In the Western Balkans, the human rights of LGBTI people are violated on a daily basis. One reason for this situation is that the ruling authorities have not opted for the creation and / or enhancement of institutional and legal elements that would protect LGBTI rights. What is missing is a structural incentive for, on one hand, leaving the homophobic practices and, on the other, the pressure to adopt and implement laws that protect LGBTI people. Joining the EU is the most important international process that offers these structural initiatives.
For the above reasons, the Sarajevo Open Center (SOC) is implementing the project “Using EU integration process for improvement of LGBT rights in the Western Balkans”. Some of the activities are: the establishment and promotion of free legal assistance for LGBTI people in countries of the region, documentation of LGBTI human rights violations, capacity building of civil society organizations, as well as other activities related to the prevention of discrimination and hate crimes in Western Balkans. The overall program objective is to promote respect for and recognition of human rights of LGBTI persons in Western Balkans, using the EU accession process as the focal point for targeted, evidence based advocacy relying on information gathered through documentation of cases and research.
In addition to Sarajevo Open Centre (BiH), ILGA Europe (Belgium), Labris (Serbia), Subversive Front (Macedonia), Center for Equality and Liberty (Kosovo) and Foundation CURE (BiH) are also involved in the implementation of the project.
The project is financed from the State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour in the amount of $ 332,000. The project will last until the end of 2017.
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