In 2015, sexual minorities in Armenia have been subjected to discrimination in the spheres of employment, healthcare and education, reads the Republic of Armenia’s Ombudsman’s Annual Report, explaining that sexual minorities seek jobs in the areas and fields where they will find tolerance. As an example, the Ombudsman notes catering, hairdressing, flower decoration sectors.
The report states that sexual minorities are also subjected to discrimination in receiving health care services and there are registered cases when people were not provided medical service because of their sexual orientation.
According to the Ombudsman, intolerance rates of the society did not change significantly towards sexual minorities in 2015 and cases of violence against them have been recorded. Referring to human rights defenders, it says that 2 individuals (transgender, ed.) were attacked in a park by 5 people in August, causing serious injuries – even brain concussion. The victims tried to get help from security guards, who refused to help them.
As mentioned in a number of studies last year, the Ombudsman’s report also notes that homosexual people are particularly vulnerable in penitentiary institutions. They are involved in the work that is considered degrading in criminal culture —cleaning toilets and discarding garbage. The Ombudsman considers it problematic that this issue has been raised for years but the penitentiary system does not take any measures to eliminate this culture.
Referring to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the report states that sexual minorities continue to face discrimination, harassment and physical violence; gender identity and sexual orientation are not included in anti-discrimination legislation (anti-discrimination legislation currently does not exist in Armenia, ed.).
While HRW received information on this matter from Armenian organizations working within the sphere of LGBT human rights protection, the Ombudsman chose to include information from the international organization in its annual report.
The Ombudsman also recalls that in 2015, in UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) working group report Armenia was assigned to take effective legislative and practical measures to ensure protection of sexual minorities from discrimination.