The Human Rights Situation of LGBT People in Armenia: Challenges and Realities

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room (1219 International Affairs Building)

Please join the Harriman Institute and the Human Rights Advocates Program (HRAP) at the Columbia Institute for the Study of Human Rights for a talk with Nvard Margaryan, Chairperson of PINK Armenia and participant in the Human Rights Advocates Program.

The LGBT movement in Armenia has made significant progress in recent years. Though the visibility of the LGBT community is increasing, the struggle for the human rights of LGBT people continues.

LGBT community members remain one of the most vulnerable groups in Armenian, and LGBT issues are often subject to political manipulation. Due to the politicization and polarization of LGBT issues, a new discourse of opposition has emerged between nationalists and LGBT activists. The manipulation of LGBT issues through nationalist forces is one of several mechanisms through which state authorities mobilize the public, using it to establish and secure their own power.

Nvard Margaryan has worked for more than five years at PINK Armenia, the largest LGBT community-based organization in Armenia. Elected as Chairperson in 2015, Nvard and her colleagues strive to create a safe space for LGBT people by promoting legal, psychological, and social protection and well-being. She also played a major role in the launching of a unique e-magazine, As You, which presents readers with issues related to human rights, sexuality, gender and other issues. Currently, Nvard is involved in the feminist movement in Armenia and is an active member of feminist platforms including the Feminist Platform of Armenia, the Young Women's Network of South Caucasus, as well as the Coalition to Stop Violence against Women. Nvard earned bachelor’s and a master’s degrees in social work from Yerevan State University.