Equality and Non-discrimination

SWV’s work is two-tiered: 1) to raise awareness of discrimination and its visibility and 2) to raise the capacities of both victims and state actors to fight discrimination. Moreover, SWV empowers women victims of discrimination, and watchdog the duty bearers to implement their international and national obligations.
SWV is a founding member of the Anti-discrimination Coalition, which is a coalition of various CSOs established in 2015.
SWV has incorporated into its activities efforts on combating discrimination against LGBTI persons in Armenia. SWV, seeks to overcome homophobia/biphobia/transphobia through public awareness raising, positive media visibility, and promoting human rights.

Only during 2011-2013, 5891 LGBTI  people have emigrated from Armenia, which was found out from Pink Armenia's research, called ''The impact of LGBTI people emmigration on the economic indicators of Armenia''. Besides the general stimulating factors of people's emigration from Armenia, there are also specific factors for LGBTI  people-discrimination, homophobia, as a result: physical security threat, defenceless from the goverment, family problems, harassments, being blackmailed, sex change related problems and etc.

''The situation of the LGBTI individuals and human rights in Armenia'' study, conducted by ''Society Without Violence'', reveals the legal gaps in the LGBTI people's rights in Armenia and law-enforcement practice common in the state. It outlines the main issues and gaps related to equality and non-discrimination, life and security, work, education, rights of health and social security, as well as freedom of expression.

Another study by Pink Armenia, ''The attitude of society towards LGBTI  people in Armenia'' introduces in details stereotypes common in society about LGBTI  people, the nature and bases of intolerance.

Through these 3 studies, it's possible to have a general and theoretical understanding of the situation of the LGBTI  people's rights in Armenia and the main causes of their emigration. This article, consisting of 2 parts, will introduce stories of 4 Armenian citizens- lesbian, gay ,bisexual and transgender, who have moved to different European countries. This also will help to understand the reasons why LGBTI  people leave Armenia, from the first source and based on private cases.

Despite the active work done by human rights organizations in the last few years, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual people continue to face discrimination, often are a victim of hate speech, and come across threats every day. Because of these reasons very few people take the risk to come out and publicly identify themselves as a member of the LGBT community. However, it is double the challenge for women to reveal their sexual orientation, since they also experience gender based violence and discrimination constantly. “Ankakh” weekly newspaper has spoken with three women from the LGBT community and gathered their testimonies on challenges they’ve encountered in life and still do every day.


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