Round table “Good practices and policies in the fight against homophobia”

okrugli stoRound table on the topic ‘Good practices and policies in the fight against homophobia’ was held in Sarajevo, on June 20, 2013 and it opened a discussion on the state of human rights of LGBT persons in BiH between the representatives of state institutions and human rights civil society organisations.

The round table is one of the activities of the project “Coming out! Advocating promotion and protection of LGBT rights” which is implemented by the Heinrich Böll Foundation – Office for Bosnia and Herzegovina, in partnership with the Sarajevo Open Centre and CURE Foundation, with financial support from the European Union.

The main objective of the project is to promote and protect the rights of LGBT people, and the knowledge of causes of homophobia, its suppression and elimination.

Panelists were Adviser to the Prime Minister of Montenegro for Human Rights and Protection against Discrimination, Jovan Kojicic, and Programme Director for the Western Balkans in Civil Rights Defenders, Goran Miletic. Jasminka Dzumhur, BiH Ombudsman, spoke about the situation in BiH. The round table was moderated by Saša Gavrić, Executive Director of Sarajevo Open Centre.

The conclusions of the panelists were: a necessity for strategic approach to promotion of human rights standards and work on building partnerships and academia to ensure constant education of institutions’ officials. Also, a measures have to be taken to stop and protect from all forms of violence and harassment related to sexual orientation and gender identity, with emphasis on investigation and adequate prosecution of these crimes. Ras+ising awareness of the wider public on needs and problems LGBT persons are facing in BiH is crucial for diminishing homophobia in BiH.