STRASBOURG — The Council of Europe is preparing a comprehensive response package to the refugee influx in Armenia following a visit by the Special Representative on Migration and Refugees (SRSG) Leyla Kayacik from 11 to 13 October 2023.
This package aims to provide support to Armenia in addressing the issues related to hosting over 100,000 Karabakh Armenians, including some 30,000 children, who were forced to flee in the country in recent weeks.
During her visit, the SRSG engaged with relevant state authorities, international partners, and non-governmental organizations. She also visited two shelters in the Artashat Municipality.
She identified specific areas for support that are included in the Council of Europe’s Action Plan for Armenia (2023-2026) and the Action Plan on Protecting Vulnerable Persons within the context of migration and asylum (2021-25), including:
Strengthening the protection of human rights of refugees in vulnerable situations with direct support provided to the Migration and Citizenship Service of the Internal Affairs Ministry and the Office of the Human Rights Defender, particularly on vulnerability assessments , access to services and raising the awareness of refugees on their rights;
-Facilitating access to healthcare and mental care, including psychological support;
-Strengthening the capacities of professionals working with vulnerable people;
-Addressing educational inclusivity and revising vocational curricula;
-Safeguarding children’s rights;
-Enhancing the resilience of local authorities.
“Through this dedicated and targeted package we will support our member state Armenia and its people, as they face these unprecedented hardships and challenges”, said Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.