Discrimination towards the LGBT community in Armenia continues to be widespread, as the state fails to undertake any actions to reduce the negative attitude towards the LGBT community and to protect their human rights. Rather than promote equality, the leading political party representatives and media affiliated with authorities continue to spread hate speech towards LGBT people, strengthening the environment of impunity in the county.
The absence of anti-discrimination legislation and accountability mechanisms for discrimination cases greatly contributes to the violation of human rights of LGBT people; with this, the lack of implementation for the existing legislation also increases the vulnerability of LGBT people.
Furthermore, the absence of legal mechanisms and any general policy to combat discrimination foster the improper investigation and failure to qualification and hold perpetrators accountable in crimes against LGBT people as hate crimes based on the sexual orientation and gender identity of a person are not prosecuted by Armenian legislation.
The absence of legislation prohibiting hate speech against LGBT people has further enabled government officials, state authorities and mass media to perpetuate hate speech within the context of freedom of expression.
According to Article 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, the state is obliged to respect and protect the dignity of individuals. Article 14.1 of the Constitution states that discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or other personal or social circumstances shall be prohibited.
This report summarizes reported and documented cases of human rights violations during 2014 reported to PINK Armenia, records of interviews with LGBT people and data obtained from court cases, internet sources and studies of other reports. In 2014, 44 people reported to PINK human rights abuses, all of which were in a way connected to their sexual orientation and/or gender orientation. The report presents human rights violations against LGBT people by the state, abuses by 3rd party persons and the state’s failure to establish equal opportunities for everyone.
The data on human rights violations of LGBT people is presented in the report in the following structure:
- The basic human rights provisions that have been violated with regards to documented cases, along with the constitutional provision and legislative regulations for the corresponding rights.
- General description of specific documented cases.