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The 16 Days Campaign is launched in Armenia

The Armenian Government, the US and British Embassies, Delegation of the European Union to Armenia, OSCE Office in Yerevan, Council of Europe Office in Yerevan, United Nations Armenia Office jointly with civil society partners launched today the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

 

Garik Hayrapetyan, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. opened the event by noting: “Violence against women and girls not only ruins families and breaks lives of those involved, but also poses a threat to the economic and social progress of our whole society, and UNFPA’s most recent study confirms that.”

Filaret Berikyan, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Issues: “First of all, gender equality is a human right. Women have the right to live a decent life free of need and fear. While full realization of their potential is a necessary tool to boost country’s development and reduce poverty.”

 

Nelly Duryan, Chief of the Juvenile Desk of the Department of Criminal Investigation at the Police noted that in recent years RA Police takes practical steps for the prevention and identification of cases of domestic violence.

 

H.E. Richard Mills, Ambassador of the United States of America said: “To insure that victims of domestic violence receive the protection and services they need, the Armenian government, its civil society, and law enforcement all must listen to each other and work together. We know from the country’s successful multi-disciplinary, inclusive approach to fighting human smuggling that these groups can work effectively together. We hope that this year’s 16 Days campaign marks the beginning of long and productive partnership between all the stakeholders present here today. “

 

Ambassador Andrey Sorokin, Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan said: “This annual event is essential to keep in mind our commitments and the work that is yet to be done. The OSCE supports participating States through technical expertise and projects to address domestic violence and responses to it.”

 

Natalia Voutova, Head of Council of Europe Office in Yerevan said: “The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combatting Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) calls on states to not only prosecute perpetrators, but also to provide support and protection to their victims and to implement measures that will help prevent the violence occurring in the first place. The Secretary General of the Council of Europe encourages the Armenian authorities to sign and then ratify the Istanbul Convention”.

 

Dirk Lorenz, Head of Political, Economic, Press and Information Section at the EU Delegation to Armenia said: “The European Union protects women and children from gender-based violence through legislation and practical measures on victims´ rights. We focus on raising awareness through our national governments´ campaigns and transnational projects run by NGOs. In our partner countries, we encourage partner governments to adhere to the international commitments on gender equality, including the UN CEDAW and the Council of Europe “Istanbul Convention”. To better ensure protection of victims, the EU and its Member States have been funding a variety of initiatives in support of women’s rights and combating domestic violence in Armenia. We finalized negotiations on the first EU Human Rights Budget Support Programme 2016-2018 with the government of Armenia which will include also a component on gender equality. One of the programme conditions is to adopt a standalone law on domestic violence in 2016.”

 

Zaruhi Hovhannisyan, Coordinator of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women noted: “Violence always causes catastrophic consequences, both in families and among nations and states. Unfortunately, cases of domestic violence in Armenia cost human lives, as conflicts sparked in different parts of the world do. And since this year the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign’s theme is “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World,” I would like to remind once again that violence can spread as a chain reaction. And if the society is indifferent toward domestic violence, does not condemn it and does not strive to prevent brutal cases, it will not be able to address problems facing the normal pace and peace in a given country and in the whole world.”

 

Joint Statement on International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women 

 

 

 

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