According to Freedom House, Armenia saw improvements in the field of human rights in 2013. The attitude towards anti-government association and gathering was variable during the past decade. The prohibitive regulation as of 2008 was later repealed, but EU Progress Report 2014 noted increased violence against human rights defenders as well as pressure on - and harassment of - peaceful demonstrators. FH, however, found the climate for opposition street protests somewhat more permissive. Similarly variable was the attitude towards NGOs. In general they are free and they are many, even though waiting in line for registration takes long, while some NGOs later become inactive or a smoke screen for money laundering. Following a number of cases of conscientious objection to military service, a
new civil service program had been introduced in May 2013, yet criminal investigation was soon launched against 12 out of the total of 41 applicants on religious grounds who had failed to qualify. Academic freedom is among better protected rights. Well protected are also ethnic minorities, but with the exception of the Yezidi community. Contrary to that, sexual minorities face problems. True, a draconian law which copy-pasted that in Russia, itself banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” was withdrawn from the parliament procedure. Yet, LGBTs, as well as feminists, face extremist attacks tolerated by the police. There is no comprehensive anti-discrimination law. The presence of women in public life, especially in politics, is generally low. Out of 131 MPs only 14 are women, despite the electoral law that stipulated their presence on electoral tickets by at least one sixth. Other problems not tackled enough include domestic violence and human trafficking for the purpose of - often forced - prostitution.