How does the Security Sector Reform Affect Human Security in Serbia? Reassessing the Impact of Security Sector Reform on LGBT People
4 January 2017
Hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are motivated by a bias based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. In some instances, LGBT people have been portrayed by the media and politicians as a threatening and inferior group, posing a danger to public health and "traditional" structures, such as marriage and the family. LGBT people continue to experience stigmatization and lack of legal protection from discrimination and hate crime. ODIHR's annual reporting on hate crime has included reports of physical assaults and murders, with transgender people being particularly at risk. Serious physical assaults carried out by groups, especially around pride parades, are also common features of hate crimes against LGBT people.
Recording practices vary, with some states recording hate crimes against transgender persons as a separate category and/or including crimes against intersex people within this category. The number of NGOs reporting on hate crimes against LGBT has grown markedly in recent years. Reports from NGOs to ODIHR suggest that mistrust of authorities, as well as an unwillingness or fear to reveal one's own sexual orientation or gender identity contributes to significant under-reporting of hate crimes targeting this group.
In her "Third Quarterly Activity Report", the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe urged the government of Armenia to take a firm stance in combating incidents of hate crime against LGBT people.
In its fifth report on Croatia, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) observed that many cases of hate crime, especially those targeting Serbs, LGBT people and Roma, are only classified as misdemeanours. ECRI recommended that the bias motive be incorporated from the very beginning in investigations and training for police officers and judicial officials.
In its "Resolution on the 2018 Commission Report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", the European Parliament urged the authorities to effectively address hate crime against minorities, in particular, the Roma and the LGBT communities, and to ensure the effective protection of affected communities and dissuasive sanctions for these hate crimes.
In its "Fifth report on Moldova", the Council of Europe's European Commission against Racism and Intolerance recommended that the authorities put in place a system to record hate crimes, collect and publish hate crime data, and ensure that hate crimes are effectively investigated. To these ends, ECRI recommended that the authorities increase its training efforts for police officers and justice officials, and implement confidence-building measures to enhance the relationship between the police and vulnerable groups, in particular, the Roma and the LGBT community.
In the proceeds from the "Fifth meeting of the EU-Serbia Stabilisation and Association Council", the European Union noted with concern that the investigation, prosecution and penalties for hate crimes against LGBT people are often inadequate and encouraged Serbia to ensure adequate prosecution of all hate crimes.
In her "1st Quarterly Activity Report", the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe noted a lack of progress in efficiently investigating and punishing perpetrators of hate crimes against LGBT people. The Commissioner urged the authorities to effectively combat hate crime.