“The number of people who come to the police and ask for support is growing daily. There is an increase of legal awareness”, head of Department of Juvenile Affairs of the RA Police, Colonel Nelli Duryan said.
The Colonel stated there must be a huge evidential base for depriving a person of parental rights in Armenia. “There may be 2-3 cases a year. Mainly the parental rights are terminated when parents put up their children to beggary”, Duryan clarified.
President of Child Protection Network, director of Fund for Armenian Relief’s Children’s Center Mira Antonyan is convinced that there is a large percent of violence against children that is mainly in social, not criminal field; for instance, psychological pressures or ignorance.
Chairman of “Family and Community” NGO Qnarik Garanfilyan mentioned that member NGOs of the Network currently work with about 1500 children. Besides physical violence cases (255), there are other types of violence, such as cases of neglect (524). “We offer big social packages to families. But it's not easy to make changes in a family”, Garanfilyan says.
World Vision Armenia Child Protection Expert Roman Harutyunyan states efforts are made to change the public perception of the violence as a phenomenon. “Some people take violence only as physical or sexual. Psychological violence is not considered as important as physical”.
Mira Antonyan claimed, there is, unfortunately no elaborated procedure in Armenia on what should a common citizen do hearing the neighbour's child cry, a teacher do seeing an injured schoolchild or one coming from problematic family.
Antonyan urged to call 080061111 if there is a suspicion that a child is a victim of violence and the witness is not able to enter the family and personally find out the reason. “We'll then visit the family and try to find a solution to the possible problem”, Mira Antonyan says.
Nelli Duryan emphasized that not only victims but violators have the right to social, psychological and rehabilitation services.
On November 19 the Media Center hosted a discussion on World Day for Prevention of Abuse and Violence against Children. The speakers of the discussion included Mira Antonyan, president of Armenia's Child Protection Network, director of Fund for Armenian Relief’s Children’s Center; Roman Harutyunyan, World Vision Armenia Child Protection Expert; Knarik Garanfilyan, president of “Family and Community” NGO; Nelli Duryan, Head of Department of Juvenile Affairs of the RA Police.