Human Rights in Armenia: 2014 Overview
The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December 1948. Since 1950 December 10 has been celebrated as Human Rights Day. This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day.

On December 10 the Media Center initiated a debate entitled “Human Rights in Armenia: 2014 Overview” cybercast at A1+.

The panelists included:

Avetik Ishkhanyan, chairman at the Armenian Helsinki Committee;

Artak Zeynalyan, head of the Rule of Right NGO;

Vardan Harutyunyan, head of the Center for Freedom and Rights;

Liana Ghaltaghchyan, deputy head of the Legal Acts Processing Sub Department of the Legislation Analysis and Improvement Department at the Ministry of Justice;

Sona Ayvazyan, deputy head of the Transparency International NGO;

Norayr Balayan, head of the Department on Legal Support to the Staff System of the Ministry of Justice.

The debate was moderated by Arevik Sahakyan.

The situation regarding human rights in Armenia, Avetik Ishkhanyan believes, is getting worse year by year and it turns out to be worse or unsatisfactory.

Artak Zeynalyan said the Law on Funded Pension, which was anti-constitutional according to Zeynalyan, violated the right to property of thousands of people.

“The administrative acts issued by the Police violate the right to information. The acts are sent to the Compulsory Enforcement Service without hearings," said Artak Zeynalyan.

Unlike the NGO representatives, Liana Ghaltaghchyan and Norayr Balayan believe there has been a significant improvement in legislation this year. "As for involvement of the civil society, there is a public council adjunct to the Ministry of Justice which includes NGO members, civil society representatives. The bills are always discussed publicly with NGOs or they are published on our official website.

"We seem to live two different lives. In one life we have other laws, draft some bills and make decisions to solve some little problems and in other life we have the reality our NGOs voice about but there is no adequate response. We have a stable bad situation," said Sona Ayvazyan.

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