Hate Crime monitoring networks established in Serbia

Although in 2012 the Criminal Code of Serbia has regulated hate crime as aggravated circumstance, this legal institution is so far little used. Judicial institutions are poorly or not at all trained in the use of this particular criminal legislation in practice. Recognizing the gap between the adoption of the regulations and their implementation, Labris saw the need for a commitment to proper implementation of these laws. The human rights of LGBT people in Serbia violated on a daily basis, both by the state and by individuals, matching the requirements of implementation of the hate crimes clause of Criminal code as one of the most powerful tools in the fight against crimes motivated by homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

Labris, in cooperation with Sarajevo Open Center, initiated implementation of the project with the purpose of identifying the gaps and advocate for improved reporting and prosecuting hate crime cases, while also utilizing EU integration processes.

Aim of the project was 1. To develop watchdog network, consisted of LGBT CSOs, HR CSOs, LGBT friendly institutions, local institutions and LGBT persons, in order to monitor reporting of violence and hate crime cases. 2. To develop mechanism for reporting Hate Crimes on local level and to familiarize local LGBT community with mechanism for reporting hate crimes. 3. To advocate for adequate implementation of national and international policies and standards relevant to LGBT rights 4.To raise awareness on LGBT persons needs and necessity for creation of positive policy measures.

During the project Labris organised meetings with community in various cities throughout the Serbia, besides community Labris also communicated hate crime monitoring mechanism with LGBT/HR organizations, representatives of centers for social work, police, and representatives of local institutions.

After development of monitoring mechanism and base for collecting data of hate crime cases Labris used local networks for prevention of discrimination and violence, which are consisted of representatives of representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Centers for Social Welfare, Office of the Ombudsman, prosecution offices, judiciary, National Employment Service, medical and educational institutions, Office of Coordinating Body for Gender Equality, and civil society organizations and are formed in seven cities, and initiated presentation of the existing legislation for hate crime cases, documents and mechanism for reporting hate crime cases, and informed all relative institutions of its existence.

High interest for the representation of the legislation and its implementation came from the office of prosecution and judiciary, and after the presentation they expressed the will to organize similar representation for their colleagues.

During the December Labris will organize round table with the aim of introducing findings from the project activities for the representatives of EU delegation and other international missions in Serbia.