Serbia: Trapped by automation: Poverty and discrimination in Serbia’s welfare state

Introducing technology in social protection systems is often portrayed as a way to improve people’s access to services and increase efficiency. Yet, as the example of the Social Card registry in Serbia shows, introducing automation into an already inadequate social security landscape without first addressing existing flaws and structural discrimination will exacerbate and entrench these issues and further undermine people’s right to social security. Since its introduction, the Social Card registry in Serbia has resulted in possibly thousands of the most marginalised people losing vital social assistance. Without proper safeguards in place, people from marginalized communities, such as Roma and people with disabilities, were disproportionally affected.

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