May 17th is celebrated annually around the world as the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
Each year on this day New Generation Humanitarian NGO organizes different events: flash mobs, meeting-discussions, press releases and conferences to mark this special day of fighting discrimination against LGBTI people and bring the public attention to the issues and problems of this people.
This year’s IDAHOBIT event was held in the form of closed door discussion due to the recent escalation of SOGI-based discrimination in Armenia, protest marches, threats and calls for violence against LGBTI people and their allies.
The topic of the closed door discussion was Human Rights Protection in the Context of Prohibition of Discrimination.
Representatives of Diplomatic Missions in Armenia, international organizations, state agencies, RA Human Rights Defender’s (Ombudsman’s) office, lawyers, attorneys, human rights defenders and activists.
Sergey Gabrielyan, President of New Generation Humanitarian NGO opened the meeting with a speech. Next, the representatives of the diplomatic missions present at the meeting made their welcoming speeches and confirmed the commitment of their missions to help and support at their best the elimination of stigma and discrimination in the Armenian society.
The speakers of the meeting spoke about the manifestations of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Armenia during the recent year, in particular the surge of intolerance, hate speech and violence, hate-spreading public events against New Generation Humanitarian NGO in relation to hosting the LGBTI Christian Forum of Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Armenia in 2018, the hate speech and threats against transgender woman who made a speech at the National Assembly of Armenia on April 2019, the violent attack on LGBTI people in Shurnukh village, also criminal cases of LGBTI people were discussed.
The health and legislative issues of the field and possible ways of their solution were also discussed.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed to collect all the suggestions made at the meeting, to combine them into one package and submit to state and international institutions.
At the request of New Generation Humanitarian NGO, the Embassy of the Argentine Republic in Armenia raised the diversity flag as a sign of solidarity and protection of human rights of LGBTI people on May 21, 2019.
The Ministry of Justice of Armenia refused to participate in the conference and the deputy minister of Labor and Social Affairs canceled her participation 30 minutes before the event.
It is very sad to get such response from the ministries as regulation of existing problems and issues can only be achieved through dialogue.
The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. Now – 29 years later many states of the world have improved their mechanisms of fighting homophobia, biphobia and transphobia creating a safe space for LGBTI people free from hatred and violence.
The prevalence of intolerance, hatred and violence against LGBTI people in Armenia continues to remain a serious imperative for human rights organizations, human rights defenders and activists and also for the Armenian government and society.
LGBTI people are subjected to discrimination everywhere and are used by various organizations, individuals and political figures as source for manipulations, arousing disturbances and discords in the society, and for propaganda against European and Western values.
Meeting-discussion is held by New Generation Humanitarian NGO with the financial support of Norwegian Helsinki Committee.