Category Archives: Regional News

Marriage Equality Comes to Slovenia

Today, HRC commended the government of Slovenia for passing legislation that will make it the 21st nation to grant full marriage rights to all of its citizens


“We commend the elected representatives of Slovenia for passing such historic legislation ensuring the nation’s LGBT citizens receive the rights they deserve, and we congratulate the LGBT activists and advocates who helped make this momentous day possible,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global.

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Slovenia’s national parliament approved the bill by a vote of 51 to 28. The bill will be sent to President Borut Pahor to sign into law.

Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark,France, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, as well as England and Wales in the United Kingdom, have marriage equality laws that have gone into effect. In addition, Finland is set to extend full marriage rights to their LGBT citizens in the coming year.

The situation for LGBT people around the world varies widely, as some countries embrace equality, while in others, LGBT people continue to suffer from discrimination, persecution and violence.

  • Same-sex conduct is criminalized in 76 countries
  • In 10 countries same-sex conduct is punishable by death
  • So-called anti-LGBT “propaganda” laws inhibit LGBT advocacy in three countries
  • Same-sex marriage licenses are issued nationwide in 21 countries
  • In 2014 there were over 200 documented reports of transgender people murdered in 28 countries. There continue to be countless undocumented cases of violence against transgender people throughout the world.

HRC

Wartime rape victims should not be subject to jokes

A talk show host on the Prva srpska televizija (First Serbian TV Station), Ivan Ivanović, mocked victims of rapes committed during and in relation to the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) in his show broadcast on November 30th, 2014, thus seriously offending thousands of rape victims in BiH. Human rights organizations demand that Prva srpska televizija and Ivan Ivanović make a public apology to victims of rapes committed during the war in BiH, and that they show the movie Grbavica, which discusses the fate of women who were raped in BiH, at the usual time dedicated to this talk show, in order to indicate respect for these victims.

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The host of the “Evening with Ivan Ivanović” talk show made the following statement in the part of the show dedicated to jokes (8:25 min): “The number of Bosnian women who have given birth to children before the age of 15 has increased since 1995. And then people say that ‘the blue helmets’ did not do a thing over there.”

Ivanović’s “joke” reinterprets one of the most horrific episodes of the war in BiH in a morbid and offensive manner, showing the mass rapes of young girls and womenas a funny episode in the deployment of international peace keeping troops in BiH, at the same time seriously neglecting a number of judicial facts about the victims and the extent of wartime rapes of women in BiH.

Human rights organizations point to the fact that Ivanović’spossible reference to allegations about the rape of Bosniak women in one of the Serb concentration camps during the war by members of the UN peacekeeping troops, who have not yet been prosecuted, represents a particular insult for the rape victims, who have not seen justice to date.

Autonomous Women’sCenter
Center for Modern Skills
Center for Euro-Atlantic Studies
Center for Cultural Decontamination
Civic Initiatives
Civil Rights Defenders
FLIPSUR – Feminist List Against Wartime Rape in Countries of Former Yugoslavia
Humanitarian Law Center
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
I.A.N. International Aid Network
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM
Regional Minority Center
Victimology Society of Serbia
Women Against Violence
Women in Black
Youth Initiative for Human Rights

Key LGBT topics defined

As part of a larger project aimed to improve the quality of life for the LGBT community in Serbia, one of the country’s gay rights organisations has defined five topics to address the authorities with


In cooperation with the Forum for Ethnic Relations, Labris has defined five priority fields on empowering LGBT people that should be integrated into the public policy. These include: access to justice and the rule of law; security, prevention of and fight against violence; ban of discrimination; education and socio-economic stability; and LGBT culture and identity.

Photo: Guillaume Paumier

Photo: Guillaume Paumier

The topics were defined following numerous consultations the two organizations held with stakeholders. “We may look at these topics from two perspectives — the issue of lack of legislative framework and the issue of meeting the established standards of rights and freedoms,” Labris’ Dragana Todorovic said.

According to her, legislative framework in terms of standards of equality before the law, the right to judicial proceedings, ban of discrimination and access to education and health care is satisfactory. But, the implementation of the laws varies drastically.

