Armenia is a Member State of the Council of Europe (COE) and of the United Nations (UN), and has human rights obligations at the regional and universal levels.
Regional: European System
As a Member of the COE, Armenia has ratified the European Convention on Human Rights and is subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights. Armenia has ratified the Revised European Social Charter, but has not authorized the European Committee of Social Rights to decide collective complaints against it. Its human rights policies and practices are also monitored by the COE Commissioner for Human Rights, who identifies gaps in human rights protection, conducts country visits, engages in dialogue with States, and prepares thematic reports and advice on human rights obligations.
Individuals and groups have submitted complaints of human rights violations committed by Armenia to the European Court of Human Rights. For example, in Bayatyan v. Armenia, the Court held that the State violated the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion of an individual who refused to perform military service but was prepared to do alternative civil service for conscientious reasons based on his religion. See ECtHR, Bayatyan v. Armenia, no. 23459/03, ECHR 2011, Judgment of 7 July 2011. Additionally, the Court may grant interim measures to protect people in urgent situations of risk in Armenia.
As a State party to the Revised European Social Charter, Armenia must submit yearly reports to the European Committee of Social Rights on its implementation of the Charter’s provisions.
Armenia is a party to the following regional human rights treaties:
- European Convention on Human Rights and several of its protocols
- Revised European Social Charter
- Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
United Nations System
As a UN Member State, Armenia is subject to the oversight of various UN human rights bodies, including the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review and thematic special procedures. As a party to specific universal human rights treaties, Armenia’s policies and practices are monitored by UN treaty bodies. It has accepted the complaints procedure of two treaty bodies.
Armenia has ratified the following UN human rights treaties:
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)
- Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT)
- Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED)
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
- Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
- International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
Armenia has also ratified optional protocols to the CRC addressing children in armed conflict and the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography. Armenia has a duty to submit State reports to the UN treaty body associated with each UN human rights treaty Armenia has ratified. These reports must be submitted on a periodic basis and describe the steps taken to implement the treaty.
Armenia has also ratified the optional protocols allowing individuals to submit complaints against the State alleging violations of the ICCPR and CEDAW. Additionally, certain UN treaties establish inquiry procedures, which allow the UN treaty body to consider allegations of grave or systematic human rights violations. Armenia has accepted the inquiry procedures of the CAT, CED, and CEDAW.
On May 1, 2006, Armenia extended a standing invitation to UN special procedures, welcoming any such mandate holder to conduct a visit to Armenia. For example, the Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders went on a mission to Armenia in June 2010 and published a visit report in December 2010.
For more information on Armenia’s engagement with UN human rights bodies, visit http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/ENACARegion/Pages/AMIndex.aspx.
Last updated: July 2019