Helsinki Citizens' Assembly-Vanadzor

HCA Vanadzor analysis on issues that emerged during the action of social support to servicemen who were injured or acquired mental health problems as a result of the war

November 27, 2021

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Issues that emerged in the frame of the action - approved by the RA Government’s decision 90-Լ of 27 January 2021 - of social support to servicemen who were injured or acquired mental health problems as a result of military operations unleashed by the Republic of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh on 27 September 2020

 

The RA Government’s decision 90-Լ of 27 January 2021 and decision 148-Լ of 8 February 2021 on approving its procedure  do not ensure the right to proper administration guaranteed by Article 50 of the RA Constitution insofar as  the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MLSA) social security service makes decisions affecting rights and legal interests of persons who applied for support, without ensuring their right to be heard.

 

The RA Government’s decision 90-Լ of 27 January 2021 and decision 148-Լ of 8 February 2021 violate the right to social security (Article 83 of the RA Constitution) and contradict the main principles and purposes of provision of social services as established under the RA Law on Social Support, in particular

 

-Targetedness of social services is not ensured.

 

The actions approved by the RA Government’s decision 90-Լ of 27 January 2021 plans to provide financial support to servicemen who were injured as a result of military actions unleashed by the Republic of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh on 27 September 2020 and do not have disability of first or second degree, and whose symptoms emerged before 1 March 2021 and they received or are receiving medical aid and service in medical institutions.

 

Point 7 of the annex to the RA Government’s decision 148-Լ of 8 February 2021 establishes grounds for refusal of applications, which include, inter alia, absence of a beneficiary’s name in the lists provided by the RA Ministry of Defence.

 

Data of persons in such a status who are (were) receiving medical aid and service in medical institutions was no secret for the state, especially given that the same decisions imposed an obligation on the RA Ministry of Defence to include in their list the data of persons who were injured (wounded) or acquired mental health problems, and provide the lists to the RA Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. As a result of combining the data with the data received from other bodies established by the decision, the list of beneficiaries of the action was to be prepared. This means that having the list of the action’s beneficiaries, an additional burden i is still imposed on the action’s beneficiaries to submit an electronic application. Moreover, the RA Government’s decision 148-Լ of 8 February 2021, which regulates relationship related to provision (appointment and payment) of social support to persons established under point 2 of the annex to the RA Government’s decision 90 Լ of 27 January 2021, does not specify possibility for the person who considers himself beneficiary of the mentioned action to apply (present information certifying his being a beneficiary of the action) to be included in the list held by the RA Ministry of Defense.

 

Therefore, in the conditions of having enough data regarding the possible circle of the action’s beneficiaries, becoming a beneficiary was still conditioned by submission of an electronic application before a certain deadline. Thus, persons who did not have the necessary means (a mobile phone with access to the internet, a computer or any other gadget) and documents and/or there were other objective grounds for missing the deadline, were deprived of the social support planned for them.

 

-It is not clear in what procedure the RA Ministry of Defence made the lists to be presented the RA MLSA.

 

The lists of the RA Ministry of defence were crucial in the matter of determining beneficiaries of the action, however it is not clear what procedure was used to prepare the list and whether all servicemen, who were beneficiaries of the action, were included in the list. It is noteworthy that in the observations made regarding the draft - on approving the action of social support to servicemen who got injured as a result of military operations unleashed by the Republic of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh on 27 September 2020 - included in the agenda of the RA Government’s session of 27 January 2020, the RA Ministry of Defence also expressed concerns that data regarding some persons could be missing from the statistical data they possessed.

 

-Accessibility of social services is not ensured.

 

To receive the monetary support in the frame of the action, a requirement was established to submit an electronic application with a certain deadline, which is an additional burden, given the fact that the competent body giving the support has an established list of beneficiaries before submission of electronic applications.

 

-Proportionality is not ensured.

 

Conditions established to be a participant of the action do not lead to achievement of the aim pursued. The aim of the action was to provide social support in the amount of AMD 500 000 to servicemen who received injuries as a result of military actions unleashed by the Republic of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh on 27 September 2020 in order to somewhat alleviate financial difficulties they are experiencing as a result of temporary incapacity caused by the injury. Nonetheless, persons who did not submit electronic applications for objective reasons, were deprived of the opportunity to receive monetary support.

 

-Does not apply to prisoners of war who acquired health problems as a result of military operations.

 

Beneficiaries of the social support action approved by the RA Government’s decision 90-Լ of 27 January 2021 are only servicemen who got injuries (wounds) and acquired mental health problems (with symptoms emerging before 1 March 2021) as a result of military operations unleashed by the Republic of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh on 27 September 2020, who are (were) receiving medical aid and service in medical institutions and do not have disabilities of first and second degree.

 

An opportunity to participate in the action approved by the above-mentioned decision of the Government is only given to servicemen who were injured (wounded) or acquired mental health problems as a result of military operations and whose symptoms emerged before 1 March 2021 and who received medical aid and service in medical institutions. Restricting participation in the action by the timeframe of emergence of symptoms of servicemen who acquired health problems, as well as the condition of having received medical aid and services deprives of the right to be a beneficiary of the action when it comes to servicemen who got injuries (wounds) or acquired mental health problems, who were taken captive by the Republic of Azerbaijan and were returned (are to be returned) to the Republic of Armenia some time later.

 

This means that prisoners of war, who acquired health problems as a result of military operations, could not be a beneficiary of the action after returning to the RA based on the condition that they were not receiving medical aid and service in medical institutions during the time period specified by the RA Government’s decision 90-Լ of 27 January 2021 and did not have the case held duing the same period, which does not ensure a uniform approach to participants of military operations. 

 

Recommended solution to this problem

 

-Remove point 5 of the annex to the decision, “To participate in the action, an electronic aplication shall be submitted by 15 May 2021”.

 

- Remove the following formulation from point 2 of the annex to the decision, “(whose symptoms emerged before 1 March 2021)”, by thus giving prisoners of war with injuries caused as a result of military actions an opportunity to participate in the action.

 

-Establish a streamlined procedure for participating in the social support action for servicemen who received injuries as a result of the military operations unleashed by the Republic of Azerbaijan against the Republic of Artsakh on 27 September 2020: to organize, via unified social services territorial centers, the relevant payments to the beneficiaries who were included in the final list of beneficiaries to be granted the social support based on information received from the bodies etablished by the RA Government’s decision 90 Լ of 27 January 2021, but did not submit electronic applications.

 

-Establish an opportunity for a person to apply to be included in the RA Ministry of Defence list - to be provided to the RA MLSA - regarding servicemen who got injuries (wounds) or acquired mental health problems.

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