With the aim of improving the position of LGBTI people in the Republic of Serbia, this year, the Protector of Citizens will conduct 15 trainings for local self-government units’ staff in order to facilitate the inclusion of this community into the activities of the environment they live in, said Ms. Jelena Stojanović, the Deputy Protector of Citizens for Gender Equality.
The Protector of Citizens, in cooperation with “Duga” Association, organizes the project of trainings in local self-government units, which envisages that local self-government units explicitly include LGBTI people in their local action plans, proscribe measures and activities for improving their position and allocate adequate budgetary funds for those activities, Stojanović has underlined at the Second Meeting of the Beneficiary Steering Committee of Horizontal Facility II for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022.
Within the online session “Promotion of diversity and equality in Serbia”, Stojanović has said that LGBTI people have been facing hate speech, threats and violence and that the Protector of Citizens has been advocating for a long time for systemic solution to the problems faced by LGBTI population.
Stojanović recalled that the Protector of Citizens had issued to all local self-government units the Recommendation to include LGBTI community members into their local action plans three years before and had repeated the Recommendation every year. She added that, due to the conditions imposed by Covid-19 virus pandemic, 7 trainings were held, attended by 47 representatives from 16 local self-government units.
Ms. Stojanović said that the Protector of Citizens, within the project activities in 2021, expected support for drafting and presenting a publication for children and youth on the rights of LGBTI people, in order to point out their rights and to acquaint children and youth with competencies of the Protector of Citizens and the way how to address the Institution.
All activities are held within the Council of Europe project "Promoting Diversity and Equality", financially supported by the European Union.
The trainings on raising awareness of LGBTI people’s rights in their local communities will not be a final engagement of the Protector of Citizens on the protection of the rights of minorities and particularly vulnerable groups, said Stojanović adding that within the same project the Protector of Citizens should conduct trainings for the Councils for Interethnic Relations in cooperation with the Ministry of State Administration and Local Self-Government.