March 31 is the International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day that provides a platform for the trans community and supporters to share success stories, rights and advocacy victories, and achievements of trans people, as well as to once again raise issues that remain relevant, such as stigma, discrimination, violence and hate speech against trans people.

As a result of the 8 years of work of Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO, the first and leading Trans community based organization in Armenia and the region, the visibility of trans people in Armenia has increased significantly, many trans people have started to visit public places more freely, as well as speak out about discrimination and violations against them, demanding the right to a dignified life and equal opportunities.

In 2023 alone, the organization hosted hundreds of Trans LGBIQ, sex worker individuals and supporters each month in its community safe space, organized educational, informative, and capacity building trainings and events, camps and academies, provided free legal and psychological support, social assistance, and first aid packages of essential goods to LGBTIQ persons in difficult situations, thus including in the list of beneficiaries LGBTIQ community members displaced from Artsakh and affected by the Russian-Ukrainian war, as well as conducted and published reports and researches on the situation of rights of Trans LGBIQ people, domestic violence against LGBTIQ persons and Legal gender recognition.

Today we want to thank and appreciate the trans activists who have joined their efforts to break society’s stereotypes about trans people and create a more inclusive, safe, and democratic country for the next generations. Trans activists and non-governmental organizations are at the forefront of safeguarding trans rights and interests, because unfortunately, in the Republic of Armenia, there is still no law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the legislation on legal recognition of gender is not regulated, there are no trans-specific health care opportunities, there is no separate statistics on cases of hate speech, hate crimes and discrimination against trans people, and issues related to trans people are addressed only within the framework of internal political speculation, and spreading of hate speech. The evidence of all this is the attacks on trans people in public places, the cases of physical violence documented during the last year, as well as the violent murder of a trans woman in her apartment on August 21, which was followed by the flow of thousands of comments on social networks that glorified the murderer and encouraged the murder, containing hate calls and threats.

Non-acceptance by society and inaction by the state system, particularly the police, make trans people unprotected, homeless and in some cases even forced to flee the country and commit suicide. Right Side Human Rights Defender NGO reminds that supporting trans people is an integral part of strengthening democracy and establishing legal equality in the Republic of Armenia.

We thank the international donor organizations, partners, representatives of diplomatic bodies, organizations operating in the field, and activists who help us protect trans rights and interests in Armenia and create a more democratic and inclusive future, where every individual can live free from discrimination and violence, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender self-expression.

Right Side NGO firmly believes in the power of education and awareness to eliminate stereotypes and prejudice, and today, on Transgender Day of Visibility, we join our efforts and voices to remind once again that trans visibility saves lives. It’s time for real changes, so we are calling for:

State bodies:

– take appropriate legal steps to ensure the legal gender recognition and name change of transgender persons, based on the right to self-determination, and spiritual and physical integrity, eliminating the need for coercive medical interventions.

– update the draft law on equality to include the prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity and gender self-expression.

– provide by law based on hatred protection of transgender people from crimes and hate speech, documenting incidents, and how to report to other OSCE participating countries.

– To make the current curricula in the RA educational system inclusive from the point of view of the rights of transgender persons and to teach inclusiveness, sexuality, and gender issues.

– implement appropriate measures to fairly investigate all cases of violence, hatred, and discrimination against transgender people.

– stop encouraging hatred, discrimination, and ridicule towards transgender people.

RA Police:

– Ensure the safety of trans persons and all the rights granted to them by the RA constitution to the RA police, the prosecutor’s office, the human rights defender, and relevant bodies.


– avoid using incorrect and misleading terminology and stop promoting discrimination against transgender people.

– cover the issues related to transgender people based on the principles of inclusiveness and sensitivity.

– stop feeding wrong prejudices and stereotypes about transgender people, presenting them as sick people who want to destroy Armenian traditions and culture.

– respect the personal lives of transgender persons and cooperate with transgender persons when preparing news materials about them.

March 30, 2024 Armenia, Yerevan

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