Rate Your Rights http://www.b92.net/info/un/
“The State is, unfortunately, not analyzing the causes which led to the drastic fall in the field of human rights (during the 1990s).”
“I am of opinion that we, as a society, do not act responsibly towards certain categories of people who are the most vulnerable (women, children, elderly, Roma, homosexuals…). This leads to general economic and social poverty.”
“I would introduce by law that the supervisee gets the supervisor’s job if he/she unveils any corrupt practice of his/her supervisor. Corruption would disappear for sure.”
This is just a glimpse at a few of the comments citizens in Serbia posted online last week when UNDP and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, together with a local NGO – the Belgrade Center for Human Rights and news agency B92, launched a new portal – Rate Your Rights – in order to crowdsource the citizen perspective on Serbia’s achievements under the Universal Periodic Review.
Citizens were asked 18 questions, corresponding to the 18 recommendations which Serbia accepted and agreed to follow up on during the previous round of the Universal Periodic Review in 2008.
In less than a week’s time, the portal was flooded with comments – brimming with brief, or sometimes humorous responses, real life stories and short analyses of the human rights situation in Serbia.
These are some interesting points we picked up so far:
- Citizens noted that the State is not doing enough to raise awareness of human rights
- The majority of people agree that the Ombudsperson’s authority should be strengthened while the incumbent Ombudsperson has positive standing among the commentators.
- Corruption, understandably, attracted attention. While deeming that Serbia is not doing enough to fight corruption, citizens proposed concrete measures for fighting it – such as effective whistle blower protection.
In short – citizens were given a voice. But not only that – their comments will be presented publicly at a press conference in October (around United Nations week), translated and used as inputs for the NGO report to the Human Rights Council, as clearly indicated on the portal.
Good practice says that it is important to provide feedback to citizens who contributed, and show them the impact of their actions. We look forward to these final results and upcoming recommendations of the Human Rights Council, reflective of the needs of citizens.