LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey

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2020 Annual LGBT Survey Serbia

Topic - Access to Healthcare / Access to Justice / Access to Social Protection / Advocacy / Business / Discrimination / Employment / Family / Gender Identity / Hate Crime / Hate Speech / Homophobia / Non-Discrimination / Policy / Transgender / Violence
Country - Serbia
Resource Type - Report / Research Report
Language - ENGLISH
Year - 2020

Center for Research and Development of society IDEAS in collaboration with ERA member Regional Info Center (RIC), have published their yearly LGBTI+ research, in order to collect data about te position of LGBTI+ persons. The goal of this research is in one hand to increase visibility of the challenges that LGBTI+ persons face every day, and in other hand provide important data for political and measure development in order to secure full respect of human rights of LGBTI+ persons. Decision makers can use this research to identify areas in framework necessary for urgent actions, but also to understand how to track relevant political effects. Sexual orientation and birth identity are in Serbia, as well as across the Western Balkans and the EU, recognized as reason of discrimination, violence, abuse and harassment in different areas of life. The human rights situation of LGBTI+ persons is hard to comprehend in Serbia as there is not in place a system which collects data at the national lavel as such affecting the government’s response to discrimination, violence and the 
The research, which analyzed the answers of 182 LGBTI+ persons shows that this community faces high levels of discrimination and violence and that the work of the government is not sufficient to inmprove the situation. As such, the government needs to: 

Urgently take certain measures which will demonstrate commitment t to protect and go further by rights for LGBTI+ persons and increase their trust in Government institutions;
Ensure the effectiveness of protection mechanism against violence and discrimination; 

Promote mechanisms that will be able to ensure the protection of LGBTI+ citizens from discrimination at work and actualize their full engagement in labor market. 

Results of the research show that LGBTI+ population in Serbia have low trust or no trust at all in the government and it is on same level as back in 2018. 77% of LGBTI+ participants in research think that the Government does not care about the position of LGBTI+ population in Serbian society. Accordingly, 82% of LGBTI+ citizens consider that Serbia is not good place to live as an LGBTI+ person. On subsistence of negative atmosphere in society against LGBTI+ persons leads the fact that only 14% of LGBTI+ citizens feels liberty to show their true identity.
These results prove that Serbia urgently needs to take concrete actions which will show their true commitment to protect and further the law for LGBTI+ persons, as well as their action which they currently implementing is just not enough.
Primarily, LGBTI+ citizens expect from Government that: 

Regulate legal status of same-sex marriage;
Advance protection of violence and discrimination;
Work on raising awareness of population about importance of the realization of 
equality in general, and nondiscrimination or lowing the stereotype and judgment toward LGBTI+ citizens. 

Simultaneously in order to express commitment to further the rights of LGBTI+ persons and ensure that LGBTI+ persons feel as equal members of society, politicians must show openness and support for status promotion of LGBTI+ citizens in society. Additionally, level of exposure of LGBTI+ citizens on discrimination and violence indicates the need of comprehensive and coordinating approach to preferment the position of LGBTI+ citizens, so is necessary that Government develop that plan for preferment the position of LGBTI+ citizens and protection of their human rights and/or integrates systematically relevant questions about LGBTI+ persons in strategic documents. 
In order for LGBTI+ citizens to regain trust in Government and their capability and willingness to protect them, it’s crucial that the government publicly and consistently demonstrates its commitment to protect rights of LGBTII+ citizens and induce them to use more protection mechanisms for discrimination. Government needs to insure effectiveness of protection mechanism against violence and discrimination. 
Results of qualitative part of this research indicate that LGBTI+ citizens are not sufficiently informed about discrimination, nor availability of protection mechanisms against discrimination. High level of distrust of LGBTI+ citizens in Government and protection mechanisms against discrimination and not enough information, are the key factors which lead to uncertainty of LGBTI+ to use available protection mechanisms. That’s it the reason of appeals from LGBTI+ citizens toward Government institutions that are responsible for suppression of violence and discrimination. To overstep this problem, its needed to provide support service for citizens to obtain the necessary information about discrimination and to serve them as support in discrimination and violence cases. Concurrently, its necessary to do parallel work to up front efficiency of protection mechanisms against discrimination and violence and building trust among the citizens in government institutions that serve to protect. 
For that goal, its necessary to analyze the capacities of competent institutions for protection LGBTI+ persons from discrimination and violence, and if necessary, give them support in order to improve their work. Likewise, it is required to perform the analysis of usability for protection mechanisms from discrimination and violence. 
In terms of amending legislation, and in order to contribute full protection of LGBTI+ citizens, its necessary that birth identity recognize as reason of discrimination and further improve legislative framework in order to secure full respect of rights for transgender persons.
Mechanisms needs to be improved to secure protection of LGBTI+ citizens from discrimination at work and accomplish their full involvement in labor market.
Results of research show there is widespread discrimination in the field of work, whereby 16% LGBTI+ persons think they were discriminated last year in the recruitment process, while 24% thinks that in last year was discriminated on work. Fact that consider the most is that 92% of LGBTI+ persons think that existing mechanisms can’t guaranty their protection from discrimination in the workplace, while 83% consider that companies don’t santion properly discrimination in the workplace. We should also keep in mind results of research from IDEAS from 2019., which indicate that 46% LGBTI+ persons reported emotional violence in workspace, 18% violet threats, and even 9% physical attacks.
To improve involvement of LGBTI+ persons on labor market, government needs to recognize important of inclusive work environments and give e ort for their creation. In that case, government should give example and work on development of diversity at the level of national institutions. 
Beside Government, companies need to establish effective measures for protection against discrimination in workplace and insure that all employees can have equal bene t from work, and provide decent work for every worker.