As we presented earlier, in February 2021, three transgender women purchased fourteen-day holiday packages to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Arriving at Sharm el-Sheikh airport on February 19, after waiting for six hours at the security checkpoint, they were informed that none of them could visit the country, as it was stated in their passports that they were men, they could enter the country only after changing their gender markers in the passport.

Immediately, the “Right Side” HRD NGO applied to the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in the Arab Republic of Egypt for clarifications on the incident.

In April 2021, the “Right Side” NGO received an official letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia regarding the following: the reason for forbidding D. Gh., H. D. and E. A. from visiting Egypt was the discrepancy between the gender of the mentioned individuals in their passports and their appearance.

There are many such cases when the rights of transgender people are violated both in the Republic of Armenia and outside the borders of the country, but they have not been addressed for years.

The “Right Side” HRD NGO has repeatedly raised this issue in the RA Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice and other state institutions for solutions, but so far it has not received any positive response or the submitted letters have remained unanswered.

The “Right Side” HRD NGO calls for immediate legislative reforms to eliminate the existing problem that transgender people have been facing for years, receiving many psychological traumas that affect their quality of life.

The conclusion of the Civil Acts Registration Office on making corrections, additions or changes in the record of the Civil Status Acts Registration of the Republic of Armenia is drawn up in the following cases, when, in accordance with the RA legislation, the medical institution has issued a formal document on thegender reassignement. That is, if a person wants to make a change in the record of the Civil Status Act (gender marker change), they must:

  1. Carry out a gender reassignment surgery.
  2. Submit a document on gender reassignment issued by a medical institution in accordance with the RA legislation.

In its judgment in the case of AP, Garçon and Nicot v. France (06.04.2017), the European Court of Human Rights referred to the above-mentioned issues, in particular, noting that: legal gender recognition on sterilising surgery or treatment, which the persons concerned do not necessarily wish to undergo means a complete denial of the exercise of the right to respect for one’s private life. The Court found that a change in a person’s appearance, through gender reassignment surgery, sterilization or other medical interventions, leads to irreversible consequences and violates the person’s physical immunity. The Court held that the respondent State had failed to fulfill its positive obligation to ensure respect for the right to privacy. The Court finds that there has been a violation of Article 8 in this regard. In addition, compulsory sterilization has been criticized by the European Court of Human Rights in the cases of Y.Y. v. Turkey and Soares de Melo v. Portugal.

That is, it should be noted that the state cannot force a person to undergo gender reassignment surgery, as it completely violates the state’s obligation to respect the inviolability of everyone’s private life and freedom. Gender identity or sexual orientation is a part of a person’s private life; a person should not make a choice between their physical and mental immunity and sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, demanding proof of gender identity is degrading, violating a person’s dignity.

According to Article 26 of the RA Constitution, no one can be subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Thus, the study of the above-mentioned factual-legal circumstances concludes that the existing regulations in the Republic of Armenia force a person to undergo gender reassignment surgery (sterilization) to make changes or corrections in the Acts of Civil Status Registration, which has already been substantiated and proved is a rough interference with a person’s private life, a violation of the European Convention as well as national law. Therefore, it should be noted that the state forces a person to undergo irreversible surgery to make a correction in the Act of Civil Status Registration, which is inadmissible and contradicts the international obligations assumed by the Republic of Armenia.

At the same time, it should be noted that in Armenia there are no legal regulations, according to which the norms for providing a certificate of gender reassignment by a medical institution would be defined, the Ministry of Health still does not specify what is considered a gender reassignment.

As a result of a study conducted by the human “Right Side” HRD NGO, there are a number of CIS countri where only a document by a psychologyst or a group of psychiatrists is enough for a person to change their gender in the passport without mandatory medical intervention.

The “Right Side” HRD NGO is taking steps towards the radical solution to the problem. You can get information about the further process on this issue from our official website.

The “Right Side” HRD NGO urges Transgender people to cancel their planned visits to the Arab Republic of Egypt to avoid further problems.

Apr 28, 2021 Armenia Yerevan


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