“In addition to a comprehensive and systematized mapping of needs and finding appropriate and sustainable solutions to improve the situation of LGBT people, it is important to ensure that the proposed solutions reach out to decision makers,” Todorovic noted. Therefore, the next step is to address the authorities with these five topics.

Labris expects from politicians a partnership in the process of finding appropriate and realistic solutions. “The project offers a new beginning for sustainable and constructive cooperation between state institutions and civil society organizations working on issues of importance to the LGBT people,” Todorovic said.

This project is financially supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

Serbia is a signatory to a number of universal and regional international instruments for the protection of human rights, which clearly prohibit discrimination against LGBT people. However, for years there have been a problem with law enforcement and respect for the rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

According to surveys, Serbian society remains deeply homophobic, as a result of which gay people tend to live in isolation and with a high degree of secrecy.

In 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, the authorities banned gay parades after police declared they could not safeguard marchers against threats of violence coming from right-wing groups. The Gay Pride march went ahead in 2010, but several thousand youngsters, including football fans and members of rightist organisations, threw stones and missiles at the police, injuring police officers and setting buildings and vehicles on fire.

Belgrade-based Labris, founded in 1995, is one of the oldest lesbian human rights organizations in the region. It considers the right to different sexual orientation as one of the basic human rights. Since its foundation, Labris has conducted more than 70 projects on empowering LGBT people.

Source: Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade

LGBT in Serbia: Trans* Issues

In recent years, Serbia has become known worldwide as a center for sex-reassignment surgeries for transgender people. Sex reassignment surgeries have been performed in Serbia since 1989, and since an amendment to the Health Insurance Law by the Parliament in 2011, Serbia has made these surgeries subsidized by state provided health insurance. Costs are also kept low for foreigners who enter the country to undergo the procedure in an act of what is now called “medical tourism” and has been noted by publications such as the New York Times in their article “Serbia Becomes a Hub for Sex-Change Surgery.”

This reporting, however, gives a false impression of the quality of life for transgender people in Serbia. According to this report to the Council of Europe, transgender people are more likely to face employment discrimination or get fired from their jobs when they are undergoing sex reassignment surgeries or procedures. This systematic disenfranchisement of transgender people in Serbia, like in many places around the world, often leads disproportionate numbers of trans* people (especially transwomen) to turn to sex work, which may be both illegal (as in Serbia) and dangerous.

Transgender people in Serbia are also more likely to face violent attack. In 2009, transgender woman Minja Kočiš was brutally attacked and killed in her own apartment in Belgrade. In writing, the Anti-Discrimination Law is in place as the first piece of Serbian legislation that prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “gender or gender change” in addition to sexual orientation; however, this is often not enforced on the level of the Serbian courts, where hate crimes are often not recognized as such but rather as misdemeanor charges.

There also exist many issues for transgender people to obtain proper legal status in Serbia. Though sex reassignment surgeries may be legal and available in Serbia, there currently exists no path available for a transgender person to legally change their name and gender status on governmental documents, or their personal identification number. There is no legislation in place that would regulate family law issues pertaining to trans* people post-transition, and there is no protection of the right for the partners of trans* people or the parental rights of trans* people. As noted by this shadow report made to the UN on the status of LGBT people in Serbia, this lack of legislation concerning transgender issues is tantamount to a denial of legal recognition of transgender people in Serbia, and is in blatant violation of Articles 16 and 17 of the ICCPR as well as Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

It is a bizarre juxtaposition to see Serbia often cited in international media and by celebrities  as the ultimate destination for cheap but high-quality sex reassignment surgeries, while in Serbia trans* people still face discrimination in employment despite legislation, and have virtually no avenue for legal recognition of a medical/legal change in their sex.

Safe and Equal: Non-discrimination and Diversity Management in Employment

entersupport

Partners: Škuc-LL (Slovenia), Labris (Serbia) and Gayten (Serbia)

Contracting Authority: Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia

The 24 months project  »Safe and Equal: Non-discrimination and Diversity Management in Employment«  is cooperation among Slovenian and Serbian partners. The action encompasses promotion of cultural diversity and capacity building of community based organisations for advancing the rights of discriminated groups and to provide services also in less developed Serbian regions.The project is relevant to several EU instrument for the promotion and consolidation of democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedom.

