LGBT rights in the Balkans: Assessing two decades of change and nationalist challenges

 | 
02/28/2023

After a turbulent post-war period, the three largest countries of the former Yugoslavia – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia – shifted toward greater democracy and Europeanisation in the early 2000s. All three had joined the Council of Europe by 2003 (with Croatia the earliest in 1996) and had set their sights on EU membership (Croatia started EU negotiations in 2005 and joined in 2013, while Serbia and Bosnia have been at the ‘candidate’ phase from 2012 and 2022 respectively). Many civil society groups expected and demanded, and the EU also required for membership, that these new states would improve their human rights protection, including LGBT rights. During the first two decades of the 2000s, sexual and gender minorities, which were taboo and mostly hidden during the socialist and wartime periods, were starting to become more visible and organised, and intensified their struggle for equal rights. There have been measurable and improved legal rights protections in Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia, and LGBT rights became more visible in public discourse and the media (according to one Serbian LGBT leader, even contentious public debate was better than erasure and invisibility).

Share this:

Latest Global News

Added on: 07/19/2024
07/18/2024
Capitol Hill, Liberia, July 19, 2024 – Liberia’s House of Representatives has instructed its committees on Gender, Health, and Judiciary to review the request …
Added on: 07/19/2024
07/18/2024
The military junta ruling the West African county of Burkina Faso announced that homosexual acts will now be a punishable offense. As such, the …
Added on: 07/19/2024
07/18/2024
LONDON – Donald Trump’s decision to name J.D. Vance as his running mate for November’s U.S. election has been criticised by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, …

Explore LGBTQ+ Issues

Added on: 07/18/2024
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled that Aruba and Curaçao must allow same-sex couples to marry, overturning an existing prohibition on the practice …
Added on: 07/16/2024
The Government of Albania has made notable strides in creating a framework to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. However, more …
Added on: 07/15/2024
The Queer Amsterdam foundation has pulled out of organising this year’s Pride Walk, one of the highlights of the annual Pride celebrations in the capital, …