The Protector of Citizens met with representatives of the Duga Association from Sabac to agree to start the joint implementation of activities to support local self-government units to include measures to improve the status of LGBTI people in local action plans. This activity is part of the technical expertise of the European Union and the Council of Europe “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022” joint program to strengthen the capacity of local authorities to mainstream LGBTI rights into local policy documents and through law so that they comply with the recommendations of the Protector of Citizens (Ombudsperson).
The activities will be in line with the recommendation of the Protector of Citizens in its regular annual report for 2017 and then reiterated in the reports for 2018 and 2019 that local government agencies should explicitly include LGBTI persons in local action plans and prescribe measures regarding the status of these persons and make appropriate budgetary resources available for these activities.
In addition, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) stated in its 2017 Monitoring Report on Serbia that “the authorities should put a special focus on improving the personal safety of LGBT people” and in particular “should create a safe environment in giving young LGBT people the information, support and protection they need during the particularly difficult phase of their exit ”(paragraph 102). ECRI also reported that “Statistics show that a significant amount of discrimination against LGBT people is perpetrated by civil servants” (paragraph 103) and regretted that “Civil servants do not always contribute to the strategy’s goal of establishing a culture of tolerance towards LGBT people to promote”. (Clause 104). In the light of these findings, ECRI recommended that “the authorities create a safe environment for LGBT people to continue and develop LGBT training for civil servants” (paragraph 105).
This activity is carried out as part of the action “Promotion of Diversity and Equality in Serbia” within the framework of the joint program “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022” between the European Union and the Council of Europe.