National minorities in Armenia: prevailing climate of tolerance, but freedom of expression must be protected, early and forced marriages prevented, education improved

Armenia’s society is generally tolerant, but there are concerns about promoting national minorities’ rights and identities. Legislative progress is limited, and freedom of expression is restricted. Urgent action is needed to address Yezidi girls’ issues with early marriages and high school drop-out rates. The Advisory Committee urges the collection of data on gender-based violence and the adoption of comprehensive policies. Additionally, there is a stereotypical portrayal of minorities, risking assimilation of smaller groups due to inadequate support for their cultures and languages. The absence of comprehensive legislation on national minorities is regrettable, and the Council of National Minorities’ membership requirements should be more flexible. Consultation with minorities on administrative and territorial reforms is essential. The opinion is based on information gathered during the committee’s visit to Armenia in February 2022 and has been published along with comments from the authorities.

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