Armenian Ombudsman staff receive election-related training with OSCE, EU support

Staff from the Armenian Human Rights Defender’s Office and experts from its Rapid Reaction Groups today received training on electoral rights in preparation for the 18 February presidential elections.

The event organized by the OSCE Office in Yerevan in co-operation with the Human Rights Defender’s Office and with EU funding brought together some 40 staff representatives as well as human rights and legal experts.

A training session was also held on 1 February. Staff of the Human Rights Defender as well as Rapid Reaction Group experts learned about electoral rights and how to address possible electoral violations during elections. Rapid Reaction Groups were formed to ensure that representatives will be on site to document and refer alleged electoral violations.

“Society needs to be aware of the inter-relationship between electoral rights and other civil and political rights, such as the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of expression, fair trial and others. I hope this training will help to strengthen the skills of the Human Rights Defender’s Office to evaluate and assess electoral violations in order to ensure a rapid and expert response on election day,” said Avetik Ishkhanyan, Chairman of the Armenian Helsinki Committee, who conducted the training.

The training sessions also aimed to support better co-ordination between the Օffice of the Human Rights Defender and Rapid Reaction Group experts.

The OSCE also supported the production of a public service announcement on the activities of the Human Rights Defender’s Office during the election, which has been broadcast since 1 February.

The training and the public service announcement are part of a 1.7 million-euro project on strengthening electoral processes in Armenia in line with international standards, implemented by the OSCE Office in Yerevan and financed by the EU.

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