Armenia will present its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva on January 22, 2015. The UPR defines the human rights performance of Armenia.
“The UN UPR is not a most effective mechanism,” said Levon Barseghyan, President of the Asparez Journalists’ Club, Gyumri, adding that Armenian delegates fail to properly present several issues in the report.
The European Union, according to the statistics, is the number one trade partner of Armenia and largest investor in the country. The European Union (EU) will continue its cooperation with Armenia but the cooperation format will be defined during the upcoming bilateral discussions.
There haven’t been any positive systemic changes at penitentiary institutions (PI) of Armenia during the last 10 years. The changes were localized but the systemic problems such as criminogenic manners, low level of medical care, overcrowding at prisons, total implementation of arrest as a preventive measure and corruption still remain.
Acts of violence and oppression against journalists or media are widespread in Armenia. Within the first nine months in 2014 seven cases of violence against journalists were reported. However, offenders have not been revealed and punished so far.
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.
This year The Cultures in Dialogue Foundation initiated and carried out seven projects two of which were held in Yerevan while the other five were in Germany, Poland and Estonia. Among remarkable initiatives in 2014 are Minas and Narek Avetisyan: Modernism and Avante-Garde in Armenia and Striding Imprints: Tigran Sahakyan, Arman Vahanyan and Tigran Kirakosyan in Tallinn exhibitions; Intercultural and Interdisciplinary Improvisation on a Text by Armin T. Wegner and by Sören Kierkegaard” project entitled “Text, Klang, Werk”, and “Without Borders” international festival along with a fine art workshop and exhibition “Time and Space”.
The official statistics shows the Police of the Republic of Armenia received 1500 reports on attacks against women in the period of January-August 2014 while twelve women are reported to have died in domestic violence homicides this year. The Police identified those women’s deaths as domestic violence-caused deaths.
It is already the fourth consecutive year the Armenian Little Singers' International Association has organized a concert in Armenia, dedicated to the World Choral Day. The World Choral Day has been celebrated in the whole world since 1990 involving hundreds and thousands of choirs from 150 countries.
There is observed little progress in solving the issue of providing lodgings to orphanage alumni. After the failed state program 300 alumni are still waiting, with many of them living in humiliating conditions in half ruined dormitories.
Armenia ranked 94th out of the 175 countries included in the 2014 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) recently released by Transparency International. Armenia’s score of 37 was a tad better than its 36 score for 2013 and 3 points better than 2012.
Gevorg Safarian was assaulted just hours after attending a demonstration staged by dozens of fellow members of the PreParliament opposition movement outside the Armenian police headquarters. They protested against a series of arson attacks on cars belonging to PreParliament activists.
The Armenian dram plunged 4 points within few days. This multifactorial phenomenon has a negative impact on Armenia's economic indicators. The recent devaluation, experts believe, will not lead to a greater purchasing power of transfer payments, as expected by the Central Bank, since 85 percent of transfer payments come in rubles from Russia. The Russian ruble has recently dropped 35 percent.
Armenian experts in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment point out a set of issues in Armenia, namely low public awareness, unavailability of medical services, discrimination towards people with HIV/AIDS.