After a four-month break in receiving the citizens due to compliance with the measures introduced in order to contain the coronavirus, the Protector of Citizens, Mr. Zoran Pašalić today continued with receiving the citizens at the headquarters of the Institution.
Today, as part of the "Open Doors" activity, he talked to ten citizens from Belgrade and the interior, who wanted to voice their dissatisfaction with the work of administrative authorities. Today, the citizens mostly complained about the disregard of their rights in their relations with the local self-government, the cadaster, the health inspection, but also about the violation of the rights of persons with disabilities.
The Institution of the Protector of Citizens has been organizing the "Open Doors" activity for almost three years. This initiative has proved to be very good as the citizens are still very interested in a direct conversation with the Protector of Citizens.
Zoran Pašalić met with representatives of the Association of Parents and Children "Missing Babies of Belgrade"
Within the Institution’s activity "Open Doors", when the Protector of Citizens Zoran Pašalić himself interviews the citizens about their problems in exercising their rights before public authorities, the representatives of the Association of Parents and Children "Missing Babies of Belgrade" Ms. Biljana Samardžic, Ms. Milena Janković and Ms. Drinka Radonjić addressed him. They sought the Institution's support in submitting an initiative to amend the Law on Establishing the Facts on the Status of Newborn Babies Suspected of Missing from Maternity Wards in the Republic of Serbia, as well as in obtaining information from the competent authorities on several specific cases of missing babies, necessary for them to initiate appropriate court proceedings.
Association representatives urged the Protector of Citizens to call on the parents of missing babies via the media to file motions for initiating proceedings before the competent court according to the provisions of the law, given that a large number of parents boycott the law due to certain shortcomings. The parents also stated that they had addressed the Constitutional Court to assess the constitutionality of certain law provisions.
The Protector of Citizens explained to the representatives that this Institution had no constitutional or legal powers to control the work of the judiciary, but that within its competencies, i.e. within the investigations to control the work of administrative bodies, it would establish whether there had been omissions in those bodies activities due to which the parents had not obtain the information necessary to establish the facts of the missing baby cases.
Mr. Pašalić emphasized the need to legally establish an investigation mechanism through which the relevant facts would be established. He suggested setting-up a parents' samples DNA database, run by an independent institution, court or some other institution, as one of the possible solutions for determining the fate of missing children. This institution would guarantee accuracy and be in constant contact with other European countries.
The Protector of Citizens agreed with the parents' representatives that the only way to establish the truth in cases of missing babies was to address the competent court, that there was certainly room to step up the existing law through amendments; and regarding the failure to submit information, he referred them to file a complaint over the administrative bodies’ work.