From the 7th to the 10th of February 2017, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights welcomed a delegation of five representatives of the Serbian Commissioner for Protection of Equality (CPE) led by Commissioner Brankica Janković in Vienna and Graz. This study visit took place in the framework of the ongoing Twinning project “Support to advancement of human rights and zero tolerance to discrimination” in Serbia.
Different institutions that have expertise in promoting equality at the national, regional and local level were visited. The Serbian delegation met with the Ombud for Equal Treatment of Persons with Disabilities, the Austrian Ombud for Equal Treatment, and the Litigation Association of NGOs Combating Discrimination in Vienna. Furthermore, the delegation travelled to Graz where they visited the Styrian Anti-discrimination Office, the President of the Provincial Assembly of Styria, and the regional office of the Austrian Ombud for Equal Treatment.
In the course of this study visit, insight was given into the function and the use of internal case databases, complaints handling, the advantages of conciliation/mediation, effective implementation of recommendations, strategic litigation as well as promoting equality at the regional and local level. As a result, the Commissioner and her team received new inputs, gained insight into Austria’s legal and institutional framework, and participated in thought-provoking discussions about the challenges of preventing and combating discrimination. As was highlighted in the feedback, the study visit was not only advantageous and insightful for the Serbian delegation, but also for the Austrian counterparts.