Jelena Paunović completed her undergraduate studies at the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade in 2014. After passing the bar exam, she continued her education in the Master’s program in Environmental Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade, which she is currently attending. She spent a year in Tunisia as an intern at the UNIDO office, where she worked on empowering women and their rights in inclusive industrial development.
Jelena attended the Institute for Human Rights “L’Institut international des droits de l’Homme et de la paix” in France, where she further acquired knowledge in the field of human rights. Jelena was employed at CPD (Child Rights Center) from February 2016 to September 2022, initially engaged as a legal advisor in providing free legal assistance in cases of child rights violations in the fields of education, healthcare, and social protection. After that, she worked on implementing CPD projects in the area of child protection from violence, promoting positive parenting, improving the position of the child in the judicial system, and other areas related to promoting and protecting child rights in the Republic of Serbia. During her engagement, she represented the organization in various international and national bodies and organizations of which CPD is a member. In addition, Jelena was continuously involved in shaping internal policies and procedures and strengthening the organizational capacities of CPD. For several years, she has supported and actively participated in the work of the DX Club.
She speaks English and French.
Since May 2023, Jelena Paunović has been the Director of the Child Rights Center in Belgrade.
Tamara Mihajlović graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, Department of Pedagogy. After completing her basic studies, she studied multidisciplinary master’s studies at the Rectorate of the University of Belgrade in the field of migration. She gained five years
of volunteer and work experience in the civil sector by working on projects with children, young people and in the field of education.
During 2019, Tamara attended the human rights school “Vojin Dimitrijević” of the Belgrade Center for Human Rights and gained additional knowledge and skills at numerous professional seminars, trainings and conferences in the field of multiculturalism, human rights and project coordination.
She is a member of the MIGREC Center at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade, where she works in the area of children’s rights and integration in the field of migration.
She further strengthened her experience in working with children through workshops and conversations with children from the Institute for the Education of Children and Youth. Also, she actively participated in research and analysis related to children who are in conflict with the law – child perpetrators, child victims and child witnesses.
She joined the Child Rights Centre on September 1, 2022 in the position of Project Coordinator.
Milan Otasevic is a senior student of the Faculty of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Special Pedagogy Department. He has been active in the civil sector since 2005. Initially, he worked with children and youth in street situation, and later performed the tasks of finance and administration management, either for individual projects or for the entire association.
During his many years of experience, Milan has acquired knowledge about specific procedures and rules of financial reporting applied by a large number of national and international donors and institutions. He has worked as a financial manager on the projects funded by a number of foreign embassies in Belgrade, the European Union, UNICEF, GIZ, Save the Children, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Policy, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the City Secretariats for Social Welfare and Child Protection, etc.
He has successfully completed several courses, trainings and seminars, both in the field of finance and in the field of child and human rights. He speaks English.
In March 2022, Milan joined the team of the Child Rights Centre in the position of Finance and Administration Associate.
Marija Petrović graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade. She obtained her master’s degree in the field of child rights at the Faculty of Law, UNION University in Belgrade with the thesis entitled “Child Rights in the Family Environment”.
Marija works as an attorney-at-law mainly in the field of family law and is a consultant for child rights. As an associate of the Child Rights Centre since 2005, she has been engaged in numerous projects. She has the most extensive experience in the field of rights monitoring and reporting before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, as well as in the Universal Periodic Reporting process, strengthening the child support system in the field of health care and support for children with developmental disabilities. She also has significant experience in the field of protecting children from abuse and neglect, especially with respect to sports activities and children with developmental disabilities.
Marija was engaged as a supervisor and lecturer at the Legal Clinic for Family Law organised at the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade in the period 2016-2019, after which the Legal Clinic for Family Law ceased to work with clients.
In addition to the Child Rights Centre, Marija also cooperates with other national and international organisations such as UNICEF Serbia, UNICEF Montenegro, UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina, Save the Children, World Vision, Network of Organizations for Children of Serbia (MODS), Užice Child Rights Centre, INDIGO and others.
Marija co-authored numerous publications, reports, handbooks, surveys and analyses in the field of child rights.
She was a member of MODS Steering Committee from its foundation until 2020.
Milena Banić is a permanent expert consultant of the Child Rights Centre.
She graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade. She obtained one master’s degree in the field of child rights at the Faculty of Law, UNION University in Belgrade with the thesis entitled “Child Abuse and Neglect,” and another master’s degree in European integration at the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade with the thesis entitled “Strategic Litigation in the Field of Human Rights in Cases of Discrimination”. She also obtained a PhD degree in environmental law at the Faculty of Law, UNION University in Belgrade.
As a PILnet fellow and visiting scholar at the Law School, Columbia University, New York, Milena specialized in public interest advocacy. She also volunteered at the Institute for Justice — VERA and the Legal Aid Society in New York.
Milena worked as an attorney-at-law. She is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, UNION University in Belgrade, and is also engaged as a supervisor and lecturer at their Legal Clinic for Family Law. In addition, she is a consultant for human and child rights.
Ms. Banić has collaborated with numerous international organisations such as UNICEF Serbia, UNICEF Montenegro, UNICEF Bosnia and Herzegovina, Save the Children, PRI International, PILnet, World Vision and others, as well as with numerous national organisations and institutions.
She is the author and co-author of several published papers, expert analyses and handbooks.
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