Transgender flag held high at Kosovo's second pride parade in October 2018. | Photo: Atdhe Mulla

New criminal code ‘good news’ for LGBTI community

Amendments to Kosovo’s Criminal Code introduced on Monday include sexual orientation and gender identity as elements of various criminal offenses, including hate crimes and discrimination, broadening legal protections for Kosovo’s LGBTI community.

The Center for Equality and Liberty of the LGBTI community in Kosovo, CEL, celebrated the entry into force of amendments to Kosovo’s Criminal Code on Monday, which provides stronger legal protection for the LGBTI community in the country.

The adoption of these amendments follows more than six years of work, when amendments of the penal code were initially demanded in 2013. The government created an advisory and coordination group tasked with reviewing the Criminal Code and proposing recommendations for further protection of the LGBTI community.

Civil society organizations were invited to participate in the committee, including CEL, the Center for Social Group Development, CSGD and the Center for Social Emancipation, QESh.

According to CEL, from today, the LGBTI community will enjoy broader legal protection from penal acts such as hate crimes or crimes whose motive derives from the sexual orientation of an individual.

“The changes in the penal code are good news, because they offer a concrete legal framework that enables the judicial system to address the penal acts of those who target the LGBTI community,” reads the statement. “The new Penal Code means that sexual orientation and gender identity are included as elements in seven penal acts” continues the letter.

Further, added CEL, the amendments allow for sexual orientation and gender identity to be included as viable elements or circumstances for judicial institutions to take into account in seven different criminal offenses.

15/04/2019 - 16:58

15 April 2019 - 16:58

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