Rainbow Award – to the Department for community policing of the Ministry of Interior

Belgrade, 17.05.2013.

The first “Rainbow” Award was awarded tonight at the Belgrade City Hall – award for contributions to the fight against homophobia and transphobia and for the improvement of the status of LGBT population in Serbia.

RAINBOW-award-anfasThe winner of the “Rainbow” Award is Department for Organization, Prevention and Community Policing of the Police Directorate of the Ministry of Interior (MUP).

The award was awarded in the name of the jury by Ivan Cvejić, editor in chief of the Beta news agency, who justified the jury’s decision with following words:

“MUP’s Department for community policing improved significantly its entire work with LGBT community in the previous period and established a very active communication and cooperation with LGBT organizations when it comes to cases of violence and discrimination, but also through regular consultations regarding the position of LGBT population. Employees of this Department are the first address to which LGBT organizations refer to when it comes to the issues from the MUP’s jurisdiction, but they have also shown great and sincere interest in the improvement of LGBT rights and improvement of their own work, and they have also actively participated at conferences and seminars dedicated to this topic. Even though the winner of this year’s “Rainbow” Award is just one department within the Ministry of Interior, while deciding jury was inspired by the work of numerous other police officers, those who constantly protect gay clubs and cafes, who work on bringing light to the cases of violence and threats, and all those who protected the participants of the 2010 Pride Parade in the most professional way, when many of them were also injured. “Rainbow” Award to the MUP’s Department for community policing is recognition for their previous work, but at the same time an invitation to them, and all other employees of the MUP to continue improving their work in this area. Considering that police is the first instance to which LGBT persons refer to when any incident happens, they will continue to have a wholeheartedly support from the Gay Straight Alliance and other LGBT organizations.”

Chief of that Department, Golub Gacević, who in the name of the employees received the award, said that the jury had a difficult task in deciding who to award. He added that the goal of the police is to provide all citizens with safety and protection of their rights, and the main principle in work is impartiality, regardless of the diversities. According to his words, the focuses of the police work in the last period were activities regarding the raising of the awareness of employees on respecting the rights, especially of the minorities, including members of the LGBT community. „I am glad that we were among the nominees and that we received the award. Communication and development of the partnership between the police and LGBT community contributed to continuous improvement of the safety and the state of human rights, from year to year. Results are recognized and it describes the dedication of the police to the protection of the safety and the accomplishment of the human rights“, Gacević said.

Award ceremony at the ceremonial hall of Belgrade City Hall were attended by Mayor of Belgrade Dragan Djilas, Director of European Integration Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia Milan Pajević, Comissioner for protection of equality Nevena Petrusić, Deputy Ombudsman Tamara Lukšić Orlandić, Director of the Gender Equality Directorate Natalija Mićunović, members of the “Rainbow” Award jury, one of the nominees Gordana Mitrović, representatives of the Ministry for Interior, Ministry of Justice and Public Administration and other institutions, representatives of domestic and foreign organizations, political parties, diplomatic corps, members of the GSA and representatives of LGBT community, as well as the media.

Jury composed of Dragana Nikolić Solomon, Head of the Media Department at the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Ivan Cvejić, Editor in chief of the Beta news agency, Jovana Gligorijević, journalist from weekly newspapers Vreme, Milan Antonijević, Director of Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM), Dušan Maljković, President of Centre for Queer Studies (CKS), Predrag Azdejković, President of Gay Lesbian Info Centre (GLIC) and editor of gay magazine ”Optimist“, and Mirjana Bogdanović, Executive Director of Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), had a very difficult task while choosing both the shortlist candidates as well as the winner of the award, considering that all received nominations were very good and quality.

In addition to the MUP’s Department for community policing, among the shortlist candidates were also Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of Republic of Serbia, director Andrej Nosov, Ministry of Justice and Public Administration and Gordana Mitrović – trans person upon whose life story a movie „When I was a boy, I was a girl“ was based.

Visual identity of the “Rainbow”Award, as well as the award itself which was awarded, were designed by the designer Dragan Lončar.

“Rainbow”Award for contributions to the fight against homophobia and transphobia and protection and improvement of the human rights of LGBT persons in Serbia was established by Gay Straight Alliance (GSA; Alliance), and it will be awarded every May 17th, on the International day against homophobia and transphobia (IDAHO).

Earlier during the day Gay Straight Alliance presented its Annual Report on the status of human rights of the LGBT persons in Serbia for 2012.

Agencies, GSA Info Center