4.8 Current debates and reforms
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Ministry of Labour, Employment, Social and Veteran Affairs prepared a Draft of National Strategy for Social Protection for the period 2019-2025 (Nacrt strategije socijalne zaštite za period 2019-2025).
The Strategy helps establish continuity in the reforms of social protection and enables consistency in work in the field of social protection. The Strategy will be use as a basis for the allocation of funds intended for the protection of the vulnerable groups in the Republic of Serbia. The draft strategy focuses on the further improvement of the social protection system, but also takes into account the broader social, political, fiscal and institutional framework.
The public hearing/consulting process took place in May 2019, while the final adoption of the Strategy is expected by the end of 2019.
The Third National Report on Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction in the Republic of Serbia (Treći nacionalni izveštaj o socijalnom uključivanju i smanjenju siromaštva u Republici Srbiji) lists the recommendations for approval of social inclusion of youth in fields of employment, education, social and child protection, pensions, health and health care, housing, human rights and social participation.
Some of the recommendations provided are:
- prioritisation of the vulnerable categories of young people, followed by the adequate allocation of funds,
- special attention should be devoted to the position of young women in the labour market, the youth with no/low qualifications and the youth who have been unemployed for over 12 months,
- new outreach measures should be introduced in the work of the institutions responsible for employment and education, to enable the outreach to those young people who are discouraged and passive in the labour market,
- it is necessary to institutionalize mechanisms for early recognition of children who are at risk of leaving the education system
- further work on removing discriminatory content from individual textbooks is necessary, and appropriate professional development programmes need to be elaborated,
- it is necessary to change the funding model at all levels of education,
- new measures are needed to enhance the participation of Roma children and the poorest stratum of society in education,
- particular focus should be put on the support mechanisms for the implementation of youth employment programmes,
- Improvement of the policy framework and its adaptation to the needs of youth, with a view to formalising every type of work in which young people engage (e.g. by developing the concept of student jobs with a limited weekly number of working hours,258 enhancing the legal and qualitative framework that regulates traineeship259 and so on), etc.
Additionally, part of the Analysis of the position of young people at risk, including recommendations for improving their social and economic inclusion (“Analiza položaja mladih u riziku koja uključuje i preporuke za unapređenje njihove socijalne i ekonomske inkluzije”) was included in the Draft of National Strategy for Social Protection for the period 2019-2025 (Nacrt strategije socijalne zaštite za period 2019-2025). This part refers to the recommendation to develop a new type of financial support to the child and the young person leaving the social protection system. This support would be financed from the state budget and would be available for all young people leaving social protection throughout the country, regardless of their place of residence. This way, all young people would have equal rights to the financial support. The support would amount to 50% of the average salary in the country and would be paid monthly on a two-year basis (approximately 100 users per year).