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Yerevan -- Presentation of “Impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic on the Labour Rights Situation in Armenia” , 17Feb2022

The EU-funded projects on labour rights revealed a number of problems related to the labour rights situation in Armenia

More than 60 attendees – representatives of the RA Government, international community, civil society organizations learnt about the results of the studies on situation of labour rights protection in Armenia, real cases of labour rights violations, the impact of COVID-19 on labour rights in Armenia, the needs related to the labour rights in Armenia, and best practices of establishment of Trade Unions in European Union during an online event. The five studies were carried out by the member CSOs of the consortia of three projects funded by the European Union.

“In its permanent dialogue with the authorities and civil society, the EU stands by Armenia to improve and respect the labour rights. Labour law should not be seen as an obstacle to entrepreneurial freedom, but rather as a tool to facilitate social dialogue,” H.E. Ms. Andrea Wiktorin Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia said in her welcome speech. The event was attended by Ruben Sargsyan, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of Armenia, and Hakob Avagyan, Head of Health and Labor Inspection Body of Armenia who also welcomed the participants.

The studies revealed a number of problems related to the labour rights situation in Armenia. In particular, as a common conclusion, three of the studies – the “Research on the Situation of Labour Rights Protection in Armenia” (the full Report) the “Comprehensive Needs Assessment Research” and the “Evidence Collection on the Real Cases of Labour Rights Violations and Court Cases” indicated the problem of lack of awareness of the employees on their labour rights. All three researches include recommendations to act towards raising public awareness regarding benefits and entitlements upon separation, safeguards against arbitrary dismissal as well as available remedies in place, especially in marzes, for those employed in private business as well as among women to empower them to stand for their rights.

Other finding of the studies indicate that:

  • 16․7% of the respondents do not have an employment contract;
  • 6.8% of the respondents mentioned the existence of a high level of exposure to hazard factors in their workplace, and 79.2% of the respondents do not get any compensation if hazard factors exist in their workplace;
  • Only 15.2% of those who have ever expressed their dissatisfaction regarding working conditions to their employer, immediate supervisor or superior body had the relevant issue resolved as a result of expressing dissatisfaction, 45.8% had the issue partly resolved, while 35.6% did not reach any solution;
  • Only 28.3% of the respondents had trade unions in their workplace. The majority of the respondents (85.7%) mentioned that they had never united with colleagues against the employer in order to solve an issue or protect their labour rights;
  • Young people have difficulty in finding a suitable job due to lack of work experience, or they find a job with a very low salary. For 26% of the respondents, young age played a negative role in finding a job, and for about 50% of them, the absence or lack of work experience prevented them from finding the job they wanted;
  • Some women face obstacles while looking for a job or a change/promotion. For 22.7% of female respondents, being female played a decisive role when looking for a job or during a working activity, and for 52% of the latter, that role was negative.
  • The majority of organizations operating in both the public and private sectors in the Republic of Armenia do not yet have the necessary opportunities for the movement of the disabled, which is a big obstacle to hiring such people. Many employers simply avoid hiring people with disabilities, worrying that their health may often lead to absenteeism;
  • In Armenia people have very little information about labour protection and control structures. More than half of the respondents, 54%, do not know where to go in case of violation of labour rights;
  • The overwhelming majority of court cases related to labour rights were brought against the state- and municipality-owned organizations, such as schools, medical centers, universities, as well as ministries and municipalities as such. According to the data challenging the dismissals remain low in the private sector.

The results of the Impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic on the Labour Rights Situation in Armenia” and Best Practices of Establishment of Trade Unions in the EU” studies were also presented during the event.

The CSOs forming the three consortia implementing the projects aimed to improve labour rights situation in Armenia came up with a decision to continue coordinated efforts in the sphere.

The full recording of the event is available HERE. All the studies will be published and shared with the stakeholders after finalization.

***

The three EU-funded projects on labour rights and social protection in Armenia

“Labour Action: Collaborative Effort for Accountable and Inclusive Employment’’ project is implemented by Union of Employers of ICT, Armavir Development Center and Kiraki Development Foundation.

