Armenia must act to prevent discrimination against LGBTI people


The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe published a written statement on anti-discrimination legislation in Armenia․The statement was initiated by Fourat Ben Chikha, the leader of the Belgian Groen Gent Party, and was signed by 19 other parliamentarians.

The statement says:

The Armenian Government is drafting a law proposal, the “Law on Ensuring Equality”, which presents a significant opportunity to enshrine explicit protections based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics into law. The recent European Commission against Racism and Intolerance report on Armenia notes that intolerance towards LGBTI people remains predominant in Armenia. Recognising the law’s pivotal role in defining the protection grounds and framework in Armenia, the lack of explicit protection for LGBTI people in the initial draft by the Ministry of Justice would be a serious missed opportunity.

We appeal to the Armenian Government and Parliament to ensure the protection of the rights of LGBTI people in the final law. Emphasising the importance of upholding equality, human dignity, and non-discrimination, we propose the following recommendations:

  • explicit inclusion of sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression and sex characteristics, as protection grounds in Article 4 of the law;
  • inclusion of a provision in Article 8, allowing human rights organisations to bring claims related to the protection of public interest;
  • establish an independent equality body, empowered by the Parliament, to oversee and address discrimination cases.