Tanja Miščević receives the “Rainbow” Award for 2013/14

Belgrade, 09.06.2014.

The second “Rainbow” Award, which is given for contributions in the fight against homophobia and transphobia and in the protection and improvement of human rights of LGBT people in Serbia for the past year, was awarded today at a ceremony in the Belgrade City Hall.

tanja-miscevic-nagrada-duga-2013-14The winner of the “Rainbow” Award for 2013/14 is Tanja Miščević, Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the EU.

Ivan Cvejić, a member of the jury and editor in chief of Beta news agency, announced the winner and explained the panel’s decision in the following manner:
“Bearing in mind a great number of very serious nominations for the “Rainbow” Award this year, the jury tried to view numerous aspects of all the candidates’ work and activities in the past year. Tanja Miščević was an unambiguous choice because of her noted and public advocacy for the respecting of human rights of LGBT people in Serbia and for spreading awareness about tolerance towards the LGBT community.
From her position as the head of the negotiating team, she has devoted herself seriously and with great enthusiasm to the issue of human rights of LGBT people in Serbia. On account of that, she initiated and realized a number of activities which aimed to improve and protect the rights of LGBT people, including the preparation of a working plan for improving the status of LGBT people in Serbia, the coordination of numerous departments and institutions in order to realize this plan, and the establishment of dialogue and cooperation with the part of non-governmental sector which deals with LGBT issues. The main characteristic of her engagement in this area is understanding the need to approach this topic in a systematic and strategic way, i.e. that there are numerous departments which need to be involved in order to improve the quality of life of the Serbian LGBT community and in order to increase tolerance in the society. For this reason, she has initiated cooperation with numerous ministries and institutions, motivating them to work together to accomplish goals which are important to the process of EU-integrations and to the society as a whole.
Tanja Miščević has repeatedly in her public statements indicated the importance of reducing discrimination and increasing tolerance towards the LGBT community, always in the affirmative sense. Unequivocally and publicly she has supported the 2013 Pride Parade and together with the then Minister without portfolio responsible for European integration, announced her participation at the event.
On behalf of the jury, I would also like to remind that the “Rainbow” Award is not only an honor, but also an obligation for all the winners to continue engaging in the protection and improvement of the human rights of LGBT people. We are convinced that Tanja Miščević will continue to do so.”

Tanja Miščević was presented the award by Golub Gačević, Assistant Head of Uniformed Police Directorate, as a representative of the last year’s winner of the “Rainbow” Award – the Department for community policing of the Ministry of interior. Tanja Miščević said that receiving the “Rainbow” Award is a great honor for her, but also a responsibility, because she deeply believes in protection of human rights and the necessity for development and improvement of LGBT rights in Serbia. After she expressed her thanks for the award, she added that this award represents recognition for all that lies ahead of Serbia.

“What lies ahead is harmonization with European standards and values. Minority rights are a key item on that road”, Miščević said.

She added that everybody can sometimes be a minority and that anybody’s rights can be violated, which is why we must persist in this fight. “I’ll see you at the Parade”, Miščević concluded.

The award ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture and Information Ivan Tasovac, along with representatives of institutions, international organizations, diplomatic corps, non-governmental sector and media.

This year, on the short list for ”Rainbow” Award were: association of citizens ”Generator” from Vranje, director Stevan Bodroža, Office for human and minority rights of the Government of Republic of Serbia, Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the EU Tanja Miščević, and singer Marija Šerifović.

The “Rainbow” Award was established by GSA and it has been awarded since last year, through a public competition, on the occassion of the 17th May – the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO), for contributions in the fight against homophobia and transphobia and in the protection and improvement of human rights of LGBT people in Serbia for the past year.

The winner is chosen by an independent jury chosen every year from the ranks of eminent individuals in various areas, from media, academia, national and international organizations, etc. Besides GSA activists, the jury also includes activists from other LGBT rights organisations, as well as previous award winners. This year’s judging panel was: Ivan Cvejić, editor in chief of Beta news agency; Jovana Gligorijević, journalist for Vreme newspapers; Novak Vučinić, representative of the Department for community policing of the Ministry of interior on behalf of the last year’s award winner; Boris Trivan, programme director of the Institute for Digital Communications; Aleksandar Prica, president of the organisation “Rainbow”, Šabac; Predrag Azdejković, president of Gay and Lesbian Info Centre (GLIC) and editor of gay magazine “Optimist“, and Lazar Pavlović, president of GSA.

The award ceremony was originally supposed to be held on the 16th May 2014, but because of the situation in the country on account of the floods, this event was postponed. Today’s “Rainbow” award ceremony began with a minute of silence for the flood victims.

Info Center GSA, Beta news agency, Tanjug news agency
Photo: GSA