Artur Sakunts, Chairman of Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office; Ani Samsonyan, MP of the NA “Bright Armenia” faction; and human rights activist Zara Hovhannisyan were the speakers during the discussion organizaed by CivilNet on the topic “Why does the Government want to review the funding of the Human Rights Defender?” .
“The importance of human rights obligations undertaken by the state is that it should not be conditioned by dependence on political power and cannot be assessed at any political discretion, and I can even say that this is the non-partisan, apolitical organization, one of the important guarantees of the independence of which is the very principle of funding”, says Artur Sakunts.
In his words, the institute of the Human Rights Defender is based on the study and oversight of the situation of the implementation of human rights obligations undertaken by the state, and the state finances for that mission to be implemented with the means allocated from the state budget. Secondly, this is the rare institute established by virtue of state law and on the basis of the Constitution, and the principle of funding is one of the important guarantees of its independence.
Especially after the war, there has been no decrease in the problems pertaining to the protection of human rights. Funding cuts reduce the ability to respond, examine and find solutions. According to Sakunts, the priority is not the funding, but the principle. In a number of international organizations, Armenia has obligations as a member of the international community, and the image of the state is determined based on its attitude in terms of human rights, where,however, there is a serious issue of trust in the state as one pursuing democratic values and matters concerning the protection of human rights.
“No state institute benefits when there is little oversight in terms of human rights protection in the system that it governs”, Sakunts notes.
The full discussion is available in the video.