UN rights experts commend Armenia laws to curb use of mercenaries

UN experts today welcomed Armenia’s commitment to combat the proliferating use of mercenaries and private security actors, urging greater oversight and stronger integration of human rights into its domestic policies.

During an eight-day visit to the country, the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries and private military and security companies gathered information on the laws and procedures criminalizing mercenary activities. They also focused on the laws and procedures criminalizing mercenary activities. They also focused on the activities of private security companies and their impact on human rights.

“Armenia stands out in its efforts to integrate the 1989 UN Convention on Mercenaries in its domestic legislation, specifically in Article 147 of the Criminals Code, which provides for a definition of mercenaryism in compliance with international law,” the experts said in a statement issues at the end of the visit.

The experts received information that during a trial in Kapan, a regional court applies the legal framework criminalizing mercenaryism to convict two Syrian citizens for participating in military operations during the hostilities, Both individuals were sentenced to life in a trial that lasted only one day in May 2021.

The experts noted that the application of the legislation is at its embryonic stage, and encouraged the Armenian judiciary to guarantee that a victim-centered approach is applied in the future.

The experts also noted that Armenia has initiated a reform on cyber security. “We urge the government to ensure that laws regulating the role of the private security in cyber operations is human-rights compliant,” they added.

The Working Group will present a full report of its findings and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in September 2023.

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