Javna debata „Perspektive održivosti finansiranja podrške deci i ranjivim grupama korisnicima usluga socijalne zaštite“
Children – The most precious and vulnerable resource of Serbia
Belgrade, March 7th 2014 – It is necessary to increase the financial support allocated for the most vulnerable groups, especially for children, persons with disabilities and multiple vulnerable groups. That was main conclusion of the public debate held in the National Parliament of the Republic of Serbia. The debate was attended by the National Assembly Speaker Nebojsa Stefanovic, Head of the UNICEF Serbia Office Michel Saint-Lot, representatives of expert, professional and civic sectors.
“Realization of the idea for establishment of a single Fund for social inclusion which includes budget funds, donor and EU funds would allow better allocation of existing resources and more effective results towards the most vulnerable groups of population in Serbia” said Nebojsa Stefanovic, National Assembly Speaker at the opening of the public debate.
“Children should be one of the top priorities of every government – firstly, because the obligation of every government is to protect the rights of every child and secondly, because the society that does not prioritize children undermines its own progress” said Michel Saint-Lot, Head of the UNICEF Serbia Office.
Questions like problems of financing of social protection in economy crisis, as well as possibilities for more effective and efficient control and expenditure of budget funds, at both levels, local and national were opened at the debate.
Representatives of non-government organizations, expert and professional public, decision makers agreed that it is necessary to establish new institutional mechanism, Fund for Social Inclusion, which would enable more efficient allocation of funds for support of social protection beneficiaries in Serbia.
“Establishment of the Fund would improve the implementation of measures for social inclusion envisaged by numerous laws and would ensure better utilization of EU funds intended for the most vulnerable citizens of Serbia”, said Zarko Sunderic, Manager of Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Republic of Serbia.
On the public debate organized by Educational Center from Leskovac and Association for Development of Children and Youth – Open Club Nis, in cooperation with Office for cooperation with civil society of the Republic of Serbia, more than one hundred representatives of civil society took part, including the members of Network of Civil Society Organizations for Children of Serbia – MODS, Konekta, Humans, Social Inclusion and Team of Poverty Reduction Unit of the Republic of Serbia, Network Against Poverty Serbia, Center for Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities, members of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and of the Committee for Social Issues of the National Parliament, representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Policy of the RS, Office for cooperation with civil society of the Republic of Serbia, representatives of the Standing conference of Towns and Municipalities, etc.
Public debate was organized within the project “Future Fit for Children” implemented by the Association for Development of Children and Youth – Open Club Nis, as a part of “Civil Society Forward” programme supported by the Institute for Sustainable Communities – ISC and USAID.