Review of Armenia at UN Human Rights Committee to begin on Monday 16 July 2012.
PINK Armenia in cooperation with the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, ILGA-Europe and the George Washington University Law School International Human Rights Clinic has prepared and submitted a shadow report focusing on "Human Rights Violations of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) People in Armenia" for consideration at the 105th Session of the Human Rights Committee. (ILGA-Europe)
This is the first time such a comprehensive LGBT report has been submitted as part of the review of Armenia human rights commitments before the UN.
Human Rights House Network reports that the hearings of this and other Armenia related issues will take place on 16-17 July. You may follow live broadcast here: http://www.treatybodywebcast.org
To access LGBT Report in full - follow this link. Below are selected key summary extracts.
The purpose of this report is to highlight the widespread and systematic human rights violations
experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Armenia. These
violations have become all the more concerning in light of the recent upsurge in violent attacks
against the LGBT community, and speech inciting such attacks in the month of May 2012. In
particular, the report draws the attention of the Committee to the following breaches of the
• The State of Armenia remains deeply oppressive toward LGBT individuals, as reflected
by public officials’ statements against the LGBT community.
• The Armenian State fails to protect LGBT individuals from public stigma and hate
speech because it has failed to enact laws that criminalize hate speech, including against
• Individuals in Armenia are subject to discrimination on the basis of their sexual
orientation and/or gender identity by both State and non-State actors, including in access
to education, employment opportunities, and healthcare.
• Though inadequate reporting makes exact numbers uncertain, local human rights groups
report an alarming number of non-combat deaths in the army each year, including deaths
of LGBT individuals. Gay and bisexual men serving in the army may be particularly at
risk. The Armenian State fails to adequately prevent, investigate, and/or prosecute
incidents of gender and sexual orientation-based killings, including against LGBT
• Gay and bisexual men in Armenia suffer cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment while
serving in the army or detained in prison. In some instances, the State is responsible for
this abuse or fails to adequately prevent, investigate, and/or prosecute incidents of
violence toward LGBT individuals.
• The Armenian State refuses to recognize the gender identity of transgender persons.
By denying transgender individuals appropriate identity documents, the State withholds
from them the status of legal personhood.
The State of Armenia must adopt legislative, administrative, and judicial measures to ensure
respect, protection, and promotion of, and minimize violation of, human rights without any
distinction based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. To that end, the
Human Rights Committee should recommend:
1. Armenia should adopt anti-discrimination legislation that condemns discrimination based
on sexual orientation or gender identity.
2. Armenia should take appropriate measures to end all discrimination against individuals
on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity by adopting comprehensive
anti-discrimination legislation. In particular, the State party should introduce a
comprehensive system of laws that criminalize hate speech and discourage statements by
public officials that foster discrimination against LGBT people.
3. Armenia should take action to end all violence committed against individuals on the basis
of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the Armenian army or who are
detained in prison. In particular, the State party should protect LGBT persons from
discrimination, physical and mental torture, and degrading treatment. The State party
should revise the military code and put in place measures to fully investigate alleged
crimes on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and where appropriate,
ensure that such crimes are properly prosecuted and punished.
4. Armenia should take appropriate measures to ensure that all persons have the enjoyment
of their rights and are entitled to access basic services, such as education and
employment, without discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender
identity. In particular, the State Party should pay special attention to undertake these
efforts outside of the capital city of Yerevan.
5. Armenia should take steps to improve its public health campaign to end discrimination
against LGBT persons infected with HIV/AIDS.
6. Armenia should adopt appropriate laws that permit transgender persons to legally
transition, and to receive identity documents that reflect an individual’s identified gender.
Question to the State party
1. What is the State party doing to address discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation
and gender identity?
2. What is the State party doing to address hate speech and homophobic statements by
public officials, which are detrimental to the full exercise of the right to freedom of
3. What is the State party doing to protect individuals from physical and mental torture, and
degrading treatment on grounds of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender
identity, particularly in the Armenian army and among detainees?
4. What is the State party doing to legally recognize sex and name that reflect the
individual’s gender identity in the case of transgender people?
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