The Protector of Citizens met with the representatives of the Association ‘’Duga’’ from Sabac in order to agree on starting the joint implementation of activities dedicated to providing support to local self-government units in order to incorporate measures to improve the status of LGBTI people in local action plans. This activity is part of the technical expertise provided by the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme „Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022“ in strengthening the capacities of local authorities for mainstreaming LGBTI rights in local policy documents and by-laws in order for them to comply with the Protector of Citizens’ (Ombudsperson) recommendations.
The activities will be in line with the recommendation made by the Protector of Citizens in his regular annual report for 2017, and then repeated in the reports for 2018 and 2019, that local government bodies should explicitly include LGBTI people in local action plans and prescribe measures to improve the status of these persons, as well as to allocate appropriate budget funds for these activities.
In addition, in its 2017 monitoring report on Serbia, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) found that “the authorities should put a special focus on improving the personal security of LGBT persons” and in particular they should “create a safe environment in which young LGBT persons receive the information, assistance and protection they need in the particularly difficult phase of their coming out” (paragraph 102). ECRI likewise reported that “statistics show that a considerable proportion of discrimination against LGBT persons is committed by civil servants” (paragraph 103) and regretted that “public officials do not always contribute to the strategy’s goal of promoting a culture of tolerance towards LGBT persons” (paragraph 104). In view of these findings, ECRI recommended “that the authorities create a safe environment for LGBT persons, that they continue and expand training of public servants on LGBT issues” (paragraph 105).
This activity will be implemented within the action on “Promotion of diversity and equality in Serbia”, as a part of the joint European Union/Council of Europe programme „Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022“.