International Aid Network

Enhancing justice in Serbia – Piloting diversionary measures


The Law on Juvenile Offenders and Criminal Justice Protection of Minors was passed in 2005, introducing many important measures such as alternative sanctions and diversionary measures. Although diversionary measures offer a greater possibility for re-socialisation, healthy engagement for minors, and development of an open, responsible community, their implementation has been scarce. There are very few established services for minors that would allow for complete fulfilment of diversionary requirements. As such, the Republic of Serbia recently initiated the project, “Improving the Delivery of Justice in Serbia” to improve the judiciary system and further harmonise Serbian law, practices, and government institutions with international standards. Goals include overcoming the lack of cooperation, trust, synchronisation, and trained professionals necessary for strengthening diversionary measures; increasing the utilisation of diversionary measures; and creating an effective program capable of expansion.

As part of this project, four pilot diversionary programs will be established in towns and cities across Serbia. IAN, a leader in working with youth with behavioural issues, will cooperate with judges, lawyers, social workers, local community actors, organisations, civil society organisations, and companies to implement this pilot program in Belgrade. The goal of the multisectoral pilot is the application of the diversionary measure: engagement, without remuneration, in the work of humanitarian organisations or community work (welfare, local or environmental).

In achieving this aim, IAN will take several steps including, 1) identifying organisations and companies that would accept a youth as a volunteer, 2) establishing a cooperative network of various government, public, and private institutions pivotal for a successful diversionary measure, and 3) ensuring smooth and meaningful implementation of the measures. IAN will hold trainings for the other actors, meet with youth and parents to consult, and monitor each youth’s experience to ensure a high quality execution of each measure.  IAN will also serve as a key actor in supporting both the youth and organisations throughout the process.

The goal is to establish a functional mechanism for implementing diversionary measures that engage juvenile offenders in humanitarian and voluntary work by the end of the pilot program.

IAN’s Goals

  • Info sessions with 30 companies and/or organizations
  • Information sharing between organizations, companies, CSOs, Judicial services, and social work services
  • Creation of a network and database for future internships
  • 15 juvenile offenders successfully complete diversionary measures

IAN Telecentar
Djure Danicica 5 Street
11000 Belgrade, Serbia

tel. +38111 3229 732