Health and social services
Serbia in brief
How we help
The situation of people with disabilities in Serbia is very complicated. People with disabilities receive only negligible support from the state; they often do not have the possibility to acquire education and only a minimal number of the disabled assert themselves on the employment market. The system of social welfare in the west Balkans has undergone almost no changes over several decades. Despite recent changes in the official rhetoric, social policy continues to be dominated by a paternalistic and institutional approach.
The mentally disabled or those with psychosocial disorders remain in the worst situation. Violations of human rights of people with mental disabilities living in institutions and in communities continue, and the majority of them remain far from integration into society. Some of them remain in residential institutional care, deprived of the ability to manage their own affairs and apply basic human rights. On the basis of experiences from transformation of social services in the Czech Republic, People in Need has been supporting improvement of the situation in institutions by educating workers, introducing new methods of working with people with disabilities, informing the public about this issue, or providing consultations for the parents of people with disabilities.
In the long-term perspective, People in Need is focusing on transforming the system in the field of services provided for people with mental disabilities. This is why it has supported non-governmental organisations which help mentally disabled people gain basic human rights and live life to the fullest in general society as opposed to involuntary isolation in large-capacity institutions.