Project: How does Security Sector Reform Affect Human Security in Serbia? Reassessing the impact on LGBT

CENTRE’s Poll: Institutions provide protection, but also engage in discrimination against LGBTI

More than three-fifths of respondents in the CENTRE’s survey completely or partly agree with the following statement - institutions in Serbia discriminate against LGBTI population. The survey results are compatible with earlier findings of the Ombudsman and Commissioner for Protection of Equality. In their annual reports, they pointed out that LGBTI population is among the most discriminated groups in our society while institutions which are responsible for implementation of anti-discriminatory laws are often source of discriminatory practices. Around one fifth of total respondents do not agree completely or partly with the abovementioned statement, whereas around one tenth is indifferent. These results probably mirror legal improvements and reflect the fact that Pride Parades are nowadays organized with fewer tensions in society.

This poll is the first in series of four polls the CENTRE is going to conduct within the project “How does Security Sector Reform Affect Human Security in Serbia? Reassessing the impact on LGBT”. The aim is to motivate broader audience to reflect on the LGBT position in the society and the role of policy makers in addressing their security needs. The first poll in the row was available online from June 10 to July 10, and targeted respondents aged 15-44 in Serbia. Respondents were able to engage in the poll through the CENTRE’s website and get additional information about the aim of the project. More than a half of the respondents were between 20 to 34 years old and are Belgrade based.

Regarding answers of respondents living in Belgrade, none of those aged 15-19 agree with the statement that institutions discriminate against LGBT. Nevertheless, one must take in account that respondents of this age are the least represented in the survey either in the capital or other parts of Serbia. The most diverse attitudes were expressed by people in the age group 20-29 – around a half of participants aged 20-24 completely or partly agree with the survey statement, whereas two-thirds disagree completely or partly. Similar pattern of responds is noticed in the group 25-29; in particular this group exhibits ratio 52% agree to 44% disagree. It is noteworthy that those aged 25-29 (48%) who completely agree outnumber those aged 20-24 (33%). Older respondents (30-34, 40-44) largely expressed strong opinion depicting institutions as source of discrimination (respectively 80%, 71%).  However, between 26% and 28% of respondents in age groups 35-39 and 40-44 partly or entirely disagree with the survey statement.

Majority of respondents aged 20-24 living in Vojvodina acknowledges institutional discrimination against the LGBT population (56% of them partly agree, 66% completely do), whereas one fifth disagree and 11% is indifferent. In the age group 25-29 the same percent of respondents agree and disagree with the statement in question. Respondents aged 30-39 are not sure regarding institutional discriminatory practices against LGBT (67% and 50% in the group 30-34 and 35-39, respectively), while those who are 40-44 years old all are sure that these practices do occur.

In the region of Sumadija and Western Serbia, practically all the respondents in the group 20 to 29 express agreement with the statement. Due to relatively small sample, prevailing answers of other groups do not provide clear stance on the issue.

Last but not least, equal number young respondents (25-29) living in Southern and Eastern Serbia entirely agrees and partly disagrees with the statement. Their a bit older fellow citizens between 30-34 and 35-39 have unanimous view of the situation (either completely agree or partly disagree). 67% of the oldest respondents partly agree in contrast to 33% of them who partly agree with the statement that institutions discriminate against LGBT in Serbia.

The ongoing project represents a follow-up of the earlier CENTRE's study LGBT and Security Sector Reform in the Republic of Serbia (2011) and a comparative analysis of previous and upcoming results. CENTRE will identify progress achieved in the meantime and the dynamics between of the reforms targeting the LGBT's human security which have been implemented since 2011. The 2011 study is the first such analysis which explored the security issues within the LGBT community in Serbia concerning their relationship with the police and military. The results are available in English