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Southern Caucasus: measures to combat alleged violations of the rights of LGBTI people

The Assembly expressed concern 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 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 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”. Effective investigations against LGBTI people should be conducted and cases of violence prosecuted.

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.