ECOM annually conducts an analysis of violations of LGBT people's rights in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Based on this analysis, we draw up a report with conclusions and recommendations on how to improve the situation in the countries.
The report on violations of the rights of gays, other MSM and transgender people in Armenia in 2022 is based on documented cases of rights violations collected with the use of tools provided by ECOM and partner organizations, as well as a brief analysis of the legal environment.
In 2022, there were registered 80 cases of rights violations of LGBT community representatives in Armenia. In all cases, the motive was a negative attitude and hatred towards the protected characteristics of the affected individuals — most often these were sexual orientation, gender identity, involvement in sex work or HIV-positive status.
The offenses were committed both by individuals with whom the victims were not previously acquainted and by acquaintances, colleagues and relatives. Violations were often committed by civil servants — employees of military commissariats, registry offices, police, as well as by medical personnel.
Frequent attacks on trans women in public places by transphobic strangers, discrimination and outings in military commissariats raise concerns.
In most cases, the victims were unwilling to turn to law enforcement agencies, courts or other state institutions – they do not trust law enforcement agencies; they are convinced that their rights will not be restored, or they are afraid to disclose their orientation, identity or HIV status.
ECOM identified a number of barriers in the legal environment and, as a result, developed the following recommendations for the Republic of Armenia:
- Introduce characteristics of sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics in national legislation.
- Adopt a comprehensive legal act on the elimination of discrimination and ensuring equality, in which sexual orientation and gender identity are defined as characteristics that are protected from discrimination.
- Take measures to disseminate information about SOGI among the population in order to eradicate existing stereotypes, stigmatization and discrimination in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Publicly condemn hate speech, stigmatization and discrimination against LGBT people, hate crimes.
- Ensure proper investigation of crimes related to discrimination based on SOGI.
- Conduct regular training events for law enforcement agencies, including on the topics of gender and discrimination.
- Ensure the right of trans people to change the gender marker in identity documents.
The publication was prepared by ECOM and published as part of the Regional project «Sustainability of services for key populations in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia» (SoS_project 2.0), implemented by a consortium of organizations led by the Alliance fir Public Health in partnership with the CO «100% Life», with financial support from the Global Fund.
The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of the consortium organizations as well as the Global Fund.
The Global Fund was not involved in agreeing and approving either the material itself or the possible conclusions from it.