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On the occasion of the International Pride Day, 27 June, the Protector of Citizens pointed out that LGBTI people in Serbia continue to face attacks, threats and violence, and reiterated that amendments to the Criminal Code were necessary to treat crimes committed on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity as acts of racism and intolerance.

On Friday, 26 June, Deputy Protector of Citizens for Gender Equality Ms. Jelena Stojanović and her associates waved the LGBTI movement flags down this independent state institution’s building as a sign of support for people of different sexual orientation and gender identity.

On Saturday 27 June, the Protector of Citizens’ logo on the Institution’s official website will be covered with a rainbow flag.

The Protector of Citizens states that members of the LGBTI community are still facing violence, threats, hate speech and hate crimes due to prejudice and points out that the institute of hate crimes is insufficiently applied in Serbia and measures dedicated to raising awareness about LGBTI rights are not implemented.

Apart from these problems, the Protector of Citizens notes the legal disorder of same-sex communities and the consequences of gender adjustment and gender identity, as well as the problem of maintaining the hormonal status of trans people, which is why in the last year’s report he reiterated the recommendation to the Government of Serbia on the need to regulate the legal consequences of adjusting gender and gender identity.

One of the numerous problems of young LGBTI people in Serbia is the difficult existential situation they find themselves in upon telling their families about their sexual orientation as there are no appropriate support services for them, the Protector of Citizens points out.

Regarding the intersex rights protection, the Protector of Citizens reminds that in the 2019 report he pointed out that the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination and other relevant laws do not explicitly prohibit discrimination against intersex people, although the Republic of Serbia received such a recommendation in the Third Cycle of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review 24 January 2018.

International Pride Day commemorates the protests of LGBTI people against the systematic arrest, persecution and abuse by US authorities that began on the night of 27-28 June 1969 in New York and marked the beginning of organized LGBTI community activism. Pride in the context of celebrating International Pride Day signifies the need for LGBTI people to live with dignity and equality with other citizens.