We collaborate with the Armenian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to provide expert support to the implementation of the 2020-2022 National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP). Our work contributes to key reform strategies in Armenia: the National Human Rights Strategy (2019-2022); the Strategy for Judicial and Legal reform (2019-2023); and lastly, the Strategy of the Penitentiary and Probation Field in Armenia (2019-2023).
Recent examples of our support to the justice sector in relation to the NHRAP include:
- We developed a study on how to better protect human rights activists and defenders in line with international standards and good practices internationally. In June 2021, the study was presented at a stakeholder consultation with Armenian ministries and civil society organisations and future implementation measures were discussed.
- We created a set of guidelines on how to legally determine whether mistreatment constitutes “severe physical pain or mental suffering”, a key element of the UN Convention against Torture that has been adopted into Armenian law. These guidelines were shared with state agencies and civil society, and in January 2022 a session was held for instructors at the Armenian Academy of Justice to enable them to incorporate the guidelines into relevant training for judges and prosecutors.
- We developed a second study, this to support establishment of legislation prohibiting child corporal punishment. In November 2021, we organised a consultation with representatives from state ministries, civil society, the office of the Armenian Human Rights Defender and UNICEF Armenia. The study put forward proposals for legislative amendments as well as other implementation measures drawing up international experiences in successfully addressing violence against children.
- Also in November 2021, we organised a workshop for more than 30 representatives of the Armenian Penitentiary Service, Probation Service and MoJ on prioritised areas of the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the ‘Nelson Mandela Rules’) and other relevant international human rights standards for correctional services. The workshop focussed in particular on standards relating to assessment, classification, and family contact for prisoners.
In December 2021, on a strategic level, we coordinated progress meetings with government ministries, representatives from the office of the Human Rights Defender and civil society which reviewed the progress made to date in the implementation of the NHRAP.