Commissioner for the Protection of Equality


Commissioner for the Protection of Equality is an independent, autonomous authority for prevention of all forms and types of discrimination. 
The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality is competent to carry out the procedure based on complaints in cases of discrimination against persons or groups of persons connected by the same personal characteristic. The Commissioner is competent to receive and consider complaints of discrimination, to issue opinions and recommendations in concrete discrimination cases, and to stipulate measures defined by the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination.
All proceedings before the Commissioner are free of charge and tax free.

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Brief history

The Commissioner for the Protection of Equality is an independent, autonomous and specialized state authority established on the basis of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination from 2009.
The first Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Nevena Petrusic PhD, was elected on May 5th 2010 by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. The second Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Brankica Jankovic, was elected on May 26th 2015. 
The normative framework for the work of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality consists of the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, the relevant international documents, and general and special antidiscrimination laws of the Republic of Serbia.
The task of the Commissioner is to prevent all forms, types and cases of discrimination, to protect the equality of natural persons and legal entities in all spheres of social relations, to oversee the enforcement of antidiscrimination regulations, and to improve realization and protection of equality.

Mandate Type

Combined tribunal-type and promotion-type

Litigation power:

  • Bringing proceedings in own name
  • Intervening before the court
  • Formally deciding on complaints (e.g. decision or recommendation addressed to the parties) legally binding


2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Activities aimed at supporting vulnerable groups ( e.g. through trainings )
Activities aimed at supporting duty bearers such as employers and service providers (e.g. through trainings, guidance material, practical support, etc.)
Communication activities (e.g. awareness raising campaigns)
Recommendations on discrimination issues
Publications and reports
Research projects (including surveys)

Our institution has a mandate to deal with:

  • UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
  • Hate speech

Other statistics:

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Number of inquiries handled per year (all contact even if not resulting in a formal complaint)12438560076387810401346
Number of cases handled per year (case files opened and processed according to your procedures)127346465716666797626
Number of media appearances per year (major newspapers/magazines/websites/blogs, TV + radio channels) - does not include social media5015043955070622242072

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  • Single headed equality body (led by director or ombudsman/commissioner)

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Management details

The Office is managed by the Commissioner and the sectors are managed by the Assistants to the Commissioner. The Commissioner establishes the Consortium as an advisory body. The Commissioner’s Consortium consists of the Commissioner, three Commissioner’s Assistants, and the Commissioner’s Head of Office. If necessary, heads of organisational units can participate in the work of the Consortium, upon the Commissioner call.

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Additional details

The organisational structure of the CPE Office is set by the Rulebook on Internal Organisation and Systematisation of Posts. This act provisions establishment of three sectors as the basic internal units:

  • Sector for Protection of Equality: Department for Acting upon Complaints, (Group for Complaints – public sector, Group for Complaints – private sector), Section of Litigation, Section for Normative and Legal Matters
  • Sector for Improvement of Equality: : Group for Projects, Group for Collaboration, Group for Research, Analysis and Reporting Sector for General Affairs: Human Resource and Finance Department (Group for Finance, Group for Human Resource), Group for IT Affairs, Section of Registry with Archive
  • Sector for General Affairs.

The Commissioner’s Office and the Group for Disseminating Information are established as special internal units

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Procedure for nomination and appointment of management and board

The Commissioner is elected by the National Assembly by majority vote of all members. Candidate for the Commissioner is proposed bythe Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Issues with the majority vote of its members. Every parliamentary group in the National Assembly has the right to propose a candidate to the Committee. 
Any national of the Republic of Serbia may be elected to the post of the Commissioner provided that he/she fulfils the following conditions: being a graduate of law; having a minimum of ten years’ working experience in legal matters pertaining to the area of human rights protection; having high moral and professional qualities. The Commissioner may not perform any other public or political function or any political activity, in accordance with the law.
The jobs of Commissioner’s Assistants and of Chief of cabinet are defined as positions. The Commissioner’s Assistants are appointed to this position for the period of five years, on the basis of an internal or public job competition, while the Head of Office is appointed to this position until the expiry of the Commissioner’s term of office. The Commissioner’s Assistants and the Chief of Cabinet are categorized in the first group of positions (while the Chief of cabinet is categorized in the third group of positions). All other jobs are executive jobs, including jobs of managers of smaller internal organizational units.

Number of staff dealing with equality issues

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Grounds and fields of discrimination covered by the equality body

Grounds / Fields Employment Education Housing Social Protection & Healthcare Goods and Services Other
Gender Identity
Race and Ethnic Origin
Sexual Orientation
Religion & Belief

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Other grounds:

Skin colour, Citizenship, Language, Economic status, Birth, Genetic characteristics, Health, Marital and family status, Previous conviction, Appearance, Membership in political parties, trade unions or other organizations…

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Mandate covers:

  • Public sector
  • Private sector

Operating budget in euros

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

We are accountable to

  • National Parliament