The project promotes gender mainstreaming as a horizontal priority of EU policy development and legislation in all areas of life and work. Adequately, the needs of disabled people are respected in all segments of the project (disability users’ friendly website, accessible venues, services). The relevance of the action is also in line with implementation of the European Employment Strategy: improvement of the working environment and conditions including health and safety at work and reconciling work and family life; effective implementation of the principle of non-discrimination and promotion of its mainstreaming in all EU policies; effective implementation of the principle of gender.

The weak implementation of anti – discrimination measures and the lack of integral approach to equal opportunities are main reasons why different vulnerable groups in employment are still exposed to discrimination. During the global economy crisis employers introduce financial restrictions, which make vulnerable and minority groups even less competitive and equal opportunities less accessible to all. Main obstacle for struggle against discrimination in employment is stigmatization of minorities and vulnerable groups and prejudices on how e.g. disabled, Roma, older people, young people, migrants, LGBT people, women are less reliable, motivated or efficient workers, but rather connected to higher business risk, even loss. Many workers and employment seekers are confronted with the burden of prejudices and stereotypes, which are an obstacle on their way to equality. However it seems that in spite of protective legislation the basic prejudices remain; deeply rooted in mentality of people and traditional ideology, prejudices are hard to overcome. But once they are, it is for good. To challenge intolerance, stereotypes and negative thinking, early education and awareness raising is crucial. Therefore we developed the idea of educational pilot project focused on introducing new measures for equal opportunities and to transfer Slovenian good practice and innovative method for diversity management and anti-discrimination to Serbian partners. The project includes trainings of trainers in this important area, and as well identification and analysis of good practice. We are focusing on human rights CSOs, because they have vivid interest and real potential to change the mentality of people and to make them learn new ideas. Simultaneously we intend to conduct a national media campaign for awareness raising of decision/policy makers, social partners and general public. Our aim is active promotion of equal opportunities in employment and labor market.

Project is supported by Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia (EU Civil Society Facility Serbia Programme)

The information contained does not necessary reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.

 

 

 

Political Leadership Training for LGBT People in the Balkans

A three-day training “LGBT Political Leadership– Myself as a Change Maker”, organized by Labris, Gay and Lesbian Victory Institute and NDI, in cooperation with the Heinrich Boll Foundation, was successfully carried out from May 23 to May 25, 2014 in Belgrade


This training was the first out of six planned training sessions, and has gathered twenty participants from the Balkans region. Training sessions are a first phase of a broader three-year project “Political Engagement of LGBT People – Training for Political Leadership” supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID ) and the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.

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The aim of the training was to provide the participants with insight and background information on the role of LGBT persons as potential leaders in changing political realities and actors of the democratization of the society. Through various sessions participants have been provided with arguments for the importance of inclusion of LGBT persons in the processes of democratization, and have also been offered with examples of good practices that exist around the world, as well as examples of personal experiences of LGBT politicians in Serbia, including possible consequences and safety issues related to their political engagement. In addition, the participants had an opportunity to learn about leadership skills and political strategies, as well as ways to recognize the importance of good assessment of circumstances in relation to identifying possible means to achieve political change.

Training sessions have been tailored to meet participant’s expectations, including developing their personal and professional capacities, in relation to political, leadership and communication skills, as well as increasing knowledge about lobbying and advocating for LGBT rights. Six cycles of trainings will also be an excellent opportunity for networking with other participants from the region, while exchanging experiences.

The second cycle of trainings entitled “Political Systems in the Balkans” will be held in Belgrade from 21-22 June, 2014, during which participants will have an opportunity to learn from Christina Wilford, the regional director of National Democratic Institute in Ukraine, and an expert in the area of policy development and citizen’s advocacy.

The Belgrade Pride week POSTPONED

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Due to the natural disaster that has struck Serbia, the Organizing Committee of the Belgrade Pride, the team of volunteers and the numerous associates would like to express their deepest sympathy and solidarity with the citizens of Serbia.

