Two thirds of trans people were discriminated against when looking for a job

The research showed that unions are not recognized as an important address, and employer training on rights and needs and stricter inspection supervision and controls are considered the most important mechanisms for protecting and improving the labor rights of the trans community.

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Photo: PR Center
Photo: PR Center
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Almost two-thirds of trans, intersex and gender-variant people (TIRV) were discriminated against when looking for a job due to their gender identity, 97 percent of them rate their position and security on the labor market as bad.

These are the results of research on socio-economic violence against persons with disabilities, which were presented at the panel discussion "Society of equals or not?", organized by the Spektra Association, within the project financed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare.

Lara Končar, a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Belgrade, explained that the goal was to connect, through research, different segments, i.e. areas of life of TIRV persons, namely education and training, the health care system, housing and movement within the market. of work.

As she pointed out, overall, the majority of respondents rate their socio-economic position as bad or very bad.

"In relation to the issue of the position of TIRV persons and their movement within the labor market, the fact that out of the total number of those who are working only half of them have an employment contract is particularly noteworthy," explained Končar.

Of all the respondents, as she said, 63 percent of them had experience of discrimination when looking for employment, and even more alarming data is that 74 percent of them had experience of mobbing in their current or previous jobs.

"In fact, 97 percent of them rate their position and security within the labor market as bad or very bad," said Končar.

She said that when it comes to housing, the data are somewhat better.

"Sixty-six percent of respondents rate the conditions in which they live with a score of three to five, while 34 percent give a score of one to two," Končar announced.

He added that 58 percent of those surveyed consider the place, settlement or city in which they live to be quite unsafe.

"When it comes to the availability of the health care system for people with disabilities, 90 percent of them marked the lowest ratings of the availability of the health care system," said Končar.

According to her, almost half of the respondents, i.e. 49 percent, stated that they had experienced discrimination either when seeking health care services, or while moving through the health care system.

The research showed that unions are not recognized as an important address, and employer training on rights and needs and stricter inspection supervision and controls are considered the most important mechanisms for protecting and improving the labor rights of the trans community.

When it comes to proposals related to housing, Končar said that the idea of ​​financial assistance from the state to reduce rents for people with disabilities, as well as the opening of safe houses, is leading the way.

"When we talk about the health care system, we come across more alarming data both in terms of bureaucracy and in terms of access to the health care system," said Končar.

Respondents believe that it is more difficult for people who look non-binary to enter the labor market.

Končar pointed out that there is also a problem of forced driving, either within the work environment, or from employers, clients, medical staff, roommates in student dormitories.

"There is migration within Montenegro. Many state that they decide to migrate to Podgorica, because there is a trans community there and there are support systems," said Končar.

The executive director of the Spektra Association, Jovan Ulićević, said that Montenegrin society is not a society of equal opportunities, but that it is very far from it.

"Violence is systemic, it is part of the practices and policies that exist and we need to talk about it. Also, poverty, as a topic, as a word, has become shameful, and we are definitely talking about poverty," stated Ulićević.

He said that when talking about the socio-economic situation, he avoids talking about the fact that many citizens in Montenegro, including trans people, face poverty.

He said that he believes that the trans community has given and continues to give a lot to Montenegro, and that the recommendations that trans people provide in terms of economic policies and labor rights are very applicable to the entire country, to all citizens.

According to him, it is very important that education and awareness-raising follow policies that structurally change things.

"I believe that many things can be solved quickly with decisive, coordinated actions of the state. The resources available to the state are serious," said Ulićević.

He believes that the civil sector should be a kind of controller of how policies are implemented, applied in practice.

"And not necessarily those who have the greatest responsibility to directly solve problems, propose policies," Ulićević pointed out.

The Director General of the Directorate for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, Mirjana Pajković, indicated that the LGBT community faces the greatest extent of discrimination and is the most represented when it comes to employment.

According to her, it is worrying that a certain number of members of the LGBT community do not have enough trust in institutions, or believe that institutional care is not at a satisfactory level.

"It is our obligation to make the maximum contribution in the coming period to change such an attitude for the better. It is important to act systematically and as a team," Pajković believes.

Heterosexism and sexual structural stigma in the administration must, as she pointed out, be less pronounced and it is necessary to contribute to treating the LGBT population with respect and dignity.

"Institutions should cooperate closely with the community in a way that will ensure that the voice of the LGBT community is heard and respected. It is important to establish the expected intersectoral synergy and systemic connection of problems at all levels," said Pajković.

The Deputy General Secretary of the Union of Free Trade Unions, Ivana Mihajlović, stated that, within the LGBTIQ community, transgender people are still on the lowest level of rights realization and recognition.

She said that, instead of progress, we have reached a situation where the violation of workers' rights is normalized in both the public and private sectors.

"And if you belong to any vulnerable category, you are repeatedly put in the situation of accepting conditions that are not dignified, accepting earnings that are not dignified and living in insecurity and uncertainty," said Mihajlović.

As she stated, she worries that employees are not encouraged to report irregularities.

"This is the moment to get rid of fear and fight together to change the system and demand respect for the law in practice. It is very important that we start a joint fight against irregularities," Mihajlović pointed out.

She said that unions and employers at the company level should build acts that are important for that company, and from which employees will learn how to treat each other.

"We will not move forward in solving crucial problems in access to the labor market and employment of transgender people until we pass the Law on legal gender recognition based on self-determination," said Mihajlović.

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