This "Forced Out" Armenia related report is based on a joint fact-finding mission by European and Dutch gay rights groups in January 2006, although, as far as I understand, it briefly touches some recent developments too. It follows similar reports on Georgia and Azerbaijan.
I have not yet read the report, just got it via email. It seems to me a very important account on the situation with LGBT people and rights in Armenia, the first of its kind. Will certainly read it over the next coming days, and will aim to present more details and reflections over the coming weeks. In the meantime, below is a press release by ILGA-Europe which contains link to the full report.
Maxim Anmeghichean, ILGA-Europe’s Programmes Director
ILGA-Europe launches its report on the situation of LGBT people in Armenia – the last in a series of reports about human rights of sexual minorities and transgender communities in the South Caucasus.
Although Armenia has signed most of the relevant international and regional agreements, in practice respect for human rights principles is generally weak, and work to make them a reality ‘on the ground’ is limited. As in the other countries of the South Caucasus, this is particularly the case with regard to human rights of LGBT people, who suffer from a high level of hostility, discrimination, social exclusion, hate crimes and violence. Homophobia is deeply rooted in the Armenian society. Stigmatisation is so pervasive that most LGBT people are forced out of communities and deprived of any chance to openly express their sexual orientation or gender identity. And yet they are forced to come out and organise into associations and groups if they want to be able to stand up for who they are.
The report is based on information gathered before, during and after a joint COC – ILGA-Europe fact-finding mission in January 2006 by ILGA-Europe’s Programmes Director Maxim Anmeghichean. During the mission several working methods were used. In addition to interviews, meetings and analysis of available literature, a legal expert was contracted and a questionnaire developed.
The joint ILGA-Europe and COC report is the first of its kind to be published about same-sex relationships and LGBT people in Armenia. It explores identities, common human rights violations, the landscape of LGBT organising, health and HIV/AIDS, and relevant legal aspects. It also provides recommendations to the Armenian government, donors, LGBT activists and international organisations.
The report is available in PDF format on ILGA-Europe website.