The activists of LGBT organisations are already in the field. They are helping to suppress the floods, collecting food, clothing and footwear, and using all available resources to assist the affected population.

We are proud of the citizens of Serbia for the courage and humaneness that they have demonstrated in the battle with the elements of nature. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the members of the police forces, army, gandarmerie and all the volunteers that are unselfishly helping to save human lives.

The Organizing Committee of the Belgrade Pride expresses its gratitude to all those that have taken part in the organization of the Pride Week and invites the LGBT community, and all citizens who are able to do so, to focus their energy in the following days on providing assistance to the population affected by the floods.

The new dates for the Pride Week will be communicated to the public in due course.

 

The Organizing Committee of the Belgrade Pride

Women’s human rights are not a priority for the new Serbian government

Labris – Lesbian Human Rights Organization strongly condemns the shameful decision of the Assembly of the Republic of Serbia to adopt the new Law on Ministries, which was made on Saturday, April 26, 2014, by which the Gender Equality Directorate is abolished. Decision was made without establishing a new mechanism with a mandate to create, implement and oversee the implementation of gender equality policies and measures


This act violated the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia, which obliges the state to implement equal opportunities policies and which states that acquired levels of achievement of human rights cannot be reduced. In addition, the abolishment of the Gender Equality Directorate is also an act which is opposite to the international standards that Serbia has adopted and proclaimed on its path to the EU accession.

During the parliamentary debate various excuses in the attempt to justify this decision could be heard, and varied form austerity measures and complaints about lack of efficiency and transparency, to the fact that this body served the interests of a small circle of people and civil society organizations, including the alarming statement made by Marija Obradović (MP of the Serbian Progressive Party) that there are more urgent issues to be solved in Serbia than women’s rights. In addition, Aleksandra Tomić (Serbian Progressive Party) also stated that the new concept of the Government exceeds the need for having a Gender Equality Directorate, with no explanation of how the new Government intends to deal with this issue in its future work.

Serbia's new prime minister via Reuters

Serbia’s new prime minister via Reuters

While Labris believes that there was a need to discuss and criticize the work of the Gender Equality Directorate, which is something that Labris has been doing continuously due to complete ignorance of the problems that lesbians in Serbia are faced with, Labris believes that the abolition of this institution is not an adequate solution but rather a dangerous step backwards and collapsing of the multi-year effort of the women’s movement to establish an institutional framework for the creation and pursuance of gender equality.

Bearing in mind the terrifying data, that (according to the CSO resources) during 2013 in Serbia more than 40 women were killed in the context of partnership and domestic violence, that every second woman in Serbia has experienced some form of violence, while one in three was physically assaulted by a family member, and that women are facing various forms of discrimination on every-day basis in the areas of labor, employment, education and health care, where particularly vulnerable multiply marginalized women are targeted ( such as Roma women, lesbians, single mothers, women with disabilities, women in rural areas, etc) we believe that the decision to revoke the Gender Equality Directorate as a key institutional mechanism for achieving gender equality, is irresponsible and inappropriate, and leads us to the conclusion that the promotion of human rights will not be a priority of the new Government.

This concern is further confirmed by the fact that, although covering diverse topics, in yesterday’s three-hour speech, made by the new Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, in the Serbian Parliament, importance of promoting gender equality and women’s human rights, as well as other marginalized groups, such as the LGBT community were not once pointed out.

Prime Minister Committed an Act of Discrimination

Commissioner for Protection of Equality found that the statements Ivica Dacic made about LGBT people represent harassment and humiliation. The leaving Prime Minister, according to the Commissioner’s recommendation, has to refrain from making such statements which offend dignity of LGBT people, and has to receive a delegation of Labris in order to immediately find out what kind of problems LGBT persons are facing


Commissioner for Protection of Equality found that leaving Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, when speaking about the Pride Parade in his address to the media on September 23, 2013, committed an act of discrimination by making harassing and humiliating statements that offend the dignity of LGBT people.

Specifically, in his address to the media a few days before the fourth ban of the Pride Parade, Dacic stated:

Photo: sfgate via creative commons

Photo: sfgate via creative commons


“They are equal with other citizens, but do not tell me that this is normal when it is not. If this is normal, why are we the exceptions?”

