What human rights violations are the result of the systemic problems of homelessness and inadequate housing conditions in Armenia, and the disaster zone, in particular to date?
As part of the "Your Lawyer" program on the Public Radio of Armenia, the Director of the Human Rights Research Center (HRRC), Anahit Simonyan, and Tatevik Tokhyan, a legal expert, discussed the 4th Periodic Review of Armenia recently conducted by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. How many reports has the Armenian civil society presented to the Committee? What issues do they address, and what concerns have been found in the reports presented by HRRC?
HRRC, in particular, presented an Alternative Report on “The realization of the right to adequate housing by citizens left homeless as a result of the earthquake in Armenia in 1988."
Anahit Simonyan and Tatevik Tokhyan talked with the host of the program Narine Solomonyan about the persisting housing problems in the disaster zone that have led to multiple violations of Armenia's obligations under the UN Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
"The protection of social rights is one of the strategic directions of the work of the Human Rights Research Center. For years, we have been working towards the actualization of these issues, so that the protection of social rights becomes an agenda issue and attracts enough public attention,”- said Anahit Simonyan, the Director of HRRC.
"By not providing opportunities for the proper realization of the right to adequate housing, we encounter barriers in realizing several other human rights: the right to health care, education, and work. In this context, it's crucial that rights articulated in international documents are guaranteed by domestic legislation and that mechanisms to uphold these rights are established," - mentioned Tatevik Tokhyan, a legal expert, further presenting HRRC's report on the realization of the right to adequate housing in the disaster zone along with the recommendations included in the report.
Notably, in 2015, due to Constitutional amendments, the Constitutional guarantees for the protection of the right to adequate housing were removed, resulting in a significant setback in terms of the protection of this right in Armenia.
In addition to the Alternative report on “The realization of the right to adequate housing by citizens left homeless as a result of the earthquake in Armenia in 1988,” the HRRC submitted two other reports to the Committee in partnership with other NGOs. All our reports, as well as the Concluding Observations provided by the Committee regarding Armenia's 4th Periodic Review can be found here.
It shall be noted, that throughout the recent few weeks, the Human Rights Research Center has actively engaged with UN bodies in Geneva, addressing pressing issues, including the realization of the right to adequate housing in Armenia.
We express our gratitude to the Public Radio of Armenia for the coverage. You can watch the full discussion below.
Advocacy work of HRRC with UN bodies is being carried out with the support of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED).