Turkmenistan is a state in Central Asia, and is considered to be one of the most closed and repressive countries in the world.
In Turkmenistan, there are no independent civil society organizations or associations that could exercise oversight over the application of legislation in particular areas related to LGBT, and subsequently provide their assessment and recommendations to government bodies. There is not a single independent body in the country that could conduct research on sensitive topics, such as violations of the rights of representatives of the LGBT community, etc.
Open, romantic relationships between people of the same sex are completely out of the question. This topic is taboo, and it is not acceptable to discuss it either in the family or in society in particular. Issues related to LGBT community are not addressed in the local media, which is completely dependent on the state, and are not included in the educational programs of secondary schools and higher education institutions. This topic does not exist, and therefore LGBT people do not exist.
ECOM presents Legislative analysis related to LGBT rights and HIV in Turkmenistan. Analysis reviews identify the legal barriers for people living with HIV, gay men, other men who have sex with men and trans* people in exercising their rights in different areas. To conduct such review, ECOM developed a methodology and a survey questionnaire, which we filled in with the help of our local partners. When analyzing legal practices, consideration was given both to judicial practices and to the information provided by activists, received from the organizations documenting cases of human rights violations and protection of such rights, news in mass media, and reports of non-governmental organizations submitted to the international agencies.
Both legislation and law enforcement practices were analyzed in terms of their compliance with the international and European standards. Besides, we analyzed the recommendations received by Turkmenistan within the international monitoring mechanisms as well as performance of such recommendations by the government.