“More out gay and LGBTQ people in politics will lead to the more open and direct creation of the policies we need, and that will consequently be reflected onto the quality of everyday life.”
Ammar Borančić, Montenegro, 2014 Victory Institute trainee and current President of the national youth wing of the Liberal Party of Montenegro
Victory Institute and Serbian advocacy group Labris trained 19 LGBTI leaders from all over the Balkans in 2014, helped to organize four Civil Society Forums throughout the region, and partnered with LGBTI human rights foundation Hirschfeld-Eddy-Stiftung to organize a Regional Conference in Serbia in 2015.
We are now partnering with trainees in Albania and Macedonia to increase LGBTI political participation in the Balkans and continue to provide post-training assistance in their efforts to use political participation as a tool to achieve equality. In 2017, we expect to release research that analyzes current LGBTI political participation in the Balkans, and of LGBTI people in Albania.
A Victory Institute trainee, Agim Margilaj was appointed head of the Advisory Committee on LGBTI issues to the Government of Kosovo. We partnered with Agim to organize a successful civil society forum to discuss political participation of LGBTI people in Kosovo. The forum was attended by dozens of leaders including the Minister of European Integration in Kosovo, Finnish Ambassador in Kosovo, Special Representative of EU Office in Kosovo, representatives from five political parties, and high-level government officials.
Organized the first regional Balkans conference on political participation of LGBTI people in Belgrade, Serbia in September 2015, which gathered 130 participants from 17 countries.
Our regional polling on voting and social attitudes of the general and LGBTI population towards LGBTI issues demonstrated that political parties will not lose votes for supporting LGBTQ initiatives.
Four Civil Society Forums were organized in partnership with trainees and local LGBTI groups: Labris (Serbia), OMSA (Albania), S-Front (Macedonia), and CSGD (Kosovo).