As a multi-ethnic country with minorities such as: Albanians, Serbs, Turks, Bosnians, Roma, Vlachos, our leaders always boast about our openness to minority issues and bringing welfare to everyone. Nevertheless, doesn’t the fact that the Law on Antidiscrimination has only just been voted say it all? There were so many struggles for voting this law that lasted for years. My opinion is that this is a key element for introducing human rights in a country. However, what is worse than not having such a law? Having a bad one, I would say. Our Government and Parliament decided to remove one of the subsections – discrimination based on sexual orientation. World practice suggests constant expansion of the subsections within these laws by adding new forms and of course there should be the last one saying “and other” that would include discrimination on all grounds. Discrimination by gender, sexual orientation, race, class, ethnic, religious, national belonging…all these are clearly established grounds which should then be followed by “and other”. All that hasn’t been named (although consisting in “and other”) is looser than the clearly defined grounds and remains in the part of neutrality which sometimes can be manipulated.
I found very important to mention this, since things like these are the barriers in my community. I see my country as very politicized: politics influences almost every, if not all, spheres. People hardly get jobs if they are not members of the political party on rule (remember it’s very important to be part of the leading one, not just any political party) and the country’s unemployment rate of 34% speaks clearly on this. People face troubles in getting grants for projects, funding, clients, since the business is tightly connected to the politics, which means if the CEOs play smart and get connections with the government they will do so well and their success would be guaranteed. We had a monopoly in the telecommunications market only because the operator paid the Government not to allow any competition. Even I was a victim of this Orwellian society when I couldn’t get a place in a students’ dormitory because the young people from the political party on rule told me they can’t give it to me since I am not a member of their political party or even worse that perhaps I am a fan of their opponents. Why would I refuse to join them otherwise?!
However, wherever there are barriers there are challenges; even if the challenge is to remove the barriers and do better. I would like to work on local projects through the NGO where I am involved, but even more set something myself, but it seems very hard to get to funding around here if you are asking from businesses or government.
For now I am coping by finding young enthusiasts and working on local activities that do not involve many costs. Still, World Pulse opens many doors and opportunities for fund-raising and my determination is to start doing something in this direction.