No tolerance for violence and discrimination

Centre for Civic Education (CCE) strongly condemns yesterday’s violence against Stevan Milivojević, Executive Director of NGO LGBT Forum Progres and demands a swift and adequate reaction from competent institutions in processing and sanctioning the perpetrators.

Even though there was some progress in the work of the institutions, primarily in the work of the police and prosecution, when processing and sanctioning some of the recent cases of violence against LGBT persons in Montenegro, their acting has to intensify in order to convey an unambiguous message to bullies that violence shall not and should not be tolerated.

In addition to the advancement of institutional protection of human rights, efficient application of anti-discriminatory legislation and consistent implementation of Strategy for the improvement of quality of life of LGBT persons, CCE reemphasised the importance of education on homosexuality and human rights of LGBTIQ persons through formal system of education. Only the educated individuals, without prejudices, can guarantee the sustainability of fight against homophobia, since homophobia is “enrooted” or “uprooted” through the education. Education system, that should lead the fight against homophobia, only further encumbers the existing discriminatory context and renders homophobia as socially acceptable form of behaviour by ignoring the subjects related to LGBT persons and their rights. Education authorities are hypocritical when they say that it is better not to have the contents on LGBT rights in our textbooks rather than introduce the discrimination contained in textbooks used in some of the states of region. Silence in the education system is the most explicit form of accomplice in crimes of hate that are recurrent against LGBT persons in Montenegrin society.

Recent researches indicate how Montenegrin curricula and textbooks are “cleaned” of LGBT topics, and the ban of forum on the rights of sexual minorities at the Faculty of philosophy in Nikšić is a testimony of crisis in the education on human rights on all levels. This situation needs to be changed primarily out of humane reasons, and then from the aspect of what has been declared as the state objective of Montenegro within its development as modern European society. The process of negotiations between Montenegro and EU is also based on success in the implementation of commitments from Chapter 23, which deals with judiciary and human rights, hence the logical question: when, and to which extent, will we be able to adopt human rights in an essential and sustainable manner if we do not educate our citizens on them, primarily the younger population as future bearers of process of social development?

Democracy, human rights and rule of law cannot function in a society in which the education system remains “neutral” in the situation where it should confront the prejudices that spawn hate and discrimination against LGBT persons.

Petar Đukanović, programme coordinator