Since 2005, May 17 has been marked as the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia. This day is marked in more than 130 countries in the world, and is officially recognized by many countries, including European Union Parliament.
On May 17 1990, World Health Organisation (WHO) declassified homosexuality as a mental illness in the latest edition of its list of diseases and health problems. Since then, this day has been marked as an International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia as a reminder of the importance of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans*) human rights all over the world. It is also a cause of many different actions which point to the discrimination and violence faced by this group. LGBT people make up about 3-12% of every country’s population, includinf Bosnia and Herzegovina. Nevertheless, BiH LGBT citizens remain completely invisible in the society because of the violence, fear, exclusion and discrimination.
Until now, Bosnia and Hercegovina has not been working proactively on the fight against homophobia and transphobia, nor did it take adequate measures to ensure the equal treatement for LGBT people.
Our neigbouring countries are far more advanced in this respect. Pride parade has been organized and carried out in Croatia for ten years in a row, and same-sex couples can enter into a legaly recognized same-sex partnership. Slovenia has even gone further: same-sex partnerships are now equal to heterosexual marriage. Montenegro is the first country in our surroundings that has adopted strategy and action plan for the advancement of life for LGBT people, by the group lead by the Montenegrin Prime Minister. The anti-discrimination strategy and action plan, including measures realted to LGBT human rights and people, are being implemented. Albania, through many of its ministries, work on different issues related to the LGBT human rights.
Hereby, we are issuing a request to all BiH, and its entities’ institutions: concretely BiH Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees and entity ministries, to start intense work on the LGBT human rights issues. We believe that we should not let BiH be an isolated case in the family of European countries that guaratnee equal rights to all its citizens, including LGBT people.
On the following link you can find Sarajevo Open Centre’s IDAHOT (International Day Against Homophobia And Transphobia) Programme.