On April 12-14, 2019, Kiev hosted the Second European Lesbian Conference, one of the main aims of which was to provide a space for lesbian* women to develop a political agenda and a working plan for the European Lesbian* Movement, which aims to increase the impact and visibility of the lesbian* community in all spheres.
Hundreds of lesbian* activists, artists, politicians, and academics from 40 countries gathered together to discuss pressing issues a month prior to the EU parliamentary elections.
The conference program included various sections on politics, safety, lesbian* life and problems, art and sexuality. The official launch of the biggest network of advocacy and visibility for lesbians in the world took place.
Members of “Pink” human rights’ defender NGO also took part in the Conference. In “(Re)Claiming our lesbian bodies and spaces: safety and security” panel discussion Rim Sardaryan, one of the spokespersons of the discussion, spoke about the hate crime committed in Shurnukh village in 2018. She voiced the issue that even at that time the perpetrators mostly targeted individuals who were supposed to be male, than female ones, which means, homosexual women are not perceived sufficiently important to be fought against.
Rim Sardaryan also noted that there is no criminal liability for hate speech and hate crime in the Republic of Armenia, also no direct prohibition of discrimination, which leads to the creation of an atmosphere of impunity among offenders committing crimes against LGBT people coupled with discrimination on the grounds of SOGI and the repetition of crimes.
Rim, who directly works with the lesbian* community, highly appreciated the work of the queer feminist activist groups in Armenia, but expressed concern that there is no no lesbian movement in Armenia as such.
Far-right protesters targeted the hotel where the conference took place, but the conference continued as planned without any troubles.