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Report: State Carries Economic Losses Due to LGBT Migration

From 2011-2013, the Armenian budget has lost approximately $20 million from the migration of LGBT individuals, while within the coming 12 years the state’s budget could lose as much as $370 million. These results are from a joint research project by the Public Information and Need for Knowledge and Socioscope Societal Research and Consultancy Center NGOs. 

These losses are explained by a number of factors. The damages society carries from one person migrating is tied to the migrant’s childhood years and to the loss of public investment in his/her education (Brain Drain), to the lost capital that migrant’s take with them when leaving the country, the decline in integral demand and psychological impact.

In addition, the report’s authors noted that the major difference between LGBT and other migrants is that LGBT individuals often do not send remittances or send insignificant amounts to the country, they often severe ties with their relatives in Armenia, which is cuases economic losses. 

The questions reveal that in difference to other migrants, who cited economic issues for migrating, LGBT individuals leave due to being subject to discrimination. Most experts, especially noted discrimination against LGBT people in multiple examples of being refused employment or being fired from work.

The interview participants described multiple examples of physical threats (arson attempts, home or material belonging arson, expulsion from home, assault and other types of violence)  of LGBT individuals. These threats take place in the family, public places, medical and educational institutions, law enforcement, and the army. In actuality, in all aspects of public life, relations with institutions, LGBT individuals are subject to violence (even in those institutions that call to defend them), instigate the decision to leave the country. The majority of LGBT individuals would not migrate if such issues did not exist. 

The report’s authors made policy recommendations to Armenia's state bodies, Government, and the National Assembly. 

1. Implement a common state policy based on the principle of non-discrimination in all spheres of public life.
2. Implement RA Government social policy and human capital development envisaged by RA Government 2012-2017 program based on the principle of non-discrimination in various fields towards society’s most vulnerable groups, in this case LGBT persons.
3. Adopt a separate piece of legislation prohibiting discrimination, which will prohibit discrimination on any basis in labor market and all spheres of the society, ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all.
4. Adopt effective law enforcement mechanisms. Anti-discrimination legislation is, of course, necessary, but it is not enough and without effective mechanisms discrimination will not just disappear.
5. Take into consideration the principle of non-discrimination when adopting laws and normative-legal acts as a basic rule for ensuring the realization of rights and freedoms of a citizen.

Report in entirety here.