“Decent work now!” project is implemented by Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor, Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, Advanced Public Research Group, Factor Information Center NGO in cooperation with Education and Solidarity Union.

“EU4LabourRights: Increasing Civic Voice and Action for Labour Rights and Social Protection in Armenia” project is implemented by OxYGen Foundation, Socioscope NGO, “Asparez” Journalists’ Club NGO, Armenian Progressive Youth NGO, Media Diversity Institute – Armenia in cooperation with Protection of Rights without Borders NGO, and Eurasia Partnership Foundation.

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“EU4LabourRights: Increasing Civic Voice and Action for Labour Rights and Social Protection in Armenia”

“EU4LabourRights: Increasing Civic Voice and Action for Labour Rights and Social Protection in Armenia”

On June 11 2021, an event took place in Yerevan officially launching three new EU-supported projects on enhancing labour rights protection in Armenia.

Three consortia, bringing 14 civil society organisations, employers’ and trade unions as well as media structures from Yerevan and marzes into close collaboration, are implementing the projects.

The new projects are the following:

“Labour Action: Collaborative Effort for Accountable and Inclusive Employment’’ project is implemented by Union of Employers of ICT, Armavir Development Center and Kiraki Development Foundation. The Project aims at enhancing capacity of public administration and civil society organisations to strengthen and expand protection of labor rights and building strategic institutional capacity within the Government towards social protection and labor reforms.

“Decent work now!” project is implemented by Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor, Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center, Advanced Public Research Group, Factor Information Center NGO in cooperation with Education and Solidarity Union.  The Project aims to enhance the individual, collective, and state mechanisms of labour and social rights protection and their application in Armenia through empowerment of employees and labour unions and advocacy for legislative framework reform.

“EU4LabourRights: Increasing Civic Voice and Action for Labour Rights and Social Protection in Armenia” project is implemented by OxYGen Foundation, Socioscope NGO, “Asparez” Journalists’ Club NGO, Armenian Progressive Youth NGO, Media Diversity Institute – Armenia in cooperation with Protection of Rights without Borders NGO, and Eurasia Partnership Foundation. The Project will facilitate a multi-stakeholder policy Platform – CVA which will lead national consultations on the development and implementation of relevant public policies aimed at addressing the discrimination and violation of labour rights, with the involvement of grassroots organisations and activists’ nonformal groups.

The projects initiated activities at the beginning of 2021 and aim to improve labour and social rights protection in Armenia through innovative, IT solutions in labour rights control, public awareness raising on labour rights especially among youth, women, and people with disabilities. Also, they intend to promote a more continuous participatory dialogue among key stakeholders..

Ruben Sargsyan, MLSA Deputy Minister, Hakob Avagyan, Head of the Healthcare and Labour Inspectorate, and Gonzalo Serrano De La Rosa, Head of the Co-operation Section, European Union Delegation to Armenia participated in the event.

“I am impressed when looking to the agenda of the event and seeing so many logos. I think this is a great added value also from the EU side that we can provide, bringing together many partners, different specialisations, different views, opinions, so we are getting together to ensure important, positive tangible change and not only in the labour rights” – Mr. Serrano said.

In his speech, Mr. Sargsyan signified the EU support to protection of labour rights and the improvement of the socio-economic situation in Armenia. He put a special highlight to application of IT system in the Healthcare and Labor Inspectorate for the protection of labour rights. He also emphasized the importance of awareness raising campaigns especially among vulnerable groups of society.

Mr. Avagyan mentioned that the Health Care and Labour Inspectorate have already started cooperation with the project partners, highlighting especially the importance of the upgrading of the inspectorate body, particularly, the digitalization of the labor rights protection mechanism through an online platform.

During the meeting, a MOU between the Healthcare and Labour Inspectorate and the Project Partners thus announcing and laying a ground for continuous cooperation on the labour rights protection in Armenia.

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Աջակցություն պատերազմում տուժած լրագրողներին

Support to the Journalists Injured during the War

Within the framework of the “Rapid Response Fund Initiative program, the Public Journalism Club is announcing about an opportunity to provide financial assistance to media workers injured during the war.