“Homosexuals have the same rights but not the right to set any rules of conduct. I don’t hate them, I just cannot accept that this is normal because it is not natural. If this is the minority and the exception, then they should be careful not to offend the feelings of the majority.”

“If it exists in the EU that does not mean that we should support this phenomenon. So please, I don’t want anyone to tell me that it’s a model according to which we are going to raise and educate our children. They have the right to assemble, but I’d rather they do not gather because of security reasons.”

Dacic also stressed that it is still not known whether the Pride Parade will be held, but that he found it is not normal that someone is planning that gathering.

Considering these statements as discriminatory and as fuelling prejudice toward LGBT people as “unnatural and sick”, Labris, together with other civil society organizations (Autonomous Women’s Center, Belgrade Centre for Human Rights, Gayten LGBT – Centre for the Promotion of LGBTIQ Human Rights, Gay and Lesbian Information Centre, Goosi – Gay organization of persons with disabilities, Support group for young LGB people – “Izadji” (Come out), Women’s Space, YUCOM – Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights, Queeria – Centre for the Promotion of culture of nonviolence and equality, Kulturpark, the Network of Committees for Human Rights in Serbia – Chris, Regional Centre for Minorities Reconstruction Women’s Fund, Safe pulse of Youth and many individuals) filed a complaint according to the Antidiscrimination Law.

Such statements not only justify discrimination and violence against LGBT people, but also promote discrimination and violence toward LGBT people as a socially desirable behaviour. Besides making the additional distance between heterosexual and LGBT persons, these statements represent sexual orientation as something that is a matter of choice; disregarding the fact that sexual orientation is a given characteristics, one of the many personal characteristics of an individual.

Invited to comment on the allegations in the complaint, Dacic continued further discrimination, and while ignoring the responsibility of his position, he said that the opinion of the majority is what is relevant and what is to be supported, because that is what democracy is.

We are wondering if there is any place for minorities in such a democracy, where he, as a Prime minister only supports the attitudes of the majority.

Following this vision of democracy, the question would be, whether he would, for example, support violence and discrimination against asylum seekers and Croats, as the majority attitude of the citizens of Serbia towards these minority groups is negative? We would like to remind Mr. Dacic, as well as other representatives of public authorities, that protection and promotion of the rights of minority groups is one of the basic features of a democratic society.

Commissioner for Protection of Equality stated that such discriminatory statements do not contribute to the development of tolerance and they are just further deepening animosity and hatred against LGBT people.

The statement that homosexuality is not normal or natural, represents unacceptable labelling and insulting the dignity of the persons, creating a humiliating and offensive environment for them. These statements have special weight bearing on mind that they were made by the highest state official whose constitutional and statutory duty is to comply with principles of anti-discrimination and equality of all citizens and not just the opinion of the majority.

Giving such statements is degrading and insulting, and contributes to the creation and maintenance of stereotypes and prejudices, stigmatization and intolerance. This is especially so taking into account the extremely negative social perception of LGBT people and the high level of homophobia, which is not an innate human characteristic, but rather an ideological position that is adopted by socialization and reproduced through practices based on ignorance. Bearing this on mind, everyone else who by its authority, influence the creation of public opinion, aware of their responsibility for public spoken word must be especially careful. Therefore, this makes their commitment not to encourage and act in support of stereotypes of LGBT people even more important.

We use this opportunity to remind that in Serbia, the Anti- Discrimination Law entered into force in spring 2009 and that, among other groups, discrimination against LGBT people based on their personal characteristics – sexual orientation – is prohibited by Article 12.

Labris expresses satisfaction over another complaint that was resolved in favour of LGBT people and we will continue to respond to the cases of discrimination in the future by using the mechanisms for the protection of human rights and by monitoring the implementation of those regulations that protect the basic human rights of the LGBT community.

