The project “We teach non-discrimination” is the first project in Montenegro which dealt with human rights of LGBT population in secondary schools.

The overall objective of the project is to raise awareness and sensitivity of young people when it comes to building a non-discriminatory, tolerant school environment for all students, with a special focus on people of different sexual orientation and gender identity.

The project was implemented in 2012 and 2013.

The starting point for the project were the results of a research carried out by Juventas in 2010, which have shown a high degree of homophobia against people with different sexual orientation than heterosexual one, were the starting point for the project. The project was also relying on the draft of National Action Plan Against Homophobia in 2011, or on the Strategy for improving the position of LGBT people whose creation and adoption was initiated by Juventas and its partners.

The objectives and activities of this project are closely connected with the most relevant documents from the sphere of education, and are also compatible with the ratified international documents, which Montenegro committed to respect.

During the implementation of the project, the following activities were carried out:

- Recommendation of the Ministry of Education was obtained for the implementation of project activities in selected high schools from all three regions of Montenegro;

- Program of informal education was implemented for high school students between 14 and 18 years of age about human rights, sexuality, sexual orientation, gender identity, national and international legal framework which defines the rights of LGBT people;

- Activists and professionals who were involved in the project created an informative and educational materials for high school students, dealing with issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity. 

- A representative survey was conducted among 1599 high school students (first to fourth grade) across Montenegro on attitudes related to sexuality, sexual orientation, partnership, representation of these topics in the classroom, but also respect for the human rights of sexual minorities.

- Data on the acceptance of LGBT people among young people, obtained in the research conducted within the project “We teach non-discrimination” indicate a high level of distance in relation to LGBT population.

- The attitudes that indicate the level of understanding of homosexual orientation are divided and point to the existence of homophobia in a high school environment and lack of information, while safety/security of young LGBT people or a person who is perceived as LGBT in the school environment is at a very low level.

- In cooperation with the Ministry of Education, “Guidelines for the treatment of professional services in dealing with LGBT adolescents” were created. The Guidelines are consistent with international bidding documents and recommendations. They fully rely on domestic valid legislation and strategies from the area of education and the prohibition of discrimination. This document represents a crucial contribution in the areas of support, prevention and response in adolescence. Cooperation between NGO Juventas and the Ministry of Education on this issue continued in 2014 when, in addition to finalizing the text of Guidelines, the members of Juventas team that is working on the implementation of projects in the framework of the promotion and protection of human rights, were hired in order to implement the first introduction of guidelines to professional services in secondary schools in December 2014. The plan is to continue the presentation of Guidelines in 2015, and to work on their additional improvement and application in practice.

The obtained data and other implemented project activities indicate a need for special support for the LGBT youth, for the construction of evidence-based attitudes, but also systematic, continuous and comprehensive approaches of dealing with violence in schools. Recorded existence of deep-rooted prejudices which lead to intolerance towards LGBT people, represents an appeal for additional education among young people, as bearers of social values in the future.

Donor

Embassy of the United States Podgorica, Montenegro

More information about the Embassy of the United States in Podgorica.