Human rights and the army in Armenia focus of discussion organized by OSCE Office
(osce) - Conscientious objectors, alternative military service and civil society oversight of the armed forces were the key topics of a discussion organized today by the OSCE Office in Yerevan and the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation Armenia, reports Trend.
"Democratization of the armed forces is important to protect human rights," said Ambassador Vladimir Pryakhin, Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. "We welcome the steps already taken by the Armenian Government in this respect. However, there is still some need for improvement and today's meeting aims to contribute to this process."
About 30 participants from the Ministries of Defence, Justice, Foreign Affairs, the Prosecutor's Office, the Ombudsman Office, the Department for National Minorities, civil society and the international community assessed the implementation of the Armenian Law on Alternative Service.
Participants suggested several ways to bring Armenian legislation in line with European standards. Civil society representatives presented a concept of co-operation with the Defence Ministry for monitoring the Armed Forces.
The OSCE Office will continue to support the Armenian Government and civil society in this regard by following the conclusions of the meeting.