LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey
Countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey region demonstrate low levels of acceptance towards LGBTI people. Economic and political instability tends to cause rising conservatism among countries which consequently force state authorities to purposefully ignore LGBTI rights. In the past 10 years, mainly due to integration into the European Union, significant improvements have been made in legislation - particularly anti-discrimination and hate crime. These legal changes however have not been accompanied by adequate implementation and the current levels are insufficient. While some progress has been made in increasing access of LGBTI organizations to cooperation with state institutions, the same cannot be said about LGBTI people who report low levels of trust towards state authorities and equality bodies. Moreover all countries of the region report of highly polarised societies where almost everything is controlled by political parties with little or low engagement from civil society groups or citizens participation. Even more worryingly some identities of the LGBTIQ* spectrum remain completely invisible to state authorities and in the worst case scenarios are abused and persecuted or even ignored in cases of demanding help. The situation is also grave in relation to hate crimes, hate speech, discrimination, eviction from home and poor access to opportunities and chances of intellectual and economic growth.
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