Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, A/HRC/16/44/Add.2, 23 December 2010: Armenia
II. GENERAL CONTEXT IN WHICH HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS OPERATE
17. The prevailing atmosphere of political dispute has also led to a context within which civil and political rights defenders appear to predominate within the human rights community. In contrast, economic and social rights activists, including those who work on women’s’ and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights as well as other social issues, are able to escape much of the politicization of other organizations, and the authorities have been responsive to some of their recommendations. However, economic and social rights activists often find themselves marginalized within dominant human rights discourse and are successful in their work insofar as it does not impact on civil and political issues, or touch on the vested interests of powerful individuals within society.
IV. CHALLENGES FACED BY HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
A. Overview of civil society in Armenia
60. Among the most vulnerable groups of human rights defenders in Armenia are those working of the rights of LGBT persons, women human rights defenders, NGOs working in remote areas and environmental activists.
61. Defenders working on the rights of LGBT persons frequently face hate speech by the media and verbal and physical abuse by representatives of law enforcement agencies. Intimidation of LGBT defenders is recurrent and it is felt that they are not understood even by some other parts of the civil society. There is a lack of awareness about issues related to LGBT persons in society in general, but also within civil society itself. Defenders working on LGBT issues are not able to register their organization as such, and are often forced to carry out their activities as human rights and sexual health organizations.
106. The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government:
• Address the specific needs of human rights defenders, including women and LGBT human rights defenders, in the National Action Plan on Human Rights.
Link to full text of the report: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/16session/A-HRC-16-44-Add2.pdf