Human rights in the armed forces in Armenia discussed on the occasion of the Human Rights Day

Yerevan, Armenia 11/12/2017
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Human rights in the armed forces in Armenia discussed on the occasion of the Human Rights Day

On 11 December 2017 the Council of Europe (CoE) Office in Yerevan organised a round table discussion on the occasion of the Human Rights Day.

The round table was attended by representatives of different departments and services of the Ministry of Defence of Armenia, in particular of its Human Rights and Integrity Building Centre (HRIBC), General Staff, Military Police and higher military educational institutions. Participants from Human Rights Defender’s Office, Military Prosecutor’s Office, Investigative Committee, National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence and Security as well as local CoE experts were also present at the event.

In her welcome remark, Ms Natalia Voutova, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan reminded that in accordance with the principle of “citizens in uniform” promoted by many countries and international organisations, members of the armed forces are entitled to all the rights and freedoms as other citizens. She highlighted that as the MoD is a new counterpart for the CoE, the Armenian Government’s initiative of co-operation in this specific area was particularly commendable. Emphasising that the Project coincided in time with a large-scale reform of the military legislation of Armenia, Ms Voutova reaffirmed the commitment of the CoE to further support the national authorities in strengthening human rights guarantees in the defence sector.

Head of the Human Rights and Integrity Building Centre of the MoD, colonel Aleksandr Avetisyan delivered the welcoming remarks on behalf of the Minister of Defence of Armenia, Mr Vigen Sargsyan, underlining that the Project played an important role in supporting the Armenian Government’s efforts to enhance the civilian and democratic control over the armed forces, and thus increasing the protection of human rights.

The discussions at the event concerned strengthening human rights guarantees in various areas of military sphere, especially during the call up process, and the civil rights of members of the armed forces. The second part of the round table was dedicated to the issues and needs of human rights education and training of military servicepersons and legal professionals working in that sphere.

The event was organised within the scope of the project “Strengthening the application of European human rights standards in the armed forces in Armenia”, funded by UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.

Dear Visitor,

Welcome to the website of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan.

The Office represents the Secretary General of the Organisation in Armenia. It closely co-operates with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other national authorities supporting the implementation of statutory obligations to the Council of Europe by Armenia. The Office also co-ordinates and implements a number of Projects and Programmes supporting legislative and institutional reforms in Armenia.

A new 2015-2018 Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia was adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on 15 September 2015. It constitutes the strategic framework for the co-operation of the Organisation with the Armenian authorities with a view to promote current reforms in the country. The four main directions of action under the document are: protecting and promoting human rights, ensuring justice, combatting threats to the rule of law, as well as promoting democratic governance.

As part of our continued outreach, the Office is also committed to working closely with NGOs, the media, and the public at large.

I hope that the information and resources available on this website will be helpful to address your questions related to the activities of our Office and the Council of Europe in Armenia.

Thank you.

Natalia Voutova

Head of the Council of Europe Office in Yerevan

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