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November 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), a day to memorialise those who have been victims of transphobia and homophobia. On this day, we, the activists fighting for the trans people’ rights, are trying to draw the public attention to discrimination, violence, hate speech, and injustice towards the community members.
Unlike many other countries, Armenia does not have separate statistical data on the cases of hate speech, hate crimes and discrimination against trans people, and does not take special measures to address them. Unfortunately, RA law enforcement bodies do not collect information about gender-based crimes that would contribute to the safety and well-being of the community members. Therefore, we, as a community-based organization, have been collecting cases of hate crimes, gender-based violence and discrimination against trans people since 2016, speaking about them on national and international platforms, hoping that Armenia will take up its obligation to protect trans people and create a safe environment and living conditions for them.
It should be noted that during the recent months, the “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO has been working in an emergency situation, trying to respond to the increased cases of violence, discrimination, hate speech and hate crimes against transgender people, doing everything possible to ensure the safety and well-being of the trans community.
From January to November 2022, we collected 94 cases of hate crimes against transgender people, including physical and psychological violence, destruction of property, rape, extortion, robbery, disclosure of personal information and kidnapping; the cases were committed both by family members, colleagues, friends of transgender people, and public officials.
As of November 18, 2022, a total of 21 cases are being handled by the “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO: 2 of the cases are in the ECHR, 5 are in the court, and 14 are in the preliminary investigation stages.
Taking into account the increased number of cases submitted to the organization and the progress of cases, we believe that the protection of the transgender people rights in Armenia should be the focus of attention of both LGBTIQ+ activists and civil society representatives dealing with human rights.
Based on the current situation of transgender people in Armenia, the Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO calls on:
The Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO reaffirms its adopted values for the sake of equality. Today, at this very moment, we can and must do more to ensure that transgender people are safe, able to get education, find work, access health services, be included in decision-making processes, and lead safe and dignified lives.
November 20, 2022 Armenia, Yerevan