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

The First Annual ERA LGBTI Conference Held in Pristina

First annual conference organized by ERA LGBTI - LGBTI Equal Rights Association was held in the period October 6-8, 2016 in Pristina. The conference gathered 150 activists from 40 organizations from the Western Balkans, Western Europe and the United States. The organizers are: ERA LGBTI, Center for equality and liberty, Center for social group development with the support of the European Commission, USAID, Hirschfeld Edi Fondation and German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

The main topics were legal framework and human rights of LGBT people. Participants agreed that problems are visible in all areas concerning implementation such as protection from violence and discrimination, bullying and harassment, increased hate speech in media and social networks, lack of legislation recognizing the rights of trans or intersex people etc. In the past five years several governments have attempted to design and implement national or local action plans. These have mostly been unsuccessful in their implementation or follow up. Governments still lack the political will and consensus to spend taxpayer’s money on LGBTI issues, failing to recognize the latter’s social, economic and political roles. Action plans have also been unsuccessful in engaging different governmental departments to work on LGBTI rights and take specific actions. LGBTI organizations have had varying degrees of success in engaging with state authorities during complex times of negotiations and reform. With some progress achieved in some countries a lot of work remains to be done.

Objectives of the first annual conference were: to promote a stronger and closer cooperation between national state authorities and the local LGBTI movements; to initiate a regional inter-governmental platform as a way for national authorities to exchange best practices, evaluate progress and increase capacities; to encourage a closer engagement of LGBT organizations with EU integration processes as countries intensify their efforts in joining the European Union. Also the conference participants underlined the significance of assisting member organizations and supporters in discussing and identifying priorities for action in the area of rule of law, EU integration, public campaigning and community mobilization.  

During the conference, 3 plenary panels, 12 workshops, 6 events and numerous meetings aimed at strenghtening regional cooperation. The next conference will be held in Montenegro. 

Public Policy Research Center conducts the research concerning human (in)security of LGBT community. Within the project, Center launched surveys - two are completed and their results are available here and here

Source: Gayten-LGBT, ERA-LGBTI, Photo Source: Gayten-LGBT