia, do not have access to water supply, power supply or the Internet and are not able to maintain basic hygiene, much less make it possible for their children to follow school classes," it was said in the statement. 

The Protector's recommendations include the disinfection of all unsuitable Roma settlements, especially those with poor hygienic conditions, the provision of garbage containers and their regular emptying, the provision of regular water and power supply, the planning of aid packages containing food and hygiene supplies in case of a new outbreak, and the provision of protective equipment, such as face masks and gloves.

The recommendations also include providing assistance in better informing the residents of those settlements about protection measures against infection, making it possible for Roma children to be taught at a distance, providing one-time social assistance payments to the residents as often as possible and meeting the conditions for resuming the operation of healthcare mediators in the settlements.

The local self-governmental units have a period of 60 days from the receipt of the recommendations to inform the Protector of Citizens about the activities undertaken and the plans for implementing protection measures in the event of a recurrence of the infection.

Source: and Coordination Body