News archive

September 14, 2010

14. September 2010.


The Office of the Republican Protector of Citizens in South Serbia operates at full steam and it has already achieved some visible results. The Office of the Protector of Citizens in the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja was opened on June 28, 2010. Two persons are employed there, Maja Zlatkovic and Bekim Ajdini. They are both graduate lawyers that can speak Serbian, Albanian and English. They are in Bujanovac on Mondays and Tuesdays, in Presevo on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and in Medvedja on Fridays. The Office receives from citizens of the region all kinds of complaints, mostly those referring to violation of their human and minority rights by the public administration or other bodies.

The Office received altogether 41 clients in the aforementioned period. 14 complaints and five supplements to complaints were received. Also, three clients were instructed to bring charges, nine clients were provided with information on the status of their cases, nine clients were referred to the competent bodies, while advisory legal assistance was provided to 11 clients.

The first month of operation of the Office was mostly dedicated to promotion of the Office. However, the citizens are still insufficiently acquainted with the Office’s work, so that a lot of time is spent on raising its visibility in the local environment. With this aim in view, promotion material is used, such as brochures, fliers and posters.

The majority of citizens’ complaints refer to their rights to old-age and disability insurance, labor relations and personal documents, as well as to the field of judiciary. Based on the complaints received from the territory of these three municipalities, in particular those from Bujanovac, it was concluded that temporarily displaced persons from Kosovo and Metohija had a noticeable problem with getting personal documents. Also, a few complaints were filed against the operation of the local self-governmental bodies. The citizens pointed out to arbitrary decisions of these bodies on their rights, as well as to the possibility of the corruption of these bodies, even though no concrete evidence thereof was provided. However, the way in which employees of the local self-governmental bodies treat the clients was described. Namely, they give a hint to the clients that a counter-service is expected from them for a service that is within the line of their tasks and duties.
A great many clients turned to the Office of the Protector of Citizens because of their serious financial difficulties. They pointed out to the unemployment issue, which is currently marked the most in the territory of the municipality of Medvedja, as well as to low social welfare benefits. The citizens’ major problems refer to the operation of executive departments within courts and court units, or to their failure to proceed with court cases in accordance with decisions that are to be carried into effect.