Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor (HCA Vanadzor) presents its next report on the human rights situation in the Armed Forces. The issues identified and studied in the report are related to military discipline, the incentives and penalties provided to servicemen, the non-statutory relations, the opportunities for effective legal protection and the appeal mechanisms and their effectiveness, the situation of quality medical assistance and service, the conditions of military service and so forth.
Yet in 2013, the Organization implemented a study and a sociological survey with discharged servicemen and publicized the results. The study was conducted on the basis of the information provided by servicemen who had already been discharged from the Armed Forces and were not subordinate to the officer staff and thus could present their opinions on the problems freely and without constraints, having fresh impressions of military service.
Taking into consideration the fact that a similar research is conducted by the RA Ministry of Defense and the fact that in 2017 legislative changes were introduced aimed at regulating call-ups and the processes of military service, HCA Vanadzor, continuing its mission aimed at the improvement of the situation of human rights in the Armed Forces, carried out the second study and sociological surveys among former servicemen. The aim of conducting such a parallel study was to compare the findings of the study carried out by the Ministry of Defense and those of our study, compare the problems identified during both of the studies and to get a more objective picture of the existing problems.
The study of the Organization was conducted in December 2017, following which legislative changes were introduced; in particular, several laws and other legal acts were reviewed and joined.
Incidentally, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly applied to the RA Ministry of Defense to receive a sample of the questionnaire of the survey conducted with discharged servicemen under the program “Ditaket.” However, the Ministry of Defense refused to provide it, giving the reason that it was conditioned by internal as well as external security as well as the requirements of the international standards set for sociological researches and the protection of the interests of the surveyees.
The program “Ditaket”, which is implemented on the initiative of the RA Ministry of Defense, commenced in September 2017. In the framework of the program, the RA Ministry of Defense conducts social exit surveys with youths who have performed compulsory military service and have been discharged. The aim of the survey is to reveal the existing problems in the Armed Forces and to solve them.
According to the official website of the RA Ministry of Defense, the specialists visit the youths who have been discharged and conduct face-to-face surveys within 1-4 months after the discharge. Their aim is to reveal the social and psychological, economic, statutory problems and problems of any other nature, including the conditions of military service, the relations among the servicemen, the conditions of the organization of combat service, the servicemen’s problems related to the transition from the civilian to the military life and those of the transition from the military to the civilian life, the household conditions, the quality of uniforms and food, the medical service and so forth.
The full report see HERE