Serbia and Montenegro - Social development

In 1992, the then-Federal Republic of Yugoslavia passed legislation, The Law on Basic Pension and Invalidity Insurance, which became effective in 1997 and still governs the social welfare system. The pension plan is funded by contributions from both employers and employees; the contribution rate varies according to Republic. The retirement age is 60 for men and 55 for women. Each Republic provides its own system for sickness and maternity benefits. Medical services are provided directly to patients through government facilities. Workers' compensation, unemployment benefits, and family allowances are also available.

Traditional gender roles keep women from enjoying equal status with men and few occupy positions of leadership in the private sector. However, women are active in human rights and political organizations. High levels of domestic abuse persist and social pressures prevent women from obtaining protection against abusers.

The government's human rights record remained poor and was additionally marred by the crisis in Kosovo, where police were responsible for beatings, rape, torture, and killings, committed with impunity. The government has refused to cooperate with extradition requests by the international criminal tribunal investigating war crimes. In May 1999, the tribunal indicated Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic and four top military officials for crimes against the citizens of Kosovo.

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