Press Release: Sweden supports local ownership in the struggle for LGBT and women´s rights in BiH

B8hAFQqCYAApr1oThe Embassy of Sweden today signed an agreement with Sarajevo Open Centre in support of the organization’s Strategic Plan 2014-2017. Sarajevo Open Centre has the last years taken on a leading role in the struggle for human rights in BiH, with a special focus on LGBT and women’s rights.

“The work of Sarajevo Open Centre is in line with Swedish core values on non-discrimination and every person’s equal rights, including sexual rights. This principle is also underlined in Sweden’s country strategy for Bosnia and Hercegovina,” said Marie Bergström, Counsellor at the Embassy of Sweden.

Sweden is a strong advocate for EU-integration based on, among other, the principle of non-discrimination. Sarajevo Open Centre in BiH has taken on to monitor hate speech and discrimination, engage in human rights education of public officials and increase general awareness raising on LGBT and women´s rights in the effort of building a more unprejudiced society.

“The Swedish contribution will allow Sarajevo Open Centre to develop its activities in order to reach an improved situation for human rights of LGBT people and women in the country” said Saša Gavrić, Executive Director of Sarajevo Open Centre during the signing ceremony today.

With the Swedish financial support, Sarajevo Open Centre will continue its work with police officers, prosecutors and judges for an increased knowledge on hate crime and discrimination. It will work focus on legal and policy initiatives in order to increase BiH authorities’ responsiveness to guarantee human rights of LGBT people and women. Sarajevo Open Centre will also provide legal advice and counselling in cases where the authorities have failed to secure their rights.