The situation of child protection in Armenia continues to be a cause for concern, especially with regard to the provision of quality education in rural and remote communities, the Helsinki Citizens Assembly Vanadzor office said in statement issued on Thursday, pointing to the inadequate school facilities and teacher shortages in villages.
The human rights organization is currently dealing with four cases on the protection of children’s right to life connected with crimes committed against them in educational institutions:
On July 5, 2015, Derenik Gasparyan, a fourth-grader in the Charentsavan School No. 5, died after a fight broke out in his classroom when the teacher was absent. The complaint on the right to life violation filed with the European Court of Human Rights has been communicated.
The 13-year-old student of a high school in Sevan suffered an eye injury on December 9, 2014, during physics class. Teacher Hasmik Magaryan was charged within the framework of the criminal case. On April 25, 2016, the Gegharkunik court of first instance found Magaryan guilty and ordered that she pay a fine of 200 times the minimum wage. The Criminal Appeal Court has since partially overturned the ruling and sent the case back to the court of first instance for reexamination, suggesting that the defendant and the Ministry of Education should pay 16,400,000 drams to the injured party in material damages.
2.3-years-old Lia Misakyan passed away on January 2, 2013, in the Arabkir medical center in Yerevan. On June 15, 2015, the court of general jurisdiction of Yerevan’s Arabkir and Kanaker-Zeytun administrative districts found Arabkir physicians L. Vardanyan and Z. Ayvazyan guilty, sentencing them to imprisonment for 2 and 2.6 years, respectively, but soon released them under an amnesty without additional punishment. The Armenian Court of Cassation subsequently overturned the verdict with regard to the additional punishment, and sent the case back to the court of first instance. A complaint has been filed with the European Court of Human Rights in connection with a violation of the right to life and effective remedies.
The criminal case into the September 4, 2014 death of minor Elen Parsadanyan in Yerevan’s Arabkir medical center was eventually terminated. After a judicial appeal, the case was sent back for preliminary investigation, only to be closed again later. The appeal against this decision was denied by the Appeal Court, and a Cassation Court appeal was filed on March 1, 2017.
Liana Darbinyan is the mother of the newborn who died on March 12, 2016 in the Austrian Hospital of Mother and Child in Gyumri. According to the conclusion of the forensic medical examination carried out within the framework of the criminal case, the newborn’s treatment in the Gyumri maternity hospital had been conducted incompetently. The criminal investigation into the case is ongoing.
The Republic of Armenia acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on June 1, 1992, recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding and be protected from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation.