National Human Development Report for Serbia 2022 presented
New Solutions for Demographic Change
May 27, 2022
Belgrade, 27 May 2022 - The National Human Development Report 2022 for Serbia, entitled "Human Development in Response to Demographic Change”, was presented in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia today. This strategic document provides a new perspective on the challenges of a shrinking and aging population in Serbia and was developed with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
The event was officially opened by the Speaker of the Serbian National Assembly Ivica Dačić, in the presence of the Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs, Darija Kisić, UNDP Serbia Resident Representative, Francine Pickup and UNFPA Serbia Country Representative, John Kennedy Mosoti.
The Minister of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Affairs Prof. Dr Darija Kisić emphasized that the Government of the Republic of Serbia is committed to finding different solutions aimed at slowing down or mitigating the consequences of demographic change and removing the most critical factors leading to them.
“A lot has been done to stimulate the birth rate through support to families and mothers, such as increased financial support, especially for the first child, support to couples in in-vitro fertilisation, financial support for mothers to purchase housing, as well as including difficult-to-employ categories of the population and youth even more intensively through active employment measures,” Minister Kisić pointed out.
She added that, with this report that views the depopulation phenomenon in a comprehensive manner, Serbia expressed its readiness to engage in the fight for the most valuable resource of today - people and their potentials, as the foundation for the development of any contemporary society.
“This report indicates that, apart from mitigating the population decline, Serbia should focus on making the most of the potentials of all people living in or connected to this country, such as its citizens in the diaspora. If each individual had the opportunity to be equally involved in all social and economic activities, the Serbian population, albeit smaller, could become more educated, productive, and healthier. Moreover, the state must develop timely policies to adapt to the new demographic reality,” Francine Pickup, UNDP Serbia Resident Representative, said.
“Development of prosperity for a society requires focusing special attention to developing demographic resilience. The UN Population Fund developed a new regional approach to encouraging demographic resilience with a view to help countries respond to the challenges posed to us by demographic change, in order to mitigate their negative effects and utilize the potential of a country and all its people”, John Kennedy Mosoti, UNFPA Serbia Country Representative, stated and added: “Through measures that are gender sensitive, rights- and evidence-based, we support Serbia in achieving its ambition to respond to the current aspects of demographic change such as aging, increased migration, lower fertility rates and a shrinking population, and to turn these changes into its own advantage. Our colleagues from neighbouring countries are also considering the possibility of replicating the same or similar analysis in the vicinity.”
The report "Human Development in Response to Demographic Change" builds on the efforts already made by the Republic of Serbia in this area, pointing to possible innovative approaches to population policy. The report covers nine relevant fields where interventions are proposed: family support, labour market, migration, education, health, and aging; urban development, environment, and climate change. It is the result of joint work by nine leading local researchers and internationally acclaimed demographer Wolfgang Lutz.
Six months of consultations were organised during the process of drafting the report, where representatives of state institutions, academia, civil society, and the media gave their contributions to the development of the final report.
The National Human Development Report for Serbia 2022 was developed in cooperation with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, following an initiative by the President of the Republic of Serbia to create a broader and long-term response to the challenges posed by demographic change.