Women against Violence Network Board of Directors and the European Women's Lobby Network established the Independent Observatory for Monitoring Violence against Women and in accordance with the Observatory’s formation, adopted, on September 23rd 2011 in Belgrade, the following:

RULES OF PROCEDURE

of the INDEPENDENT OBSERVATORY FOR MONITORING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

 

Article 1

The Independent Observatory for Monitoring Violence against Women (hereinafter referred to as the Observatory) is a body collectively formed by two networks: Network of Women against Violence and the European Women's Lobby Network (hereinafter referred to as the Networks).

The Observatory is established as an independent expert monitoring and analytical body consisting of experts from civil and academic society, in order to monitor, analyze and report on the situation in regards to violence against women in Serbia.

MISSION AND VALUES
Article 2

The mission of the Observatory is to be a critical voice of civil society organizations dealing with the issue of violence against women, policies and practices protecting women in Serbia, providing recommendations and guidance and indicating lines of action in this area.

Values ​​of the Observatory

  • Feminist perspectives in defining the approach to the issue of male violence against women as a result of a historically unequal distribution of social power between the sexes;
  • Any form of violence against women constitutes a violation of basic human rights and the rights of women;
  • Respect for the ethics of diversity and opposition to all forms of discrimination. Women are not a homogeneous group – there are different distributions of power within this category and, consequently, specific exposure to violence among women who are discriminated against on multiple grounds (Roma women, women with disabilities, women with a history of stay in psychiatric institutions and/or prisons, refugee and displaced women, foreigners, women with different sexual orientation, women belonging to ethnic minorities, women living in poverty, women living in underdeveloped and rural areas, unemployed women, young women, old women, etc.);
  • Awareness of militarism, nationalism and religious fundamentalism as institutionalized forms of imposing patriarchal values ​​and beliefs and their impact on the phenomenon of violence against women;
  • The right to autonomy and strength of all women.

OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES

Article 3

The objective of the Observatory is to monitor, report and take actions that affect the improvement of state policies, as well as the pace and direction of the process of combating and eliminating violence against women in Serbia through a comprehensive conceptual and thematic analysis of the situation in combating violence against women.

The observatory will particularly work on:

  • creating a platform that provides a critical voice against violence against women in Serbia,
  • conceptual and thematic analysis of the situation in the field of combating violence against women,
  • impact on the dynamics and direction of the processes of combating and eliminating violence against women in Serbia,
  • analysis of the relationship between different forms of violence against women and discrimination, poverty and social inclusion of women, social welfare, health, education, culture, media representations.

Article 4

The Observatory organizes and conducts the following activities:

  • formulate and standardize reporting methodology,
  • collect and analyze data,
  • monitor the Government’s work regarding the implementation of commitments made in the field of combating and eliminating violence against women, and the results derived from measures of national and international obligations related to all forms of violence against women,
  • points out the shortcomings in the measures, as well as unfulfilled commitments,
  • points to the critical and urgent areas of action,
  • prepares an annual report on violence against women in Serbia,
  • develops partnerships with local, national and international organizations and experts through open dialogue and cooperation.

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE OBSERVATORY

Article 5

The Observatory is a body that will be composed of at least five experts in the area of ​​violence against women.

Selection of five experts, who will become a part of the Observatory, will be based on candidate applications to tender.

The selection between the candidates that applied to the tender shall be made by the Selection Commission.

Representatives of civil society and academic society will be elected to the positions of the experts engaged in the work of the Observatory.

Experts involved in the work of the Observatory cannot be persons engaged in political or public office at the national, provincial or local level.

Experts cannot both be involved in the work of the Observatory and simultaneously be members of the Networks’ boards.

The experts do not receive any compensation for their work.

Article 6

Candidates for expert positions who will be engaged in the work of the Observatory apply to the tender published by Networks boards.

Candidates for expert positions who will be engaged in the work of the Observatory apply to the tender by submitting their: professional background, personal resume and cover letter.

If a woman is a member of the Networks’ boards and applies for the involvement in the work of the Observatory, she must, before applying to the tender process, resign from her position as member of the Board.

Article 7

An expert shall be elected for a term of 4 years, with the right to be selected at most 2 times.

Re-selection of experts, who are engaged in the work of the Observatory for the period of the next 4 years, is made in accordance with Art 6 of these Rules of Procedures.

Article 8

Criteria for selection of experts to the Observatory:

  • theoretical concept within which violence against women is considered;
  • relevant experience in the field of violence against women;
  • expertise in analysis and reporting;
  • experience in monitoring and evaluation;
  • experience in independent analysis of state policies and preparation of reports on public policy in the field of violence against women;
  • experience in the preparation of joint reports, analysis, etc..

Article 9

Experts who are engaged in the Observatory may, without explanation, seek dismissal before the expiry of the term for which they were elected, in writing or by e-mail.

A written request for dismissal under paragraph 1 in this Article, shall be submitted to the boards of both Networks.

Experts who, before the period for which they are engaged, seek dismissal pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Article, are obliged to participate in the work of the Observatory until a new expert who will replace them is selected, but no longer than 60 days from the date the dismissal was filed.

WORK OF THE OBSERVATORY

Article 10

The Observatory meets at least 4 times a year.

