Our work in Armenia

Our involvement in Armenia began in the early 2000s. Between 2006-2009, we collaborated with UNDP Armenia to implement a Sida-funded project designed to strengthen the capacity of Armenia’s Human Rights Defender’s Office to promote and protect human rights principles. 

As a result of recent developments, including the ‘Velvet Revolution’, the re-escalation of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and the Covid-19 pandemic, Armenia remains polarised around many human rights issues. Its human rights reform agenda faces delays and is insufficiently applied in practice. These unfolding developments highlight the necessity to build human rights awareness and compliance with international human rights standards. Nonetheless, a window of opportunity remains to design and implement policy and legislative reform.  

We currently engage with our Armenian partners through a two-year programme supported by Sida. Our programme seeks to increase the capacity of representatives from the judiciary, state agencies, academia, and civil society, to apply international human rights standards in ongoing and future reforms in the country. We work together with a range of local and international stakeholders. We also collaborate with the Academy of Justice to support human rights training of justice sector professionals. Find more information here about our work with Armenian justice sector. 

We work together with universities in Armenia to support educational human rights programmes. Together with the American University of Armenia (AUA) and Yerevan State University (YSU), we have also explored how to support universities with their clinical legal education initiatives. Additionally, we support Masters programmes in human rights in Armenian universities. Learn more about our work with Academia and Research in Armenia

Our activities also bring together representatives of different sectors in Armenia. In 2021, we organized a workshop concerning cooperation between legal clinics and other actors delivering access to justice with YSU, AUA, and representatives from the Human Right’s Defender’s Office and civil society organisations. Recently, we also initiated the process of establishing a cross-sectoral platform, which would monitor cases of torture. This collaborative platform would involve prosecutors, investigators, ministry representatives, police representatives, and representatives from civil society. Read more about the cross-sectoral platform here.

Since 2020, we also have been engaging with Armenian participants through the Swedish Institute Academy for Young Professionals (SAYP), developed in collaboration with Lund University. In this programme, we gather young policymakers, public servants, and civil society actors, and develop their skills in governing, giving them the opportunity to network and exchange knowledge. We deliver human rights training, which specifically targets young professionals working in government and civil society from Armenia and other countries in the Eastern Partnership region, Baltic countries, and Sweden. 

Learn more about our SAYP training  https://rwi.lu.se/news/the-swedish-institute-academy-for-young-professionals-sayp/ 

Meeting to support implementation of Armenia’s National Human Rights Action Plan 2020-22 held in Yerevan in December 2021.

Armenia Programme Staff

Zuzana Zalanova

Zuzana Zalanova

Director of the Europe Office

Phone: +46 46 222 12 57
E-mail: zuzana.zalanova@rwi.lu.se

Zuzana has been promoting human rights, good governance, and civic engagement in various capacities in Europe and Central Asia.

Prior to joining RWI’s Europe Office, Zuzana was in charge of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in Ukraine with focus on civic and youth engagement. She previously coordinated rule of law programmes of the International Development Law Organisation (IDLO) in Mongolia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, supported regional human rights and justice initiatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Europe and Central Asia, and managed the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, a platform of civil society actors from the EU and Russia. Zuzana holds a BA degree in Political Science, an MA degree in Security Studies, and a joint (BA and MA) degree in International Relations with a specialisation in Non-Profit Management from her studies in the Czech Republic (Charles University, University of Economics) and the United Kingdom (University of Reading).

David Eile

David Eile

Senior Programme Officer

Phone: +46 46 222 12 58
E-mail: david.eile@rwi.lu.se

David Eile currently works as a Senior Programme Officer responsible for various projects under RWI’s Europe Office, focusing on different forms of academic cooperation in Europe and Cuba. Since joining RWI in 2006, David worked with various human rights programmes in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. David has an MA in Anthropology from Lund University and is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Uppsala.