European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Support for 2015 Belgrade Pride celebrations

Belgrade’s 2015 Pride Week is an eclectic mix of cultural events, film programs and LGBTI social events. ILGA-Europe send our congratulations and support to everyone who has organised public events during the celebrations taking place this week.

Central to the Pride Week celebrations, the 2015 Pride Walk is scheduled to take place in Belgrade on Sunday, 20 September. Last year, LGBTI activists and allies returned to the streets of the Serbian capital for the first Pride Walk in four years. The government had banned the event in 2011, 2012, and 2013, citing security concerns.

Activists welcomed the police’s constructive approach and the 2014 walk passed off relatively peacefully, amid high security. ILGA-Europe hope that the participants’ right to freedom of assembly will be similarly protected this year.

Serbia currently occupies 24th place on ILGA-Europe’s Rainbow Europe Index and could move up the ranking if events, such as pride walks and public protest initiatives, go ahead without any obstruction in the next few years.

We encourage government officials and law enforcement agencies to engage with LGBTI NGOs and activists to ensure LGBTI people in Serbia are adequately protected.

In particular, ILGA-Europe want to see proactive measures taken by the government to effectively tackle hate crime and hate speech against LGBTI people and to promote diversity and equality, particularly in the field of education. In this regard, ILGA-Europe urges Serbian authorities to effectively implement the national strategy for prevention and protection from discrimination.

ILGA-Europe also call upon the Serbian government to introduce legal gender recognition legislation without delay.