The Protector of Citizens Zoran Pašalić underscored, on observing 2nd April - World Autism Awareness Day, that people with autism are still being excluded from social life, that they daily face lack of acceptance by the community and that they are not legally recognized in the system.

“All available resources must be put to use in order to make people with autism visible both to the wider community and the legal system because this social group is most often marginalized. Aside to lack of acceptance and prejudice, stigmatization follows them as well, which is the consequence of widespread lack of knowledge about autism in the society” Mr. Pašalić has stated.

The Protector of Citizens has stated that the exact number of people with autism in Serbia has still remained unknown because a national register of people with autism has not been set up yet, and its establishment would contribute to developing specific support services needed for their full inclusion in society.

“I reiterate that the development of early intervention programs, education support services and other support services for children and adults with autism is necessary in order to fully enable them to enjoy their rights and freedoms” Mr. Pašalić has underlined.

In 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution designating 2nd April - the World Autism Awareness Day, and the initiative was launched by the state of Qatar.