Collaboration with UNDP to Deepen Understanding of Human Rights in the Armenian Parliament

In 2023, the RWI engaged in the activities contributing to the enhancement of knowledge and capacities of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia in the field of human rights. These contributions were designed and implemented in cooperation with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Armenia within the scope of UNDP-led project “Modern Parliament for a Modern Armenia”.

On May 30, 2023, RWI’s Director Morten Kjaerum spoke at the Human Rights Talks event in Yerevan. The theme addressed at the event centered around parliament’s role in human rights promotion with a specific focus on the impact of hate speech and disinformation. Human Rights Talks event in Yerevan was co-moderated by Zuzana Zalanova, Director of RWI’s Europe Office, and Ruzanna Hayrapetyan, Associate Project Coordinator at UNDP Armenia.

On June 2-4, 2023, a two-day research workshop co-organized by RWI took place in the Armenian capital. 21 staff members of the Expertise and Analytical Department of the National Assembly’s Research and Training Center as well as the Standing Committees on Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs and State and Legal Affairs participated in the workshop. Through interactive sessions with experts, participants were exposed to contemporary analytical and investigative approaches on how to engage and act on human rights issues in their respective field of work. As a result, workshop participants have gained and enhanced their knowledge and capabilities to conduct human rights analysis and research with regards to law and policymaking. Moreover, workshop participants have had an opportunity to engage with their fellows and experts on the topic of human rights outside of their day-to-day work milieu.

Another activity designed as part of the RWI-UNDP collaboration on strengthening the capacity of National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia in terms of human rights protection was a study visit for members of the Armenia’s Parliament on 27 August – 2 September 2023. The group of 10 Armenian MPs got to meet diverse stakeholders engaged in work on various aspects of human rights in Sweden. Connections between natural resource management and rights were explored during the meeting with Stockholm Environment Institute, while the promotion of equal parenthood was addressed during the meeting with an NGO “MÄN”, and gender budgeting was presented at the meeting with the Research Service of the Swedish Parliament. These are just some of the agenda items that were organized as part of the study visit. Overall, the visit has shown that there is a strong demand for the continuation of learning exchanges between the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and Swedish public agencies and civil society organizations.

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