The Observatory can organize special meetings if needed.

It is valid if when the Observatory convenes the meeting is attended by at least 3 experts.

The decision on the Annual Work Plan and Annual Report of the Observatory is adopted by simple majority.

If there is agreement, decisions can be made electronically.

Administrative Technical Support to the Observatory

Article 11

Administrative and technical staff of the two networks will support the work of the Observatory and perform the following administrative and technical affairs for the Observatory:

  • scheduling of regular and special meetings of the Observatory;
  • providing space and working conditions;
  • keeping minutes of Observatory meetings;
  • ensuring communication with Network members;
  • preparation of media statements;
  • organizing the distributing the Annual Report on the situation and recommendations in the area of violence against women;
  • preparing the annual report on the work that is submitted to the boards of both Networks.

Annual Work Plan and Annual Report

Article 12

The Observatory adopts the Annual Work Plan for the next year by the end of November of the current year.

The observatory is required to submit the Annual Work Plan (for next year) to the Networks for adoption as of the first working day of December of the current year.

Network boards shall, if they agree, adopt the Observatory's Annual Plan by December 15th. If the Boards do not agree with the proposed Annual Plan, the Observatory experts and the members of the Boards are obliged to agree and adopt a work plan for next year at a joint meeting, not later than the end of December of the current year.

The Annual Work Plan defines areas of activity for the year ahead, the pace of meetings, activities schedule, the obligations of each of the experts and the content of the Annual Report.

The experts may choose to define one area where they will focus the monitoring and reporting activities for a year.

The Observatory can arrange consultations with activists and expert in the selected area from Serbia and the world.

The Women against Violence Network will provide support to the organization in communication with women's organizations in Serbia, while the European Women's Lobby Network will help with cooperation with European organizations and bodies.

The Observatory will develop an Annual Report on the state’s combating of violence against women with recommendations on policy and practice, and submit it to the Network Boards.

The Annual Report on the situation in combating violence against women for the previous year, with recommendations on policies and practices, the Observatory will distribute to the Network Boards by the end of March next year.

Networks have a responsibility to inform the public about the work of the Observatory and to publish and distribute the Annual Report on the situation in the area of ​​violence against women, to the domestic and international public.

MANAGING THE WORK OF THE OBSERVATORY

Article 13

The Boards of the Network Women against Violence and the Network of the European Women's Lobby manage and control the work of the Observatory. Boards of the Networks:

  • adopt the documents for the tender selection of experts to the Observatory;
  • appoint the Selection Commission;
  • decide on amending the Selection Commission in the event of a conflict of interest;
  • adopt the Annual Work Plan of the Observatory and join in the consultations according to Article 12, paragraph 3 of these Rules of Procedures;
  • adopt the Annual Report on the state and recommendations in the area of ​​violence against women;
  • initiate and decide on amendments to the provisions of the Observatory’s Rules of Procedure;
  • verify the Selection Commission’s expert selection decision;
  • decide on a complaints filed by candidates against the Selection Commission’s decisions;
  • decide on the dismissal of experts from the Observatory, except when the request for dismissal is filed in accordance with Article 9, paragraph 1 of this Regulation, in which case they only ascertain the dismissal;
  • decide on the termination of the Observatory.

Network Boards independently decide on these responsibilities in accordance with their Statutes. Decision-making is reached by a consensus of the two Networks.

In the event that one or both Networks do not agree with the text of the Annual Report, the Annual Report of the Observatory is sent back for updates or supplements, in accordance with the observations and comments of the Networks.

If there is no consensus of the Network Boards for the verification of decisions on the selection or the decision on dismissal of an expert, the decision on selection shall be deemed not to be verified, that is, the decision on the dismissal will not be deemed as adopted.

Selection Commission

Article 14

The Election Commission is composed of four representatives of women’s organizations dealing with domestic violence. Both Network Boards appoint two representatives to the Selection Commission. The mandate of the Selection Commission lasts only for one tender.

The Selection Commission shall determine the tender documents and conduct the selection of candidates on the basis of criteria defined by the rules of procedure and analysis of tender documentation.

The selection of each candidate must be elaborated in relation to the selection criteria, and a report submitted to the both Network Boards.

For each following selection the Selection Commission will take into account the continuity of the work of the Observatory.

If a member of the Selection Commission is also a member of the organization of origin of an Observatory candidate, the Network Board that has appointed that member will decide on changing the woman representing them in order to prevent conflicts of interest.

The work of the Selection Commission is a volunteer based.

Dismissal of Observatory Experts

Article 15

Both Network Boards decide on the dismissal of experts from the Observatory before term expiration, in case of:

  • inactivity or failure to fulfill obligations the expert has accepted and entered in the Annual Work Plan;
  • actions that are contrary to the provisions of the Rules of Procedure, and in particular irreverence to the mission, values ​​and goals of the Observatory.

The expert's mandate is terminated on the day of dismissal.

Termination of the Observatory

Article 16

Both Board Networks decide on the termination of the Observatory.

Amendments to the Provisions of the Rules of Procedure

Article 17

Amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Observatory may be proposed by the Board of each of the Networks.

The provisions of the Rules can be changed only by consensus.

Article 18

Rules of Procedure of the independent Observatory on violence against women shall take effect upon its adoption.