On 22 September 2020 the Council of Europe has launched an important Project on "Human Rights in Biomedicine" in Armenia holding online the first Steering Committee of this project.
The Steering Committee was opened by Mr Mikhail Lobov, Head of Human Rights Policy and Co-operation Department of the Council of Europe, Mr Arman Tatoyan, the Human Rights Defender of Armenia, and Ms Anahit Avanesyan, First Deputy Minister of Health of Armenia.
In his speech Mr. Lobov recalled that the fundamental and indissociable link between human rights, solidarity and responsibility in this time of crisis is underlined by the Oviedo Convention - the only legally binding international instrument establishing a human rights framework applicable both to day-to-day medicine and to new technologies in the biomedical field. “The Project on Protection of Human Rights in Biomedicine” is an example of a capacity-building programme which help member states to align themselves with human rights principles in the biomedical field. This includes the preparedness of their national institutions to protect human rights in general and during public health crises in particular”, stated Mr. Lobov.
The Human Rights Defender of Armenia, Mr Arman Tatoyan, stressed the importance of increasing the role of health workers, of strengthening decent working conditions, especially their social safety.
First Deputy Minister of Health of Armenia, Ms Anahit Avanesyan, underlining the importance of future possible ratification of the Oviedo Convention, and emphasized that the Republic of Armenia has already undertaken certain legislative reforms in a number of areas of medical care and service to meet the requirements of the Convention.
The Project is implemented within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia 2019-2022, a strategic programming instrument that aims to bring Armenia’s legislation, institutions and practice further into line with European standards in the areas of human rights, the rule of law and democracy.
Given the current circumstances of pandemic and the impressive impact on individuals and the society which this public health crisis has brought, the Project has gained an added value and has become even more relevant.