Annual Report Criticizes Local Government’s Obstruction of the Freedom of Assembly

Hate speech, discrimination and violence against sexual minorities are still widespread in Bosnia, with negative trends such as domestic and peer violence being on the rise, according to an annual report on gay rights in the country.

LGBTI persons are often unable to lead a normal life or meet basic human, social or cultural needs, according to the 2018 Pink Report, compiled by the Sarajevo Open Center. The organization’s report says that fear from violence, discrimination and exclusion frequently results in extreme self-isolation and reluctance to engage in certain cultural or social activities. On a positive note, the legislation protecting the human rights of LGBTI persons has improved somewhat since 2015.

The results of discrimination and violence monitoring  in 2017 indicate that transgender persons are particularly vulnerable in Bosnia. The negative trend of growing domestic violence and peer violence on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity continued in 2017. According to the report, there is still no concrete, institutional plan to combat peer violence and develop an inclusive, tolerant learning environment that incorporates the LGBTI perspective.

LGBTI-protesti

The organization identified the local government’s restriction of LGBTI persons’ freedom of assembly by using administrative obstacles as the most alarming trend. If it continues,
the report authors argue, the trend could seriously hamper the work of activists and civil society organisations that work on protecting the rights of LGBTI persons.

The negative trends elicited only sporadic responses from most institutions in charge of protecting and promoting human rights, including the rights of LGBTI persons. The lack of a systematic, timely and adequate response from the authorities may further undermine the faith of LGBTI persons in the institutions, especially those most responsible for protecting human rights: the police and judiciary, as well as local institutions in charge of providing services to LGBTI citizens, according to the report.

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