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    • BCSP successfully abolished discriminatory conditions for admission of candidates to the Police Academy and Military Academy

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    • Date: 28 August 2013
      BCBP in cooperation with the Commissioner for Protection of Equality and the support of the media influenced the Police Academy and the University of Defence to abolish discriminatory admission policies that restricted the number of women who can be educated in these institutions.

      The Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) welcomes the decision of Criminal Police Academy (KPA) and the University of Defense to adopt the recommendations of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality and implement measures to eliminate discriminatory enrollment policies that limited the number of women who can apply to study at the KPA and the Military Academy (MA is a part of University of Defence).

      BCSP expects from Government to implement new enrollment policy without the glass ceiling for women and to continue active promotion of police and military career for women, so to improve the opportunities for all eligible Serbian citizens to be represented in security institutions and participate in provision of security.

      Based on the Commissioner for Protection of Equality’s recommendation, which were issued upon BCSP’s complaint for gender-based discrimination in education, KPA will change admission policy so to quit  the ’’maximum’’ quota for the enrollment of women. This measure will not be applied to the first year students enrolled in the academic 2013/2014 because the admission of students has been already completed. However, the KPA will allow more than 20% of female students who are best ranked in their class to get enrolled in the second, third and fourth year of study with their tuition covered from state budget.

      After BCSP filed a complaint on the discriminatory conditions stated in the enrollment call for the Military Academy, which was endorsed by the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, the University of Defense has been obliged to quit glass ceiling for enrollment of women and to omit the limitation that a candidate has no right to be married or engaged in a civil union at the moment of application to this institution.

      From 2007 to 2012 the Military Academy has been applying quota of 20% women for enrollment in this institution. In 2013 call for admission, ’’the maximum’’ quota was reduced to 15% of the total number of accepted students. In comparison to this, the Military Medical Academy did not have such a discriminatory practice and admitted up to 70% of female students.

      Increasing the participation of women in security provision

      After BCSP’s reaction covered by the media and the Commissioner’s recommendations, the University of Defense has issued a set of measures so to reach 30% of female candidates based on their merits in the next admission processes. This decision goes in line with the target specified in the National Action Plan for the Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1325 on Women, Security and Peace, that BCSP regularly monitors.

      The BCSP emphasizes that these measures will lead to increase in the representation of women in the police service and the military only if the KPA and the University of Defense continue to actively promote police and military career and education opportunities to women. The changes in enrollment policy made after our complaint should not be used as ‘an excuse’ to stop actively promoting that all citizens of Serbia, men and women alike, participate in provision of national security, defense and policing.

      Opinion of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality

      On 21st of June 2013, the Commissioner for Protection of Equality issued the opinion that the Criminal Police Academy and the University of Defense violated the provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Law and the Law on Gender Equality in the student admission processes.

      The Commissioner issued a recommendation that the student admission processes must comply with anti-discrimination legislation. This means that the requirement which defines the ’’maximum’’ number of female candidates who can enroll at Criminal Police Academy as state funded students (15 out of 60 students are state funded) has to be removed. Moreover, the ’’maximum’’ quota of 15% for admission to the Military Academy has also to be removed as well as the condition related to marital or family status of candidates.

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