Center for affirmation of positive living, Q-Club organised a public forum „Legal framework and implementation of instruments to fight discrimination of people whose health may be basis for discrimination“
Speakers on the public forum were:
Mr. Petković opened the public forum, welcomed everyone and gave a brief overview of the legal framework for fighting discrimination in Serbia, including the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination, Law on Patients Rights and Healthcare Law of Serbia, as well as Anti-discrimination strategy which recognizes a separate vulnerable group people whose health status can be basis for discrimination.
Mr. Pantić has presented the Office of the Commissioner for Equality, and then talked about some recent discrimination cases on the basis of the health status the Office worked on. The two most recent were cases of people living with HIV. Mr. Pantić also expressed his concern over significant underreporting of discrimination cases. He also mention some of the excuses commonly used in attempts to justify discrimination in healthcare and in educational systems. In the end he stressed the importance of preventing discrimination, and invited everyone who faces discrimination to turn to the Office of the Commissioner for Equality.
Ms. Golubović presented the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and Korak Coalition and talked about the role of this Coalition in protecting the rights of LGBT people, women’s’ rights, rights of other discriminated people, and monitoring trials. Importance of the Coalition was recognized by the European Commission as the group with significant experience regarding discrimination in the country and an adequate partner to provide support to other efforts for improving the situation. Ms. Golubović also talked about other cases of discrimination in the legal system, where judges based their prejudices. She stressed that this is a serious topic meriting open discussion, and invited everyone facing discrimination to turn to YUCOM as another mechanism for fight against discrimination.
Mr. Rajaković talked about discrimination from three aspects: about discrimination on cognitive level which usually stems from ignorance for both people living with an illness or for people they interact with; about discrimination on emotional level which is a source of prejudices, and about the so called final, visible discrimination which can be seen in the discrimination cases mentioned by previous speakers in healthcare and the legal system. Unfortunately many people internalize the discrimination, and identify with the stereotype, which propagates it further. He further stressed the importance of fighting all forms of discrimination.
The public forum was a part of the project “Prejudice should not judge”, and the goal of the project is to prevent discrimination and to increase tolerance for people living with illnesses and their acceptance as equal members of the society, but also greater visibility of mechanisms which can be used as protection from discrimination of people whose health status can be basis for discrimination, as well as support to implementation of the Anti-discrimination strategy of Serbia. The project is implemented with support of the Korak coalition and financial support of the European Commission.
Center for affirmation of positive living, Q-Club organized a street “flash-mob” action named “Prejudice should not judge” on the Plato of Đoka Vještica, next to the Beograđanka Pallace on September 11th 2014. The goal of the street action was to raise awareness about necessity of caring for one’s own health and the need for equal acceptance of people living with illnesses that can be socially stigmatized and thus reason for discrimination.
During the action people had an opportunity to talk to representatives of associations Q-Club and Hronos, mostly about discrimination commonlz faced by people living with illnesses, where does the discrimination most oftenly occur and how to prevent it. Many of them were surprised about occurrences of discrimination and even openly admitted that they didn’t consider it as such before. They also expressed support to our action.
During the street action volunteers of Q-Club distributed promotional materials about most occurring discrimination based on health status to passers-by.
This “flash-mob” action was a part of the project “Prejudice should not judge”, and the goal of the project is to prevent discrimination and to increase tolerance for people living with illnesses and their acceptance as equal members of the society, but also greater visibility of mechanisms which can be used as protection from discrimination of people whose health status can be basis for discrimination, as well as support to implementation of the Anti-discrimination strategy of Serbia. The project is implemented with support of the Korak coalition and financial support of the European Commission. .
Q-Club is happy to announce publication of the article “Why is there no ‘day after’ pill in Serbia”, published in the latest issue of the “Optimist” magazine.
The article describes the current situation regarding post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in Serbia – describes what PEP is, explains why it is impossible to get and presents solutions for how PEP can become available for everyone who needs it.
The article is a part of Q-club’s advocacy efforts for making PEP available in Serbia.
You can read the entire article here, or on Q-Club’s Facebook page here, or in the latest issue of the “Optimist” magazine here.
We wish to remind you that Q-Club is one of the organizations where you can get the “Optimist” magazine.
Q-Club has a new Facebook page where we publish news from Q-vclub, but also other important inforamtion about HIV.
We invite all members, friends and visitors of the Q-Club website to join us on the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/QclubBelgrade, to like it and thus stay in touch with the news and information we prepare for you, and to leave a message or a question for us.
COMMISSIONER FOR EQUALITY
DISCRIMINATION IN HEALTHCARE INSTITUTIONS
BASED ON HEALTH STATUS
Center for affirmation of positive living, Q-Club announces that the Commissioner for Equality adopted two separate opinions stating that the Institute for Mental Health, Belgrade and Health Center Zvezdara, Belgrade violated the regulations on prohibition of discrimination.
In the proceedings against the Institute for Mental health (in Palmotićeva street in Belgrade) it was determined that by not providing care that included hospitalization of a patient following a suicide attempt in the Institute for Mental Health, but by providing him to another healthcare institution based on the fact that the patient is living with HIV, the Institute for Mental Health violated regulations prohibiting discrimination.
In the proceedings against the Health Center Zvezdara it was determined that by inscribing the HIV status of the patient on the physical therapy list in capital letters, underlined and in red marker “HIV infectio!”, the Health Center Zvezdara also violated regulations prohibiting discrimination.
The Commissioner for Equality has provided her opinions on those cases along with recommendations to these healthcare institutions including providing education on HIV/AIDS to the employees, respecting anti-discrimination regulations in the future and equal treatment of patients regardless of their HIV status.
Q-Club initiated both proceedings with approval of the patients, reminding that there still exists discrimination of people regarding their health status in Serbia. Discrimination occurs due to deeply rooted prejudice, generally developed out of fear, lack of knowledge or wrong information about transmitting infections or nature of the illness. There are many ways discrimination can manifest, but they unfavorably influence social inclusion of people living with those illnesses, and they include: denying the right to primary and secondary education, loss of employment and difficulty in hiring, denial of basic and emergency medical care, media campaigns and sensationalistic media discoveries of critical events involving people living with illnesses, rejection by the family, isolation within educational, penal and other institutions, insulting, derogation, physical violence and molestation of people living with illnesses.
That is why we need to work on building awareness on the nature of illnesses, prevention of discrimination and increasing tolerance for people living with those illnesses, and their acceptance as equal members of the society.
Q-Club, Center for affirmation of positive living