Public call for Transgender Rights Protection

Today the World marks the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Many countries around the world celebrate gender and sexual diversity by organizing  various public events. Unfortunately, transgender people in Armenia still remain targets of daily stigma, discrimination, violence and humiliation, because of the conservative values of the Armenian society and the lack of political will to ensure gender equality.

The level of hate against trans people escalates especially when number of radical groups, civil society representatives, religious leaders, politicians, journalists and other members of society do not stop sharing threats and hate speeches against transgender people and continue to remain unpunished.

At the same time, “Right Side” human rights defender NGO states that after Lilit Martirosyan’s speech in the National Assembly, transgender human rights defenders in Armenia continue to suffer persecution, because the hate continues its escalation. All those who threatened are in freedom, while the Police failed to initiate any criminal case against them based on the number of reports by “Right Side” human rights defender NGO.

Taking into consideration the lack of legislation on anti-discrimination, hate speech, hate crime, raised number of violence against transgender people, unprotected transgender human rights defenders, the atmosphere of fear and impunity,  “Right Side” human rights defender NGO calls:

to the politicians, the RA Government and MPs to,

ensure the development of legislation and policies aimed at the protection of transgender people rights, including,

  • development of legislation prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression,
  • criminalization of hate crimes committed on the ground of gender identity and expression,
  • adoption of legislation that prohibits hate speech,
  • development and adoption of medical protocols on gender reasignement surgeries and hormone replacement therapy,
  • improvement of the legislation related to legal gender recognition based on self determination without, without compulsory medical interventions and forced sterilization,
  • adoption of legislation guaranteeing the safety and security of transgender human rights defenders.

to the RA Police,

ensure the evelopment of policies aimed at protecting the rights of transgender persons who are victims of violence, including,

  • react and record the violence against transgender people as hate crimes based on gender identity and expression,
  • react and record the threats against trans people as hate speech,
  • to conduct fair, transparent and impartial investigations of cases of anti-trans violance,
  • to stop using offensive and discriminatory terminology while communicating with trans people.

to the Religious organizations and leaders
Implement preachment based only on the values of love and respect, including:

  • accept the transgender belivers in their churches,
  • promote the ideology of sexual and gender equality among their followers,
  • refrain from influencing political decisions, remembering that Armenia is a secular state where the church operates apart from politics.

to the Media organizations and journalists
Implement high quality and impartial professional activities, remembering about media impact on public life, including,

  • refrain from spreading offensive and degrading media outlets by transgender people,
  • stop publishing media materials that offend the dignity of transgender individuals,
  • when covering issues of transgender people, to cooperate with the “Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO in case of lack of relevant knowledge and information about the topic.

“Right Side” Human Rights Defender NGO also reminds that transgender people have always existed in our society and once again we call on all citizens to show solidarity and respect towards sexual and gender minorities in Armenia in order to strengthen the democracy building and achieve equality in Armenia.

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