On August 7 of this year, the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO organized a meeting with LGBTIQ persons who immigrated from the Russian Federation and Ukraine, the purpose of which was to familiarize them with the new social support program implemented by the organization. The social support program is implemented with the financial support of OutRight International and aims to alleviate the challenges faced by LGBTIQ immigrants who find themselves in difficult situations as a result of conflict and persecution.

The meeting was chaired by Lilit Martirosyan, the founder and president of the Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO who welcomed the attendees and presented the goals and implemented programs of the organization. She noted that the beneficiaries of this program implemented with the support of OutRight International organization can be those LGBTIQ persons who immigrated from Russia and Ukraine, who found themselves in a difficult situation due to the Russian attack on Ukraine, the subsequent mobilization, the crisis and the adoption of a new bill by the State Duma of the Russian Federation, which exclusively prohibits any “medical intervention to change a person’s sex” and also invalidates the legal recognition of gender in official documents for trans people. In addition, Lilit Martirosyan urged the attendees to inform their LGBTIQ friends about the program, as a total of 25 people can receive social support, which they can use to pay for an apartment, utility bills, hormone therapy, or food.

To apply for assistance, it is necessary to fill out the attached application. The Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO guarantees the confidentiality of provided personal data.

In the second part of the meeting, Russian and Ukrainian LGBTIQ persons presented the situation in their countries, the reasons for leaving the country, how they managed to find their lives in Armenia again, and what problems they face here as members of a vulnerable group. The majority of attendees cited the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent mobilization as the reason for the move, but there were also individuals who had a desire to leave Russia before the war due to pressures on LGBTIQ people and family problems.

The Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO has always stood by the side of marginalized groups and has been at the forefront of protecting and supporting the rights of the LGBTIQ community. In addition to this social support program, the organization also offers LGBTIQ people legal and psychological assistance, as well as regularly organizes courses, camps, and other events that LGBTIQ people can participate in both from Armenia and abroad. Thanks to such programs, we aim to create an environment of solidarity and an equal and inclusive society, where the rights and dignity of each individual will be protected and respected.

August 9, 2023 Armenia, Yerevan

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