On December, 18 in Novi sad, at Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina, Labris – Lesbian Human Rights Organization, presented the results of monitoring of implementation of the Recommendation of the Council of Europe regarding the ban of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
The Model Law on Gender Identity, which would regulate rights of transgender persons, was also presented at the conference, by Gayten-LGBT, the Center for Promotion of LGBTIQ Rights.
During 2012 and 2013, Labris – Lesbian Human Rights Organization, in cooperation with ILGA Europe (International Lesbian and Gay Association), monitored the implementation of the Recommendation of the Council of Europe, regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (Recommendation CM/Rec (2010) 5).
Dragana Todorović, on behalf of Labris, spoke about how institutions responded to surveys, which institution did most, and where there was no progress at all. Recommendations, monitoring process and the first results were also presented during 2012, in Belgrade and Novi Sad. During 2013, the process of monitoring continued, and the report was updated with new information, such as the introduction of hate crime to the existing Criminal Code of Serbia.
The operational text of the Recommendation has four main requests: overview of existing measures in order to eliminate all types of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, implementation of effective measures to fight this type of discrimination, assuring that victims have access to effective legal remedies and assuring that the Recommendation is translated and disseminated as much as possible. Another request is, also, for the member states to act according to the principles and measures in the annex of the Recommendation.
Although Serbia has committed to promote, respect and strengthen the rights of the LGBT persons, by ratifying numerous international agreements and documents, and by adopting numerous sectoral and national laws which protect LGBT rights, these laws are not implemented efficiently. The laws where sexual orientation and/or gender identity are explicitly mentioned are the Antidiscrimination Law, Labor Law, Law on Higher Education, Law on Public Information, Law on Broadcasting, Law on Youth, Amendments and Addendums to the Law on Health Insurance, Social Security Law and Law on Amendments and Addendums of the Criminal Code.
There is a lack of systemic approach regarding the effectiveness and improvement of provisions in the existing antidiscrimination laws and bylaws, as well as in the analysis of what could be done in other spheres which are not directly connected to the existing laws, including lack of research and state statistics about cases of discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
There is evidence that shows that state authorities are incapable to efficiently deal with violence and threats, whether this is due to a lack of capacity, whether it has to do with lack of political will. Although there is a relatively adequate legal framework and legal remedies for victims do exist, these are not efficiently applied. Evidence shows that LGBT persons often do not report incidents, as they live in fear of further victimization, and even if they do decide to report an incident, it often happens that the court won’t initiate any legal action, or the court simply delays these cases. Although, there have been good examples of efficiency of police and court work.
Serbia has just recently started promoting and implementing the CMCE Recommendation, which is the result of taking part in the LGBT Project of the Council of Europe, along with Albania, Italy, Montenegro, Latvia and Poland. This is a significant positive signal that Serbia is willing to implement the CMCE Recommendation seriously, since the CMCE Recommendation is the main framework for the LGBT project, which, apart from other activities, includes the development and implementation of the Action plan.
on implementation of the Recommendation CM/
Rec(2010)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member
states on measures to combat discrimination on
grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity in