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Tuesday, 5 January 2016
The Protector of Citizens has received a number of complaints from parents and children against the Secretariat for Education and Childcare of the City Administration of Belgrade (“Secretariat”). The complainants alleged their children had been subjected to violence in educational institutions and the educational institutions had not undertaken measures against violence, while the Secretariat’s Educational Inspectorate had not correctly and fully found all relevant facts.

After conducting an investigation into the lawfulness and regularity of operations of the Secretariat, taking into account the allegations made in the complaints and their supplements, a statement made by that authority, statements made by primary and secondary schools, a report by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and the supplied documentation, the Protector of Citizens found that the Secretariat:

- had not fully and correctly investigated in its extraordinary inspections whether educational institutions had properly applied the regulations which govern the education process and provide for the protection of children and pupils from violence, abuse and neglect;

- had not ordered (appropriate) action to remedy the omissions and their harmful consequences;

- had not found all facts relevant for determining whether the inspected educational institutions had undertaken remedial measures as ordered;

- had not acted as required by statute in cases where educational institutions failed to comply with its orders.

The Protector of Citizens issued 79 recommendations to the Secretariat and ordered it to respond and provide information on its compliance with the recommendations within 60 days.