children

Reducing violence against children in Armenia

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Funding: European Commission,
WV Great Britain

Background

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the emerged extreme poverty and the absence of social safety net greatly affected Armenian families. The cases of family break up, domestic violence and child abandonment as well as the number of homeless children have significantly increased.

The impoverished families had to leave their children for the state care. Insufficient resources, lack of monitoring, various levels of vulnerability, including disability, lower living conditions contributed to an environment where the children were exposed to various forms of violence.

In response to this issue, the government adopted the National Child Protection Programme (2004) that also includes provisions to release children’s institutions and apply community care models to protect children from violence.

Through cooperation with the civil society a number of resident care institutions were transformed into day care centres, mainstream educational institutions; while several resident institutions still recontinue to provide care for those children whose habitation in a family does not comply with child rights protection norms (due to physical, psychological and sexual abuse).

The government has established a 3-tier system that consists of the National Committee for Child Protection on a national level, Child Protection Units on a regional level and Guardianship and Trusteeship Committees on a community level. These structural changes have somehow contributed to the protection of vulnerable children; nonetheless, there is still homework to do.

The mechanisms of prevention of child abuse must be fully integrated into these structures. Moreover, some new appraoches should be adopted to fulfil and enlarge child rights protection system in Armenia. Thus, to complete this process the Government calls for cooperation and exchange of practices with civil society.

The issues to resolve

The present legislation reflects some concrete steps to keep to the international norms on child rights protection, however, the application of these norms is still insufficient as a result of poor coordination between state institutions and child rights protection bodies, and a lack of capacity to implement these norms.

Armenia’s national legislation does not cover all the norms necessary to protect children from violence. Moreover, lack of public awareness on child rights hinders the child protection policy the government has carried out.

Project objectives

• Capacity building and coordination of state agencies to protect children against violence
• Amend domestic law and policy on child care and protection services to align them with international child rights norms and seek for the implementation of these norms.

Target groups

• National Committee for Child Protection
• Three departments of Child Protection Units
• Six local centers of Social services
• Six Community Child Centers
• Thirty-seven bodies of Guardianship and Trusteeship Committees
• Children from four Resident Child Care institutions
• Children with disabilities and children at risk of violence living in 37 target communities.

The project lasts for 36 months and is being implemented in the capital Yerevan, Lori and Syunik marzes.…

armenia

Grassroots Voice for Human Rights Mobilization in Armenia

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“Grassroots Voice for Human Rights Mobilization in Armenia” project aims to enhance human rights in Armenia by facilitating and capacitating an institutionally embedded community-based human rights network that will act as a grassroots voice on human rights.  By using WV’s current and extensive network of community-based organizations the connection between the government, existing local human rights activists, and national Human Rights Organizations (HRO) is being created.
The project partners with Helsinki Committee of Armenia (HCA) and the Civil Society Institute (CSI), both having more than 10 years of experience working on human rights in Armenia and have demonstrated an ability to engage with the government to produce results. Also an intensive cooperation is established with the Human Rights Defender’s office.
Through its partnership with CBOs, WV intends to build their capacity, equipping them with tools of community member engagement, participatory needs assessment, monitoring of policy implementation at the local level, monitoring human rights situation, engaging with local, regional and national governments. Establishing a human rights framework is a natural addition to the CBOs development, and is not only have value in itself, but also significantly help CBOs to develop their advocacy and government engagement capabilities.
CSI is managing communication and outreach issues, as it has positioned itself as a hub for human rights communication in Armenia with its management of the ‘Human Rights in Armenia’ Web site (www.hra.am).
Already having rich experience in training a network of young human rights advocates HCA is facilitating the human rights training. In collaboration with WV, the training curriculum and mobilization strategy has been created for the CBOs that are in compliance with WV’s evidence-based advocacy and empowerment strategy.
For the HROs the collaboration with CBOs is not only widening the geographic reach of their communication strategy, it is also providing them with a new grassroots source of information. At the same time, WV works with these two national HROs to develop their institutional capacities by building capacity in such key organizational issues as fundraising, communication, research and development.
“Grassroots Voice for Human Rights Mobilization in Armenia” is a two-year project that launched in 2010.
Funding source: US Department of State…