Panel in Podgorica: LGBT community is the most visible in Podgorica

#Lgbt #Podgorica #NvoJuventas #QeerMontenegro #MinistryOfHumanAndMinorityRights

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LGBT community in Podgorica is much more visible than in other Montenegrin municipalities, it was concluded at a panel discussion “Contribution to improving the quality of life of LGBT people in Montenegro”. The participants announced that there must be awareness that all individuals are different and that differences should not be a reason for discrimination.

The panel discussion was organised by the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights, in cooperation with NGOs Juventas and NGO Queer Montenegro.

Executive director of Juventas, Jelena Colakovic, said that discussions would be organised in ten Montenegrin municipalities with which the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights had signed memorandums on cooperation in the fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“The goal of the panel discussion is to contribute to the implementation of the legal and strategic framework in the field of human rights of LGBT people”, Coalkovic said.

The chairman of the Municipal Assembly of Podgorica, Djordje Suhih, said that he saw the invitation to participate in the panel as an exceptional honour but also an obligation to point out the achievements and priorities of the city for the next period, with the aim to promote the rights of LGBT persons.

“As a person who sees respecting human rights as civilisation heritage and obligation of every individual, society and institution, I am trying to contribute to Montenegro to be a country which respects dignity, rights and freedoms regardless of religious or ethnic affiliation, gender and sexual orientation”, Suhih said.

He added that the three pride parades were very important, since they were indicators of work and achieved results of the participants in this process.

Suhih also strongly condemned the attack in Orlando in which about 50 members of the LGBT community were killed.

He believes that all institutions, representatives of civil society and media should work together to continue to create conditions for the citizens of Montenegro to feel safe, regardless of their differences.

He said that the ongoing processes should be accelerated in the coming period and that support to the whole society was necessary for that. “No one can do it on its own. It should be a common struggle for a better and safer future for us all”.

The deputy ombudsman Sinisa Bjekovic said that one began to worry about human rights only when his/her own rights were violated.

Members of the LGBT community, as he said, are not requiring anything more or less than all Montenegrin citizens have.

“We want to remove the burden of fear from LBGT community, which have been on the margins of society for a long time”, Bjekovic said.

The head of the Directorate General for the promotion and protection of human rights, Blanka Radosevic–Marovic said that the Ministry for Human and Minority Rights were dealing with the problem of protection against discrimination of LGBT people for years.

The basis for this, as she stated, is the strategy for promoting the quality of life of LGBT persons 2013–2018.

“The strategy is aimed at improving the position of LGBT population and its better integration into Montenegrin society. It represents a systemic response of the government of Montenegro to the perceived level of homophobia and discrimination against this group”, Radosevic–Marovic explained.

She also said that it was necessary to cooperate with municipalities in order to promote LGBT rights at the local level, to try to break the prejudices in these areas and to show that sexual orientation was a part of the personality of every human being.

According to her, the LGBT community in Montenegro became visible in a very short time.

The executive director of Queer Montenegro, Danijel Kalezic, said that the support of the local government meant a lot in breaking down prejudices against LGBT people.

He believes the Capital Podgorica and local governments should continue to support the protection of human rights and better media visibility and engagement.

Kalezic pointed out that the LGBT population in Podgorica was visible, but in other municipalities it was completely invisible.

“Through panel discussions and further activities, I think we will lay a good foundation to encourage LGBT people to feel free enough and to be more visible and start fighting for their rights”, Kalezic said.

Source: Cafe Del Montenegro