Due to the limited financial resources, the media workers who suffered during the second Nagorno Karabakh  war and obtained health problems will be selected.

If you have covered the 44-day war and your health has been damaged, please fill out this form. Deadline for applications is June 30, 2021.

The main goals of the “Rapid Response Fund Initiative” program supported by EED (European Endowment for Democracy) are to provide fast and flexible support to journalists and media workers, to provide them with medical and psychological assistance, to develop professional skills in international humanitarian law, first aid, digital and personal data security, and to raise awareness of psychological protection among journalists and the public.

The program is implemented by the Public Journalism Club NGO. Within the framework of the project, a coordinating consortium was formed, which includes the Media Initiative Centerthe Yerevan Press Clubthe Freedom of Information Centerthe Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression, and the Comprehensive Information Institute. The consortium will develop the long-term vision, mission, and strategy of the initiative.

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AI Data Processing

MDI Armenia publishes eBook on Digital Human Rights

The rapid development of digital technologies and communications resulted in many new legal and public policy areas such as, for example, personal data protection, cyber policing, cybersecurity and many others. This eBook covers one of those areas, often referred to as digital rights. It might be interesting and useful for civil society activities, politicians, public authorities, and those involved in policy decision-making or public discussion of such policies.

The eBook is written primarily for the Armenian audience, and its first part contains the analysis of Armenian policies, legal and regulatory frameworks. It covers the concept of digital rights in general, specific areas of their implication and relevant international documents, the analysis of the Armenian legislation in the context of the implementation of digital rights and proposes some steps for strengthening their protection as well as features a series of analytical articles on the situation with Digital Human Rights in Armenia over the past year.

The book is available in Armenian as a PDF for free download.

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MDIA joins the Digital Agenda Initiative

Media Diversity Institute – Armenia has joined forces with partners like Freedom of Information Center, Journalists for the Future, Grandlex and Digital Rights to push for Armenia’s Internet Freedom Policy Agenda.

The specific goals of the initiative are:

a) Adoption of a long-term policy agenda that will guide the coalition of civil society organizations and other interested groups in advocating free and non-discriminatory access to the Internet.
b) Drafting specific amendments to the Law on Electronic Communication based on the long- term policy agenda and launching an advocacy campaign for their adoption.
c) If required launching strategic litigation aimed at changing controversial decisions of regulatory and/or executive authorities.

The draft concept of the policy agenda is here.

 

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Կիբերանվտանգությունը լրագրողների համար

Cybersecurity for Journalists. training

As part of its CyberHUB-AM project the MDI Armenia held a free digital security training for journalists.

The founders of CyberHUB-AM team Samvel Martirosyan and Artur Papyan discussed IT security threats, digital security tools with journalists, helped them reconfigure their messengers, social media and email accounts for enhanced security, responded to the questions.

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Digital Security

Digital Security for Civil Society. Training

As part of the CyberHUB-AM project Media Diversity Institute – Armenia and the OxYGen Foundation jointly co-organized a digital security training for a range of Armenian NGOs, working on gender and women’s issues.

The training covered issues around risk identification and risk management, protecting organizational websites and social media accounts from possible attacks, as well as internal communication and sensitive data.

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MDI_Armenia_Launches_Cyber_Project

MDI Armenia launches its IT helpdesk project

Media Diversity Institute – Armenia has established an IT helpdesk, which  will provide assistance to human rights defenders, activists, journalists and the independent media.

The support team involves Armenian digital security specialists: Samvel Martirosyan, Vartan Arzumanyan, Antranig Vartanian, Artur Papyan.

We provide assistance and advice on digital security incidents and we guarantee the anonymity of those applying for help.

We also collect anonomised data on digital security incidents and attacks against the Armenian civil society and analyse such incidents, with the objective of developing more efficient ways to protect from such incidents as well as for sharing it with the international IT security community.

You can contact us via email at: [email protected] or by opening a support ticket on our portal: https://cyberhub.am.

Feel free to use the following PGP key to write to contact us securely.
Key ID: F9D923A8
Key Fingerprint: D63C EC9C D3AD 51BE EFCB 683F F2B8 6042 F9D9 23A8

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