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Recommendations of the Council for Global Equality to improve Armenian legislation

The Council for Global Equality is a US-based coalition of prominent human rights and LGBT+ advocacy organizations that encourage a clear U.S. voice for the human rights of LGBT+ communities worldwide. In the run-up to the Summit for Democracy, the council, in collaboration with F&M Global Barometers, created report cards on the 110 countries participating in the Summit. The report cards provide a score and a precise measure of the fulfillment of core human rights protections for LGBT+ people, based on data collected in 2020. Countries are assessed according to 30 indicators, divided into three subgroups: fundamental human rights, protection from violence, and socio-economic rights. Countries are evaluated based on their progress, receiving points according to their legal measures or absence.

It is important to note that the only country that has harmonized its domestic legislation with all indicators is Malta. The report on Armenia shows significant shortcomings in the protection of the human rights of LGBT + people. Notably, there is no comprehensive legal recognition of gender identity, and the physiological alteration requirement and psychiatric diagnosis are still required for legal gender recognition. Nevertheless, compared to other countries, Armenia has no criminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI). However, there are no rights or guarantees of socio-economic protection of LGBT+ people in Armenia from violence.

There is no comprehensive hate speech legislation in Armenia that would include SOGI as a protected characteristic, and there is no legislation condemning SOGI-based hate crimes.

According to the report, LGBT+ people are not protected from discrimination in the workplace. Moreover, in Armenia, there is no protection against discrimination based on SOGI in the health and housing sectors. A summary of the report cards can be found here.

The Council for Global Equality points out that democracy cannot be built and strengthened on its own unless the human rights of all citizens are protected, including marginalized groups.

The protection of the human rights of LGBT+ people is indirectly linked to the advancement of democracy, and efforts against corruption and authoritarianism can help improve the human rights situation in the country. Over the next year, all the summit member states have the opportunity to make progress in their legislations, improving the human rights of LGBT+ people and strengthening democracy in their respective countries. The Council for Global Equality calls on the Republic of Armenia to review and improve the current legislation to protect the rights of LGBT+ citizens.

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