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“Employees are often forced to accept the violation of their rights”: Human Rights Defender Report 


Recently published in the RA Human Rights Defender’s report of 2017, there is a special irreversible violation of labor rights in Armenia. The problem is more than actual in the context of the draft amendments to the RA Labor Code, the main idea of ​​which is the liberalization of relations between an employee and an employer. The project, as it is known, has caused the concern of professionals in the sense that the proposed liberalization can further deepen violation of employees’ rights. In its turn the Human Rights Defender’s report comes to prove that this concern is not groundless, especially since the draft proposed by the Armenian Government does not contain solutions to the problems presented in the report ….


The Ombudsman’s report notes that the problems in the labor market are numerous and varied, from the observance of labor rights to the absence of the oversight body to the prevention of labor rights violations. In his words, no matter how important the protection of labor rights, and there are legislative guarantees for their implementation,  de facto situation is quite different. The main reasons for the violations in the labor market are the poor awareness of the mechanisms for protecting the labor rights of persons, as well as the low degree of protection of their rights as employees.


All these problems are equally, if not more often, related to women. Moreover, a whole chapter in the Defender’s report is devoted to the violation of women’s labor rights. In particular, it is noted that although there is no discriminatory norms between men and women in labor law relations, in 2017, the problem of inequality of men and women in the labor market remains unresolved, which has been voiced for years by the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia.


The Defender also touches upon the “nanny at the expense of the state” project, pointing to the idea as positive, but notes that there are no support programs for women who return to the workplace after their childcare leave and often lose their jobs.


The Defender records that the average monthly salary of women in Armenia is lower than the men’s average salary in all sectors of the economy and this breakdown is 35.9%. “Such a practice stems not only from the structure of the labor market, but first of all, the stereotypes about women’s role in the society”.


The report notes that the lack of state control over compliance with the legislation and the lack of awareness of employers and employees on labor rights and responsibilities limit the prevention of violations of rights.


Full text in Armenian

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