On 7 November, the European Union and Armenia held their 12th Human Rights Dialogue in Brussels.
This year’s dialogue focused on wide range of topics related to human rights and fundamental freedoms of all citizens, including of persons in vulnerable situation and to the fight against discrimination on any ground, in order to build a more inclusive society and a better functioning democracy. Among others, these include: gender equality, fight against domestic violence, the rights of the child, labour rights, improvement of detention conditions, but also freedom of expression and information, as well as elimination of the hate speech and disinformation.
The EU and Armenia discussed cooperation on issues related to human rights and fundamental freedoms in multilateral fora, such as the United Nations, the OSCE and the Council of Europe, and committed to strengthen this collaboration.
The EU congratulated Armenia on positive developments related to human rights since the last Human Rights Dialogue in March 2021. This relates, for instance, to the new law on the rights of persons with disabilities or improvements in the media environment. It was emphasised that this progress has happened despite complex challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the tense security situation. At the same time, participants agreed that the human rights situation in Armenia could still be improved and that it was important to raise public awareness about these issues. The EU committed to continue providing Armenia with financial and technical assistance on key areas of human rights, particularly related to the implementation of the human rights related provisions of the CEPA.
Armenia updated on the government plans to carry out a constitutional review process, that should be transparent and inclusive, and on further plans to improve the electoral system. Armenia also informed about the September Azerbaijan’s attacks on Armenia’s sovereign territory and their grave consequences on the human rights of the persons residing in the affected territories.
The EU delegation was headed by Ms Dorota Dlouchy-Suliga, Head of Division in the European External Action Service. The Armenian delegation was headed by Mr Ara Margarian, Head of the European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And included the Deputy Minister of Justice Ms Armenuhi Harutyunyan and Ms Kristinne Grigoryan, Armenia’s Human Rights Defender.