Bosnian LGBT community sees hope in application to the European Union

Human rights advocates in Bosnia and Herzegovina are hopeful that the country’s bid to join the European Union will help end violence and discrimination against the LGBT community.  

As part of the EU-candidacy process, in November the European Commission issued reform benchmarks that include improving LGBT rights.  Specifically, the Commission criticized Bosnia and Herzegovina for failing to protect LGBT people with hate crime and hate speech legislation, and for failing to adequately address incidences of violence against the LGBT community.

LGBT Bosnians are regularly subjected to discrimination and violence.  In 2014, a dozen masked men disrupted a gay film festival, injuring three people.  And in a recent poll asking parents how they would react to having a gay child, 44 percent stated they would try to “cure” the child and 11 percent said they would cut off all communication – the top two responses.

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