February 21
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The Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is concerned about the situation of LGBTI people in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, noting that “many infringements of these people’s human rights have been alleged or confirmed”.

Those countries, the Committee said, should adopt effective legislation and “policies to strengthen action against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual characteristics”.

While welcoming the progress made by Georgia in combating discrimination, as well as the opportunities that arise with the current democratic transition process in Armenia, the parliamentarians called on Yerevan, Baku and Tbilisi “to guarantee the right to hold public events to support the rights of LGBTI people” such as Gay Pride marches, ensure that they can take place safely and “protect the participants from any violence”.

The adopted draft resolution, based on the report prepared by Christophe Lacroix (Belgium, SOC), calls for the adoption of codes of conduct for the media and members of parliament “prohibiting stigmatising and discriminatory comments and hate speech targeting LGBTI people”.

The parliamentarians also called on the three Southern Caucasus states “to improve access to sexual and reproductive health care and information and awareness-raising about sexually transmitted diseases; introduce procedures which allow transgender persons to change their name and sex on birth on documents; and to strengthen co-operation with civil society organisations working to protect human rights including those of LGBTI people, while guaranteeing their independence and protecting their safety and that of people working with them”.

The draft resolution will be debated at the next PACE plenary session (24-28 January 2022).

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