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Summing up the Old Year, we welcome the New

Here comes the end of 2019. This year was significant for the organization and the community. There were both achievements and challenges. First, the organization was re-registered under the name of “Pink” Human Rights Defender NGO, and the charter identified more clearly our beneficiaries and activities for LGBT people.

As in the past, so this year, Pink has organized many events. The 5th Annual Rainbow Forum is a noteworthy example, which covered the origins of the LGBT movement, discussed current works, challenges, and progress, as well as community expectations and plans for the movement’s development and positive change.

It is important to address the issues of protecting the rights of LGBT people. First, Pink published three reports – one on the human rights situation of LGBT people, and two on the topic of hate speech and discrimination against LGBT persons. In this regard, it should be noted that the dissemination of information by various political forces and their support groups on the topic of LGBT, manipulation, and propaganda of intolerance by manipulative means has intensified. Some political figures have put forward proposals that limit the human rights of LGBT people. It was obvious that the manipulation of LGBT topics by some political forces had an agenda to collect dividends and to please the public.

The atmosphere of intolerance towards LGBT people remains in various areas of society. After the speech of a trans woman in the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and the news about the film about Mel Daluzyan, hate speech and expressions of discrimination became more widespread. Pink, along with a number of other organizations, published statements condemning speeches and behaviors that incite discrimination, hostility, and violence.

Unfortunately, in 2019 we also had many cases of LGBT rights violations. Pink, as a community-based organization, has always been there for the community, providing a full bundle of legal, psychological and social services. This year, more than 250 lawyer’s counselings were provided, 130 social worker’s, 850 psychologist’s, and peer counselings.

Pink emphasizes the importance of working with local as well as international organizations and other human rights organizations. In order to protect LGBT people from discrimination and violence, we have been actively working to change legislation and policy. In particular, Pink continues to advocate for the adoption of comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, making recommendations in the National Strategy for Human Rights, Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights, and national and international institutions to introduce LGBT human rights protection mechanisms.

We hope with the New Year constitutional guarantees will be ensured and all human rights will be equally protected and everyone will be free, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.