Who is Ivanka?
At the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, Ms. Ivanka Jovanović is a nominated candidate for the membership in the CRPD from Serbia. Her candidacy was also supported by the civil society in Serbia, primarily by the National Organization of Persons with Disabilities of Serbia (NOOIS), which represents disability movement in Serbia. Also, her candidacy was formally supported by the European Alliance of Neuromuscular Disorders Associations (EAMDA) and European Federation of Neurological Association (EFNA)
Main Activities on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Currently, Ivanka Jovanović is Executive Director of National Organization of Persons with disabilities of Serbia (NOOIS), representing over 800,000 persons with disabilities and also working on inclusion of persons with disabilities in the society. Ivanka Jovanović has been very active in the international disability movement for three decades. She has been a disability movement activist since the age of 18. Ms. Jovanović started her international engagement as a member of the Youth Organization within EAMDA, then as a member of the Executive Committee and for the last 8 years as the Vice-President of this organization.
Her cooperation with EDF and other organisation
Since 2005 she has cooperated very closely with the European Disability Forum and since 2008 she has been a member of the Assembly of this largest and most important European umbrella organization of people with disabilities. She also actively participates in its work and attends the meetings of the Executive Committee and the Assembly, as the only representative from Serbia.
Since 2013 she has cooperated with the UN, especially with the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In September 2013 she was the only representative from the Region at the High level meeting in New York, which was entirely dedicated to the position of Persons’ with disabilities in the world.
Expertise on CRPD
Ivanka Jovanović is a co-author of the first alternative report of the disability movement from Serbia, which she presented to the Committee in September 2015. She also participated in the session during the presentation of the initial report submitted by Republic of Serbia in April 2016. During both sessions, she had many contacts with members of the Committee, as well as with representatives of the IDA (International Disability Alliance), which brings together 1,100 organizations of persons with disabilities from eight global and six regional networks. She was the coordinator and co-authors of several projects implemented by NOOIS since 2018, which relate to the analysis of the implementation of the recommendations of the Convention on Human Rights in RS, including the translation and promotion of General Comments no. 5 Article 19: Right to independent living], no. 6 Article 5: Equality and non-discrimination, and no. 7 of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Earlier this year, she translated the UN Convention into Serbian, but in an easy-to-read format, intended for people with intellectual disabilities.
One of the main activities of the organization in which she has a leadership role is legislation and advocacy, including the monitoring the implementation of regulations with a focus on the harmonization of all domestic regulations in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She especially emphasizes participation in various activities related to the harmonization of Serbian regulations in the areas: abolishing guardianship and introduction of decision-making with support; in the field of deinstitutionalization; work and employment; in the field of systematic introduction of prohibition of disability-based discrimination in new legislation; in the process of amendments to the Criminal Code criminalizing disability-based discrimination and increasing penalties for acts of sexual violence against persons with disabilities; in the process of recent ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty. Moreover, she has taken a very active role (within a working group) in the process of writing the new National Disability Strategy of Serbia for the period 2020/2024, particularly through systematic incorporation of recommendations from the Committee’s Concluding Observations to Serbia into the new National Disability Strategy.