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 Friday, March 29 2024 15:18
Alina Hovhannisyan

Artsakh Ombudsman: Only 10.800 refugees from Artsakh managed to find  job in Armenia

Artsakh Ombudsman: Only 10.800 refugees from Artsakh managed to find  job in Armenia

ArmInfo. There are four issues on the agenda of the Artsakh Ombudsman as oftoday: international support and social and humanitarian problems of forcibly displaced Artsakh residents in Armenia, work towards ensuring the right of Artsakh residents to return to their homeland, as well as protecting the rights and return of hostages and prisoners and work to preserve the spiritual and historical-cultural heritage.

Artsakh Human Rights Defender (Ombudsman) Gegham Stepanyan stated in his speech at the  American University of Armenia on March 29.

In particular, speaking about the difficulties, the Ombudsman noted  that due to social and living conditions, about 15 thousand Artsakh  residents left Armenia - mainly to Russia. Out of more than 100,000  people, only 10,800 refugees from Artsakh were provided with jobs. At  the same time, he drew attention to the fact that out of 4 thousand  teachers in Artsakh, only 220 were employed in educational  institutions of Armenia.

According to Stepanyan, the employment situation will affect the  dynamics of the outflow of the Artsakh population from Armenia.   Referring to the program proposed by the government, he noted that  about 1,000 people could become beneficiaries. In this regard, the  Ombudsman asked the question: "why is more effort not being made to  employ Artsakh residents, including to generate international  assistance?"

In particular, he drew a parallel with Georgia, which, after the  developments of 2008, managed to receive support of $1 billion,  from  the United States alone, and 120 million euros from the EU. While  Armenia received a total of $67 million in assistance to assist the  people of Artsakh from various partners, which is not enough to  overcome such catastrophic consequences of the war.

"Our proposal in this regard is to organize a donor conference that  will allow Armenia to generate new funds to meet the needs of Artsakh  refugees," he emphasized.

According to him, the rights of Artsakh residents to education have  been realized comparatively better. In particular, he said that as of  today 18 thousand children from Artsakh are studying in schools in  Armenia, and 3,500 students are studying in universities of the  country. "Active assistance was provided regarding payment for  education. There are integration problems, but I believe they will be  resolved over time," Stepanyan added.

However, Stepanyan complained about the lack of ability to monitor  the situation with the historical, cultural and spiritual monuments  of Artsakh, which are subject to vandalism from time to time by  Azerbaijanis. In total, there are about 5 thousand of them, of which  450 are monasteries and churches, which are most under attack because  they are associated with national identity.

"They must be under international monitoring. We will continue to  work in this direction," he emphasized. However, the Ombudsman noted  that the international actors to whom he repeatedly addressed in this  regard responded that the Azerbaijani side did not want to cooperate  on this issue. "We can only monitor the condition of our monuments  through satellite images or using other methods," he complained.  Stepanyan also said that 20 Artsakh residents continue to live in  Artsakh, whose rights are limited. Most of the rest of the citizens  are concentrated in the hotel, and a few people are left to live in  their homes. However, police forces are concentrated near their  places of residence, monitoring every movement of the Artsakh  residents. In addition, for movement they require appropriate  permission from the authorized bodies of Azerbaijan.

After Azerbaijan's large-scale military aggression against  Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19 of this year, which was preceded by  a 9-month total blockade, about 102 thousand Artsakh residents were  forcibly moved to Armenia. However, in general, as a result of  Azerbaijani aggression, starting from the 44-day Artsakh war of 2020,  150 thousand Artsakh residents have been left homeless.

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