Ministry drawing up the National strategy for battling discrimination

Belgrade, 02.05.2012.

Gay Straight Alliance (GSA; Alliance) commends the decision of the Directorate of Human and Minority Rights of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Public Administration and Local Self-Government to begin drawing up the National Strategy for Battling Discrimination (NSBD; Strategy) and steps it has taken in that direction.

A systemic approach by the state and its institutions, drawing up and implementing a strategy for reducing violence, discrimination and homophobia, has been for a long time one of the main requests that GSA has been negotiating about with the Serbian authorities. This was a topic of dialogue with parliamentary political parties and institutions, it was one of the demands from the Pride Parade 2010, a demand from the protest „It’s enough!“ held in October 2011 by the Alliance, as well as the goal of numerous project activities that GSA realised in the meantime.

GSA is pleased that, at the instigation of the Commissioner for Protection of Equality and with the support of the Directorate of Human and Minority Rights, the National Strategy for Battling Discrimination will encompass a wider field of human rights and increasing tolerance, and that it will apply not only to LGBT people, but also other groups whose position needs improvement, such as women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, national minorities, religious groups, and others.

Drawing up the Strategy and especially its effective implementation, are of great importance for the systematisation of existing problems, for assessing priorities and for a quality improvement of human rights as a whole, which is why GSA expects that the future governing coalition which is to be formed after the elections will also understand the importance of the Strategy, and that it will not sabotage its creation and implementation.

The Alliance believes that the chosen expert team responsible for the Strategy will perform their job very professionally and properly, but it also feels that the participation of civil society organisations, their experience, knowledge and expertise are of enormous value. GSA would therefore like to invite their colleagues from civil society who deal with human rights in various areas to respond to the public invitaiton of the Human and Minority Rights Administration for participating in thematic groups which will be involved in creating the NSBD and/or give their comments and suggestions.

Info Centre GSA