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Reforms carried out in the field of protection of children's rights presented

21/12/2018

Today, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Suren Krmoyan and First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Arsen Manukyan presented issues related to the protection of children's rights and the amendments made to the Family Code. Suren Krmoyan expressed gratitude to the media representatives for their participation and for showing interest in the topic, after which he presented the joint activities and efforts that the two government agencies had made in the field of protection of children's rights. Deputy Minister Krmoyan noted that the concept of “the best interest of a child” was established through the amendments and supplements made to the Family Code of the Republic of Armenia in 2018. “Any action that is undertaken for a child must arise from his or her best interest,” the Deputy Minister said.

Within the same context, some amendments concerning the provisions for free expression of views of a child, full-fledged introduction of the foster care institution, the processes of adoption, the principles for payment of alimony and more were presented. According to him, a child has the right to express his or her views freely, which, in accordance with age and maturity level, shall be taken into consideration when issues regarding the child are considered, and the age of 10 has been prescribed as the age for expressing those views and for considering those them, taking into consideration once again the maturity level of the child concerned.

According to the amended Family Code, for the purpose of protecting the vital interests of a child, the parents or one of them may be deprived from his or her parental rights, if the parents:

  • maliciously evade from fulfilling parental duties, including paying alimony for one consecutive year;

 

  • fail to change their behaviour upon entry into legal force of the court judgment on restriction on parental rights, refuse, without an excusable reason, to take their child from the maternity house or organisations providing medical assistance and services;
  • abuse their parental rights, including — they have a harmful impact on the child with their behaviour, etc.;

Certain age limits for child adoption have been prescribed by the latest amendments to the Family Code. In particular, the minimum age difference between an adoptive parent and a child shall be 18 years, and the maximum — 50. The Code also prescribes that adoption of a child with mental and physical defects may be carried out in case the parents are able to take care of that child. The institution of adoption of a founding (illegitimate) child has been abolished, and the police must, within three months, undertake measures to find the child of that family and try to restore the family.

According to Krmoyan, another newly enshrined provision excludes abuse in this sector. “Adoption carried out with the consent of the parents shall be allowed, if the adoptive is the step-father or step-mother or next of kin. A person shall not be allowed to give his or her consent for adoption of a child by a person not considered as a relative,” he noted.

The Deputy Minister also stressed that supervision is currently being established over adopted children. “In the past, there were some problems in regard to this issue. Currently, the relevant social bodies must implement mandatory supervision over an adopted child. Moreover, a liability has been prescribed as well,” Suren Krmoyan informed.

Talking about the activities being carried out in the juvenile justice sector, he noted that, as a result of the policy being implemented by law-enforcement authorities, currently, there is no child serving punishment. “There is only one detained minor at “Abovyan” Penitentiary Institution We are also working with the Ministry of Education and Science in order to fully implement the educational process at penitentiary institutions in case there are minors at those penitentiary institutions,” the Deputy Minister of Justice noted.

First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Arsen Manukyan presented the activities that the government agency has carried out for the protection of children’s rights and the results of those activities. According to him, first of all, it is necessary to ensure protection of children's rights, especially the rights of children who have found themselves in difficult situations.

Talking about the policy of the Ministry being carried out in this sector, Manukyan set aside the enhancement of alternative services which implies the engagement of private sector and non-governmental organisations in the process of providing services, the development of the institution of guardianship, etc.

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