Lazar Stefanovic is Program Manager at MDRI-S in Belgrade.
He specializes in international normative and theoretical frameworks of deinstitutionalization of persons with mental disabilities. Lazar is currently involved in different projects and initiatives of MDRI-S and partnering national and international organizations.
Some of the efforts for the improvement of the state of rights Lazar has been involved with are actions to establish non-governmental mechanisms for UN human rights bodies reporting and monitoring the implementations of international standards in a domestic context; ensuring accessible elections; participating in workgroups to develop laws and public policies in Serbia; monitoring of residential social care homes etc.
Mr. Stefanovic also participated in the UN Global Study on children deprived of liberty on invitation from the leading expert professor Dr. Manfred Nowak.
Lazar previously worked for the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, a Budapest-based NGO, where he conducted research on deinstitutionalization of children and adults in five countries of central and south-eastern Europe: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. The outcome was a 50-page long internal report on the current state of deinstitutionalization in the aforementioned EU members.
Lazar authored and co-authored a few professional publications such as “”The Look Overseas: What can Serbia and other Countries Learn from Canada’s Supported Decision-Making Mechanisms” and “Legal capacity and human rights: Guidelines for center for social work”.
In 2017 Lazar graduated from the program European Master of Arts in Human Rights and Democratization in Venice, Italy. During his master’s studies, after a semester spent in Venice, Lazar lived in Budapest and was enrolled at Eotvos Lorand University and Central European University where he conducted research and wrote a master’s thesis on the phenomenon of institutionalization and the related current issues in the Balkans, titled “Are Four Centuries of Systemic Segregation Coming to an End? A socio-historical analysis of custodial care with case studies on deinstitutionalization of children with disabilities in Bulgaria and Serbia”.
Lazar studied criminalistics and police studies before he enrolled at a faculty of law in Novi Sad, Serbia where he earned a Dipl.jur. degree in 2016. He also holds a certificate from Belgrade School of Human Rights “Vojin Dimitrijevic”, Serbia’s most notable human rights oriented educational establishment.