Iris Network Public Hearing was held in Belgrade yesterday via the Zoom platform. IRIS Network National Coordinators, partner organizations, the Network’s members, representatives of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia, representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy of the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of EU Integration, the Ministry of Education, representatives of UNICEF, the IOM, and other international and civil society organizations followed the online event.
During the introductory session Shadow Report for Chapter 24 for Serbia, focusing on migration in particular, prepared within the Iris project was presented. It was followed by a discussion about the regional online IRIS Network advocacy campaign Social services for All. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the general public about the importance of social services provided by CSOs, which has been joined so far by a number of member organizations as well as relevant institutions.
LIR CD Partners (Iris Network B&H) presented a regional document on identifying needs for improving social services and migration management in the Western Balkans and shared their experiences from the recent Public Hearing on the presentation of the results of the analysis of deficiencies and improvement of social services and social services innovation for vulnerable groups.
After a short discussion and exchange of experiences, two Iris Network members from Serbia – JRS and Osmeh Vlasotince presented their work and the innovative activities they implemented throughout the pandemic and announced the upcoming projects.
Throughout the Public Hearing, a number of important issues have been raised. The Iris Network will continue to work on empowering the CSOs to be effective, accountable, and independent actors and to improve their capacity for dialogue with governments for the purpose of influencing policy and decision-making processes as well as on advocating for all the significant issues share among its members.