“Armenia has joined and/or ratified all the main international tools to eradicate discrimination. Nevertheless, the problem of discrimination has never been discussed consistently, and there are no effective legal mechanisms to prevent and punish discrimination against individuals. It is important to shape operational mechanisms in this context to prevent discrimination, intolerance and xenophobia, as well as to respond appropriately to such manifestations”, mentioned the head of PINK Mamikon Hovsepyan. (PINK Armenia press release)Representatives of the Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Office informed that they have already prepared a preliminary draft of the anti-discrimination law while stating the necessity and importance of this legislation.
It was bizarre to learn that the Ombudsman’s office has already prepared or in a process of finalising a draft anti-discrimination legislation without consultations with the local NGOs working in the filed. This resulted in heated discussions at the round-table.
As far as I learned, Ombudsman’s office reassured that the draft anti-discrimination law will be inclusive (inclusive of sexual orientation too). However, until I see it, I won’t be certain that this is indeed a comprehensive law. Also, Ombudsman’s office should use the word “consultation” to its full meaning and not just a mere formality.
On the other hand, while welcoming these developments, I have doubts that with the current parliament such legislative initiatives have a chance to pass, unless they are set as precondition by the European Union and European organisations to further develop ties with Armenia.