June 23. 2024. 12:58

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Response to imprisoned child case causes uproar in Serbia


A father who kept his eight-year-old daughter imprisoned in Belgrade has been arrested, but the family court has not taken his conservatorship away, leading to the public condemning the response of institutions in this case.

After four days of hiding, Uroš Pašajlić (38) was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of keeping his eight-year-old daughter locked. He was reported to the police for violence by his domestic partner and fled. Inside, the police found a malnourished and disoriented girl.

On Wednesday, the NGO Autonomous Women’s Center (AWC) announced that the family court judge had taken away both parents’ rights but had not officially removed conservatorship from the father.

“It is the failure of the Center, or unfortunately their ignorance, to state in their statement that the court decided on trust, although this is not true. As a result of the guardianship authority’s failure to understand the consequences of such a judge’s decision on the life of a minor child, there needs to be more information that this father was ordered to initiate a new court proceeding for confiscation,” said AWC.

“The responsibility for everything that this girl survived lies with the entire state system, starting with the police, the centre for social work, the court, the prosecutor’s office, health and educational institutions, as well as the local self-government, but also all those institutions that are responsible for the education of professionals who act,” it added.

Contacted by EURACTIV, the Ministry of Family Welfare and Demography confirmed that it was familiar with the case and are communicating with the City Center for Social Work of Belgrade.

When asked how the ministry will control the work of the Center in this case, they replied that it would supervise the work to determine whether, in this specific case, the law and prescribed professional standards were respected.

(EURACTIV.rs | Aleksandra Vrbica)