Ministry of Education closes the door to the homophobia

Representatives of Labris presented results of an analysis of the discriminatory content of high school and college textbooks to the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development, g. Tomislav Jovanovic


Referring to the anti-discrimination law, the law on the textbooks and other teaching aids, the Anti-discrimination Strategy, the recommendations issued by the office of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality (recommendations to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia, the National Council of Education and the Department of improving the quality of education for removal of discriminatory content from the teaching materials and practices, and to promote tolerance and respect for human rights), as well as the latest analysis of the books part of high school and college (Labris, 2014), Labris representatives at the meeting held on Wednesday, 29 January of 2014. reached an agreement with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development about the necessity of the changes of discriminatory content on the same-sex sexual orientation from teaching material.

Photo: B92

Photo: B92

Discriminatory content, which is prohibited by Article 4 of Law on textbooks and other teaching aids, is presenting same-sex sexual orientation, as a sick, pathological, abnormal, and still is presented in the textbooks of high school and college textbooks, is shown in analysis done by Labris in period from 2006 to 2014.

“Among homosexuals there are plenty of masochists”, “A special group of sexual disorders includes homosexualism (male and female) and transsexualism”, “Homosexual acts are, however, sometimes executed to avoid the development of a malignant paranoid psychosis. It has been noticed that sometimes homosexualism is accompanes by, simultaneously or alternately, transvestism, fetishism and exhibitionism” (M. Popović, V. Jerotić: Psihoterapija i psihodinamika neuroza, Beograd, Nolit, 1985) – These are only few examples which are presented in the Labris analysis.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, and representatives of Labris agreed that such examples undoubtedly affect the formation of discriminatory environment for LGBT students as well as creation of an atmosphere of social intolerance and intolerance toward this minority group.

Addition to the presentation of the legislative framework, the negative attitudes in textbooks, coordinators of Labris reminded The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development on the recommendations in relation to this subject drafted by the Commissioner for Protection of Equality. The Office of the Commissioner for Equality in December 2010 formed the working group for the analysis of the curriculum and teaching materials in terms of their compliance to the principles of education for human rights and inclusive society. The working group had a task to collect, analyze and summarize the results of analysis of the curriculum, textbooks and other educational materials for high school and college and based on that analysis to develop a proposal of recommendations on how are relevant issues related to human rights, non-discrimination, tolerance , nonviolence, equality, acceptance of diversity and etc. are to be integrated into the curricula and textbooks in accordance to the principles of education for human rights and inclusive society. The working group was consisted of members of the relevant civil society organizations engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights.

The working group, among other things, proposed following measures:

  • The introduction of affirmative and accurate presentation of same-sex sexual/emotional orientation, as well as transgender and intersex identities in all textbooks (both natural and social sciences), including examples LGBTTIAQ individuals as a part of historical and modern democratic societies;
  • The removing of the stereotyping of gender roles, professions and encouraging varieties; insisting on the multiplicity and complexity of human identity, value the individuality, the solidarity and the creativity regardless of gender;
  • The expulsion from the textbooks and curricula terminology which is outdated, obsolete and offensive, especially the expulsion of content abound medical approach, stating the diagnosis and prejudices in relation to the capacity of children, especially children with disabilities;
  • The curriculum and teaching material should present different models of families in the modern society (single parents, foster families, families without children, same-sex families, etc.);
  • The teaching materials in its content, and teachers in their teaching practices and ways of working with the students, should foster awareness of diversity, promote non-violent culture, equality and non-discriminatory practices, as postulates of the democratic society based on respect for the human rights.

Labris demands that the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, the National Council of Education and the Department of improving the quality of education urgently act according to the current anti-discrimination law, the law on the textbooks and other teaching aids, the Anti-discrimination Strategy, the recommendations issued by the office of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality and to remove content that discriminate and marginalize a part of the society. There is no doubt that the development of any society depends on young people finishing education and entering the labor and intellectual forces of one country and that is why it is good for us to pay special attention on this issue especially in regards of the European course for which the Government of Republic of Serbia is committed.

Schools and collages with outdated textbooks are the source of violence not only for the students but also for the teaching staff. Due to the lack of interaction with peers who are in any way “different” and due to lack of understanding of universal social diversity, and consequently the rejection, deepens the discriminatory behavior, violence and exclusion. Labris belives that it’s time for change!