Social protection workshop in Serbia

The PERC, in cooperation with the FES and its Serbian affiliates CATUS and Nezavisnost, organised a two day workshop on Social protection. During two days the participants mapped the components of the present social protection system of Serbia, discussed the initiatives of the government to implement legal reforms in this sphere, outlined the campaign actions.

Kenichi Hirose, ILO-Budapest office specialist on social protection, gave presentation about the ILO definition, instruments and normes that define different elements of the social protection systems, the dynamics of the social protection coverage in the world and some countries of the region.

Anton Leppik, PERC Executive Secretary, explained the ITUC Taming corporate power campaign that focuses on making MNEs accountable for their subcontractors and suppliers to promote workers rights, decent minimal salaries and social protection floors. Enisa Salimovic, ITUC-PERC SEE Office coordinator, presented the outcomes of the sub-regional project on taxation, informal economy and corruption in SEE.

While social protection coverage in Serbia is almost universal, it is neither sustainable, nor can provide sufficient resources for different groups of affected population. The level of informality and undeclared work is high that limits contributions to pension and social funds, while the level of trust towards state instutions is low. At the same time the austerity measures Serbian government introduced 2 years ago, curb the capacities of respective social services that lead to overload of the employees dealing with vulnerable groups of population.

Several elements for trade union campaigning were outlined, directed in particular, on raising awareness of the population about their social rights and risks related to undeclared work, on lobbying the state institutions to improve normative basis and on improvement of the social dialog on employment and social protection.