“DIVERSITY – 2016” Mass Media Award Ceremony was held in Yerevan

On April 6, 2017 “New Generation” Humanitarian NGO organized LGBTQI issues-related “DIVERSITY-2016” mass media annaul award.

Through organization of the award “New Generation” Humanitarian NGO aimed to speak up about issues of violations of rights of LGBTQI people through building a dialogue among journalists and representatives of international institutions and civil society, as well as to emphasize the importance of ethically correct approach by journalists in writing about cases of violation of rights of LGBTI people.

Sergey Gabrielyan, President of “New Generation” Humanitarian NGO and human rights defender, presented the achievements and future plans of the organization in the scope of the discussion. He highlighted the importance of encouraging those mass media representatives who have adopted non-discriminatory approach in writing about LGBTI related issues and have provided people with accessible information. S. Gabrielyan also noted that the NGO highly appreciates the adopted policy of European countries in the establishment of democratic values and mechanisms of human rights protection of LGBTI people in Armenia.

Greeting speeches were delivered by Norwegian Helsinki Committee epresentative Lene Wetteland, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to the Republic of Armenia Mr. Petr Mikyska, and  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Armenia Mr. Bernhard Matthias Kiesler.

The promotion of rights of LGBTI people and equality, the encouragement of decent life and respectful treatment are prioritized by foreign diplomatic agencies in Armenia, thus the speakers expressed willingness to share their experience and practice with Armenia and their intention to promote equality and tolerance both nationally and internationally.

The conference was also attended by representatives from Lithuanian, French and British embassies, Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, USAID Armenia office, Eurasia Pertnership Foundation, Chamber of Advocates of Armenia, Office of the Human Rights Defender of Armenia, human rights defender organizations and journalists.

Because of workload representatives of Ministry of Justice did not participate in the conference.

At the first session of the conference NGO representative Nare Hovhannisyan and sociologist Nane Bagratuni repesented “Instances of discriminatory treatment (i.e. hate speech, gender stereotypes and human  rights  violations) with regard to LGBTQI people in the Republic of Armenia” and “Manifestations of attitudes hate speech towards LGBTQI people and the violation of their rights in the online environment of Armenia 2016″ studies carried out with the financial support of the Norwegian Halsinki Committee.

The goal of the studies was to research the discriminatory attitude and hate-speech against LGBTQI people and human rights violations of LGBTQI people in the RA.

Then NGNGO lawyer Hayk Hayrapetyan and NGNGO attorneys Ara Karagiozyan and Maro Khachaturyan presentes cases of human rights violations of LGBTQI people in Armenia from 2015 to 2017 particularly focusing on legislative gaps that hamper the full exercise of the rights of LGBTQI people and as well as the biased attitude of of law enforcement agencies, which results in loss of confidence while applying for protection of their rights.

At the second session journalist Arman Gharibyan and expert Anna Nikoghosyan reffered to articles written about human rights of LGBTQI people highlighting overcoming of the barrier of the editor and changing the discourse of LGBTI people in the media.

Afterwards NGNGO representative Arman Sahakyan presented the results of LGBTI issues related “DIVERSITY-2016” Mass Media Award.

The goal of the Mass Media Award was to unite the potential of journalists from 10 regions of Armenia and Yerevan who address LGBTI related issues and encourage them.

The assessment committee members were Yuri Manvelyan, editor of Epress.am, expert Anna Nikoghosyan and journalist Sureh Deheryan.

The best journalistic material was evaluated by the following criteria: impartiality, urgency of the theme, rendering form, literacy, versatility, comprehensive presentation, journalism ethics, and content.

The article by Kyle Khandikyan and Nana Shakhnazaryan, “The Accepted Ones: Parents Support Their Gay Children”, which was publish on “As You” website in 2016, won the prize.

The author of the article thanked “New Generation” Humanitarian NGO for creating this ceremony which promotes professional and objective media coverage of LGBTI related issues.  

The articles by Lilit Arakelyan (“To beat- burn …. Violence against homosexuals is encouraged “from above”, “Eliminate, burn, slaughter: When hate speech in the media is seen behind the shadows”) and Alina Nikoghosyan (“Harsh Reality: “Negative stereotypes” blamed for ill-treatment of LGBT in Armenia”)were given encouragement awards.

You can find the details of the ceremony in the special issue of ”Along With Time”.