Sarajevo Open Centre, supported by USAID’s Program Marginalized Populations Support Activity (USAID/PPMG) within the project ”Development of institutional network of support for LGBTI persons in Canton Sarajevo”, held a two-day training with 32 prosecutors and expert assistants of prosecutor’s office in Canton Sarajevo on the 4th and 5th November 2017. This is the first time ever that a judicial institution has delegated this number of its representatives in order to attend a training on human rights of LGBTI persons, and to recognize the importance of such trainings for their further professional work.
Two-day training was on rights and better understanding of problems faced by lesbians, gays, bisexual, trans and intersex persons (LGBTI) in Bosnia and Herzegovina called ”Prejudice as a motivation for committing hate crimes – combating violence towards LGBTI persons, experiences in Bosnia and Herzegovina and region”.
One of the goals was to senszibilize and inform prosecutors about effective ways of protection and prosecution of violated human rights on the ground of sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics in B&H, in accordance to domestic law, and in respect to international and regional law standards. In addition, the aim of the training was to inform prosecutors with the improvement of the Criminal Law and practices in the field of human rights protection, especially of LGBTI persons as a marginalized group that are of importance for their work.
On the first day of this training Slobodanka Dekić talked to prosecutors about LGBTI terminology, prejudices and stereotypes as the reasons for discrimination and violence towards LGBTI persons. Also, she presented everyday life of LGBTI persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The focus was put on fear of LGBTI persons that is part of their life and the importance of support and coming out. At the end of the first day, participants had an opportunity to meet LGBTI persons through the concept of human library where persons are „books to be read“ and to talk about their personal stories, experiences, problems they are faces with because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
On the second days of this training, prof. Dr. Marija Lučić-Ćatić talked about hate crimes: contextual and legal framework, and also about concrete cases in which prosecutors could see how much and in what way hate crimes committed towards LGBTI persons are affecting their lives, and which prosecutions were adequately prosecuted and which were not. She also talked about legal framework applicable for combating incident and hate crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and about concrete examples from the practice of B&H and region.
At the end of two-day training, a chief prosecutor of Canton Sarajevo emphasized that the training greatly contributed to the senzibilization of persecutors on problems that LGBTI persons are facing, and to learn more about the effective ways of combating the incidents and hate crime towards LGBTI persons. More precisely, to recognize a prejudice as a motive for commitment of hate crimes in order to put investigations on the right direction and adequately prosecute hate crimes in accordance to law. Also, she emphasized that prosecutor’s office in Canton Sarajevo will appoint a contact person responsible for these kinds of problems who will make sure that hate crimes, like other crimes, will be prosecuted on an adequate way.