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Today, on 27 June – International Pride Day, the Protector of Citizens, Zoran Pašalić, has said that, legislation-wise, tangible progress has been made in improving the position of LGBT people in the Republic of Serbia, but, in order to improve the quality of life and the exercise of the vulnerable social group’s rights, further amendments to the applicable regulations are necessary.

“Following the Protector of Citizens’ suggestion, the prohibition of gender-based discrimination has been included in the new Law on Gender Equality, while the prohibition of gender-based discrimination of intersex people and explicit prohibition of discriminating against children on the same grounds have been included in the Anti-Discrimination Law”, said Mr. Pašalić.

Pašalić has said that the Institution he heads has worked on initiating better systemic protection of LGBTI people which are still facing discrimination, ill-treatment and violence, and that numerous health and economic challenges faced by people of different sexual orientation and gender identity have been identified during the pandemic.

“Amendments to the Law on Free Legal Aid are needed to include LGBTI people in the category of beneficiaries in a vulnerable position, together with the Law on Textbooks, which would contain an explicit ban on content inciting the formation of prejudices and stereotypes," said the Protector of Citizens.

The Protector of Citizens reminded that in April, he had submitted an Opinion on the Draft Law on Same-Sex Communities to the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and Social Dialogue, and requested that the consequences of affirming gender and gender identity be legally regulated as soon as possible.

"I have been pointing out for a long time to the need to amend the Criminal Code in a way that would treat criminal acts committed on the grounds of sexual orientation as acts of racism and intolerance. The LGBTI people should be enabled to fully enjoy their rights", Pašalić said.