Throughout 2023, LGBT Forum Progress filed a total of 114 charges for hate speech against LGBTI persons in the public online space to the Police Directorate of Montenegro. These charges are the response to a rise of negative comments on social media which contain hate, and which are posted under news related to LGBTI topics, public events of the LGBTI community or public appearances of LGBTI persons.
During the past decade of active work on the monitoring of the public space, the Team for monitoring of hate speech of LGBT Forum Progress filed thousands of charges to the Police Directorate, by which a continuity has been achieved in pointing out hate speech as a negative phenomenon, which is still ever-present in Montenegro. It is this continued process of reporting hate speech targeting the LGBTI community that plays a key role in combatting discrimination and creating a safe environment for all LGBTI persons in Montenegro.
Bearing in mind the fact that hate speech is often the first step in further endangerment of physical safety and violence against LGBTI persons, this process remains vital not only for the integrity of the LGBTI community, but also for the development of the society as a whole. LGBT Forum Progress will, in the coming period, continue with efforts to supress hate speech against LGBTI persons, and we will, in adequate ways, inform the public of the presence of this negative phenomenon and the efficiency of the response of key institutions in this process.
Finally, with the goal of strengthening the response of the system to hate speech, especially in the northern region of Montenegro, we are planning a training for police officers from the Police Directorate which work directly on intake of charges, as well as representatives of the Police Directorate for the initiation of the misdemeanour proceedings, with the aim of increasing the efficiency of using available instruments of combatting hate speech targeting the LGBTI community.
These activities are realised through a project titled “Together against hate speech against LGBTI persons”, which is funded by the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro. The opinions stated in the text do not reflect opinions of the Ministry.