GSA meets Serbian Government representatives

After Wednesday’s anti-violence protest Dosta je! (It’s enough!) held in front of the Serbian Government headquarters, which was organized by Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), a delegation of GSA had meetings on Thursday October 20th, 2011 with Nenad Đurđević, Head of the Directorate of Human and Minority Rights in the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Public Admistration and Local Self-government, and Slobodan Homen, State Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Government’s Public Relations Coordinator.

During his visit to GSA office, Nenad Đurđević announced a conducting of a national campaign aimed at increasing tolerance and supressing discrimination in our society. He underlined that non-governmental organizations which deal with the protection of human rights will also be consulted during the organization of the campaign.

GSA representatives talked with Đurđević about a need for forming of a body which would create a national program for systematic fight against violence and discrimination of all minority and marginalized groups.

After this, GSA delegation repeated the same demands during the meeting with Slobodan Homen in the Ministry of Justice headquarters. Homen suggested forming an interministerial commission of the Serbian Government which would consist of the representatives of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Public Admistration and Local Self-government, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the Office of Equality Protection Commissioner, Ombudsman, State Prosecution, Gay Straight Alliance and other non-governmental organizations, and other experts. The State Secretary announced that this proposal for forming the commission will be submitted to the government for debate.

During the meeting, Slobodan Homen announced amends in the Criminal Law which would enter parliament procedure before the end of this year. In the light of this, GSA representatives explained the need for the introduction of hate crime in the Criminal Law. A possibility of improving the existing legal provisions was also mentioned.

GSA wants to believe that these two meetings represent an announcment that the Serbian Government will make real moves towards finding systematic solutions for supressiong violence and discrimination in which legal system and police play crucial roles. However, GSA will not give up on its demands issued to the Serbian Government during the Dosta je! protest which are mainly related to a serious fight for decreasing violence and discrimination by the state, and, if there is a need, GSA will not hesitate to continue protesting on the streets until these demands are met.

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