A round table discussion titled ‘Anti-Discrimination Legislation: Why Armenia Needs it?’ took place on September 22 in Yerevan, Armenia as part of the supported multi-stakeholder activities of Civil Society Dialogue for Progress Project.
The goal of the event was to update Armenian civil society on the progress of high level discussions around development of new draft law on non-discrimination and brought together members of the Armenian National Platform of EaP Civil Society, international organisations including Council of Europe and OSCE and other active human rights defenders in the country.
Representatives of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia and the EU Delegation were invited to deliver their perspectives on the issue.
In the opening remarks of the event from the hosts - Executive Director of European Partnership Foundation Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan stressed the importance of cooperation between civil society, the Ministry of Justice, EU and international community. He especially highlighted the importance of Legal Study examining the need of adoption of a Law on Antidiscrimination which EPF has conducted with support of the Dutch Embassy and cooperation with MoJ earlier this year.
In his speech the Head of Department for Relations with the ECtHR of the Ministry of Justice Dr. Artyom Sedrakyan acknowledged the intention of Armenian government to proceed with the development of draft law and particularly stated ‘I think we have reached the moment when we can make a step forward in developing an anti-discrimination legislation.’
Political Officer of the EU Delegation to Armenia Mrs. Andrea Chalupova provided a good summary to the event stating that ‘Constitutions, of course give the main principles, but it is necessary to have the separate law adopted on the level of details. And the significance to have a separate law is that it is about all of us, it touches everyone. It’s about victims of domestic violence, persons with disabilities, children, elderly and persons with different ethnic and religious backgrounds. So the legislation is about all of us, all society.’
Constitutional amendments, campaign against discrimination in Armenia, LGBT issues, cooperation perspectives with other governmental bodies were discussed during the event. Next round table concerning the issues of discrimination and possible adoption on comprehensive piece of legislation is planned in October 2015.
The event was organised by Eurasia Partnership Foundation.