Final document of lesbian activist gathering in Rovinj
Sept. 3rd – Sept. 9th. 2001
Lesbian activist rally has gathered 35 lesbians from Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Slovenia and Serbia on work meeting for creating common platform for introducing anti – discriminatory measures in legal system.
During six days of working and exchanging experiences of long time activists for lesbian human rights, it was found that the situation of lesbians in all countries and regions in the former Yugoslavia is discriminatory and inappropriate to standards of an open democratic society.
In after war and transitory / transitional societies a shift in the respect of human rights in general it was noticed, although the meeting concluded that the human rights of lesbians and gay men in particular was neglected, and in some regions and countries are totally negated and ignored.
In the discussions, the issue thematising situation of lesbians in society, government systems, family, political institutions, education, work environment. Specifically was discussed how ten year civil war in region intensified clerical nationalist patriarchal values, pushed a big choice in lesbian visibility and narrowed social space for lesbian and homosexual rights.
Status of lesbian and gay rights was highly inappropriate in all countries except somewhat better situation is Slovenia. For example, not one country in their constitution has anti – discriminatory act that explicitly names sexual orientation as one of discriminatory criteria.
Also, not one country allows the possibility of legal regulatory of same sex civil unions. As a result these facts have greater social vulnerability of lesbian and gay population, and greater exposure to the phenomena of violence, stigmatization, discrimination and social isolation.
The rally condemned unresponsive instruments of the state, especially the police, in Serbia, in Belgrade on 30 June 2001. which tolerated brutal violence against lesbians, gay men and other citizens that have participated in a peaceful celebration of the International Day of lesbians and gay pride men.
Participants adopted PLATFORM ON THE ORGANISATION STREET DEMONSTRATIONS to take advantage of previous experiences in Belgrade and Ljubljana for more efficient organization of future public events.
With the document EQUAL CITIZENSHIP we seek a policy of equal opportunities and equal citizenship of all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation.
We are seek the change of:
- Constitution, to include anti-discrimination article. Adjustment of all laws and regulations in order to comply with this new anti-discrimination article of the Constitution;
- Criminal law, that sanctioned discrimination and human rights violations based on sexual orientation;
- Labour act, that would include anti – discriminatory based on sexual orientation when hiring, and promoting at work place. In addition, we are looking for sanctioning of sexual and homophobic harassment in the work environment;
- Family act, so there is a possibility of legalisation same sex unions, and enjoying the same rights and opportunities as heterosexual community – marriage or cohabitation, including the right to adopt children;
- Reproductive rights act, to allow artificial insemination to all women regardless of marital status or sexual orientation;
- Education law, in order to sensitize school programs for the existence of lesbian and gay existence and their human rights
- Media act / the right to public information, to exclude all forms of discrimination and promote non- homophobic media language;
- Health act, in order to include non – discriminatory treatment of lesbians in health institutions
Every country should establish specific mechanisms for the implementation of equality of all citizens and to monitor the implementation of anti-discrimination laws. Moreover, we appeal to non-governmental human rights organizations and women’s human rights and to promote the human rights of lesbians and gay men.
At the meeting, we also adopted PLATFORM ON NETWORKING which promotes mutual co-operation, mutual information, support and networking of lesbians from all countries and regions of the former Yugoslavia. Also, we agreed on systematic work to eliminate discrimination against lesbians and gay men to break homophobia and enhancing dignity and visibility of lesbian existences. On this occasion, we will work on the principles of solidarity, women, politics, non-nationalism, non-violence, an inclusive society and feminist criticism.
Participants from groups : In Rovinj, Sept. 9th 2001
Deve, Belgrade, Serbia
Kontra, Zagreb, Croatia
Labris, Belgrade, Serbia
Lori, Rijeka, Croatia
LP, Priština, Kosovo
Škuc – LL, Ljubljana, Slovenija
And individual activists from the countries and regions including Macedonia