The UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (hereafter։ the Committee) studied the situation of women’s rights in Armenia this year during its 83rd session. Based on the report submitted by the State, the information provided by other UN structures, as well as data provided by civil society, the Committee summarized its observations, presenting relevant recommendations to the State․
The Committee addressed the systemic problem related to respect and protection of the rights of lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. It is noteworthy that, in addition to the issue of discrimination, harassment and hate speech, the Committee emphasized the issue of ensuring the right of transgender persons to sex reassignment and change of gender marker. The Committee, in particular, recommended to the State:
- Adopt legislative and policy measures to combat gender-based violence and discrimination against lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons, including hate speech and physical, verbal and emotional abuse;
- Protect the human rights of lesbian, bisexual and transgender women and intersex persons in all areas covered by the Convention and conduct awareness-raising activities to address their stigmatization in society;
- Ensure the right of transgender persons, including women, to change the gender marker on their passport and other identity documents;
- Ensure that lesbian, bisexual and transgender women can freely participate in political and public life by exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly without intimidation or reprisals.
Although the issue of legal gender recognition of transgender persons derives from the right to respect for a person’s private life, it is essential to have a direct recommendation presented by the Committee to the State on the implementation of which the State must provide information during the next reporting cycle. It should be noted that various manifestations of discrimination and violence against LBT women have been raised many times. Still, the State has not provided any solution to them either at the legislative level or in practice. And the change of indication of sex in identity documents is possible only after complete gender reassignment surgeries, which does not follow human rights and the best practices for the protection of transgender persons.
Pink will follow up to ensure that the Committee’s recommendations receive due consideration by the State prior to the Committee’s next cycle of review.