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UN Human Rights in Serbia


The UN Human Rights Unit in Serbia has a dual role: it provides advisory and technical support to the UN Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team (UNCT) to ensure integration of human rights in UN programming and activities. It also cooperates directly with the Government, civil society and other stakeholders to build capacities and implement the outcomes of the UN Human Rights Mechanisms.

Type of engagement
Human Rights Adviser
Year established
Field offices
Number of staff
Annual budget needs
US$ 568,000


  • The first-ever curriculum for the judiciary on the direct application of international human rights standards in domestic proceedings was developed and piloted by UN Human Rights Serbia. The team is also working with the State Judicial Academy to create online databases for direct application of human rights standards to build capacities at all levels of the judiciary across the country to apply and reference UN human rights treaties.
  • A first joint platform of CSOs was created by 16 leading civil society organizations, aimed at enhancing cooperation with UN Human Rights Mechanisms, the Government and other stakeholders, under the UN human rights framework.
  • Serbia’s Mechanisms for Reporting and Follow-up to UN mechanisms (NMRF) was created in 2014. In 2017-2018, 12 CSOs joined the Mechanism. The Government committed to introducing human rights indicators in its implementation plan and linkages between the human rights recommendations and SDGs were included in the Mechanism’s plan.
  • During the national preparations for the 3rd cycle of the Universal Periodic Review, the Government held the first public hearing of its kind related to the draft State Report. During the same process, additional national consultations with non-Government stakeholders were held, and a record high number – approximately 30 shadow reports - were submitted by Serbian CSOs in a process supported by UN Human Rights.
  • UN Human Rights in Serbia has provided advisory guidance on human rights standards in the drafting processes of laws, strategies and policies. This has led to the adoption of a new Law on Housing, a National Strategy and an Action Plan on Roma Inclusion, a National Strategy on HIV/AIDS, as well as a draft Strategy and Action Plan on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. These are all compliant with human rights standards and the recommendations issued to Serbia.
  • In 2017, based on the legal opinions provided by UN Human Rights in Serbia, the Government adopted amendments to the Criminal Code provisions that were previously discriminatory towards women with disabilities in relation to rape.
  • The UN Free & Equal global campaign on LGBTI equality was launched in Serbia as the first country in the region. The campaign included social media campaigns, discussions, events and initiatives for the equality and rights of intersex and transgender persons, in particular, and it reached an audience of over 400,000 persons.

Partners and Donors

Partners: UN agencies, international and regional organizations (OSCE, Council of Europe, the European Union), civil society, National Human Rights Institution (Ombudsman), Equality Commissioner, the Government, State Office for Human and Minority Rights, State Judicial Academy.

Donors: Germany, Norway, the European Union.

UN Human Rights Focus Areas

Thematic pillars
  • Mechanisms: Increasing implementation of the international human rights mechanisms outcomes
  • Non-discrimination: Enhancing equality and countering discrimination
  • Accountability: Strengthening rule of law and accountability for human rights violations
  • Participation: Enhancing and protecting civic space and people’s participation
  • Civic space
  • Inequalities
  • People on the move
Spotlight populations
  • Women
  • Young people
  • Persons with disabilities

Last reviewed: February 2019