At a ceremony held on 21 April, in Belgrade, the Ombudsman of the Republic of Serbia awarded the cities of Kragujevac, Pirot and Niš for their contributions to the development of all forms of accessibility on their territory in 2016. At the ceremony, the Deputy Ombudsman for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Vladana Jović stated that in that way the Ombudsman wanted to promote examples of good practice on the local level and achieve better cooperation in order to determine the reasons for the incomplete implementation of laws protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.
The City of Kragujevac was awarded for the overall development of accessibility and social inclusion of persons with disabilities, Pirot for the inclusion of final beneficiaries in the process of making decisions about the appropriate solutions to the problem of accessibility, while Niš received an award for the strategic thinking and proactivity in the development of accessibility.
“Twenty-two local self-governments applied. After visiting cities and municipalities which applied, the committee decided to award the cities of Kragujevac, Pirot and Niš for their contributions to the development of all forms of accessibility on their territory in 2016. The representatives of these cities will visit Milan, the city which was awarded the Access City Award of the European Commission for 2016”, stated Jović.
Užice, Novi Pazar, Kruševac, as well as municipalities Bujanovac and Svilajnac received recognition for their efforts within the development of all forms of accessibility on their territory in 2016. Leskovac, Loznica, Pančevo and Vranje, as well as municipalities Bojnik, Boljevac, Pantelej, Zvezdara, Negotin, Paraćin, Sremski Karlovci, Stara Pazova, Vrnjačka Banja and Žagubica, received commendations for their work developing all forms of accessibility in 2016.
A Selection Committee consisting of representatives of the Office of the Ombudsman, Standing Conference of Town and Municipalities (SKGO), Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Republic of Serbia, and several civil society organisations made the decision which cities will receive the award.