OSCE supports increased civil oversight of Armenia’s armed forces
29-10-2010 14:22:08 | Armenia | Human Rights
YEREVAN, 28 October 2010 – An OSCE-supported survey on human rights situation in Armenia’s armed forces was presented at the Armenian Human Rights Defender’s Office today.
The survey conducted by a non-governmental organization Tolerance Centre with the support of the OSCE office in Yerevan and facilitated by the Armenian Ombudsman’s Office looks at the legal, social and psychological aspects that influence the upholding of human rights in the armed forces.
"By supporting this initiative the OSCE aims to foster democratic civilian oversight over the armed forces. Human rights protection in the military is important for ensuring public trust and enhancing reliability and efficiency of the armed forces," said Grzegorz Michalski, the Politico-Military Officer at the OSCE Office in Yerevan.
The survey consisted of interviews and discussions; its findings are based on assessing the legal awareness of military personnel, their psychological readiness to lead and be led, as well as social factors influencing relations between military staff. The report provides recommendations on addressing legal and psychological challenges, ensuring human rights protection when applying disciplinary sanctions, including through setting up legal support centres in the armed forces.
Armenia’s Ombudsman Amen Harutyunyan added: “This exercise focusing on the rights of military personnel is an unprecedented example of co-operation between the civil society, the defence sector, the Ombudsman and international organizations in a field, where there big potential for further joint work exists. We attach high importance to this initiative and plan to continue the co-operation in this format to encourage further legislative and practical changes to benefit the armed forces and society at large”.
Representatives from the Ombudsman’s office supported the monitors by accompanying them on the visits to military units and assisting them in surveying military personnel in Yerevan and regions of Armenia.
The OSCE Office works under an agreement with the Armenian Human Rights Defender's Office providing expert assistance to promote human rights protection in the military.