Published : 2023-12-31

Access to justice, the right to work and access to the labor market of older people in Serbia. Challenges to achieving equality

Abstract

Access to justice, the right to work, and access to the labor market are essential aspects of modern society that enable individuals to achieve just and fair solutions to their problems. Achieving such solutions often includes judicial processes and other means of solving disputes, such as mediation. The concept of justice mainly relies on the right to work, which includes safe and just working conditions, access to training and salary sufficient for an adequate standard of dignified life for workers and their families, and the right of individuals not to be wrongfully deprived of work. Access to justice, the right to work, and access to the labor market were topics of consultations conducted in June 2019 within the framework of “Age Demands Action” (ADA) platform with a view of ensuring the voice of older persons is heard at the eleventh session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing in April 2020. Three hundred six older persons (198 women and 108 men) between the ages of 52 and 90 in 24 low-income, middle-income, and high-income countries across the world, including Serbia, participated in the consultations to show obstacles in achieving older persons’ access to justice, work and labor market. As part of this global initiative, research conducted by the Red Cross of Serbia in Velika Plana, Kragujevac, and Belgrade included focus groups of 26 participants in total, aged between 65 and 85, predominantly female. The results of interviews with these focus groups show that, when it comes to access to justice, most of the participants face challenges in property and inheritance distribution, access to public services, as well as age discrimination. Labor-rights-wise, they pointed out that these rights are mainly denied to them due to their age and that their health (both psychological and physical) is often a limiting factor in employment. For most respondents, decent work means adequate working conditions, meeting their everyday needs, decent working hours, and respect for the worker’s integrity. To gain access to justice, older persons must be empowered and supported in taking action toward the problem and achieving fair and just solutions. A prerequisite for that is access to services that would help anti-discriminatory treatment and meet their needs, including respect for older persons’ human rights and dignified life in older age, including equal opportunities in accessing the labor market.

Keywords:

older persons, access to justice, right to work, human rights, access to labor market



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Todorović, N., Hrnjaković, T., & Vračević, M. (2023). Access to justice, the right to work and access to the labor market of older people in Serbia. Challenges to achieving equality. Exlibris Social Gerontology Journal, 25(2), 31–45. https://doi.org/10.57655/EXLIBRIS_2_2023_2

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