On the initiative of the Human Rights Defender's Office of Armenia, and with the cooperation of the Council of Europe, a project to protect Human rights in Biomedicine will take place for the first time in the territory of the Council of Europe Member States.
On 22 September 2020, the first online meeting/session of the Coordination Committee of the project "Human Rights in Biomedicine" took place.
The aim of the project is to increase public awareness on the human rights standards in biomedicine and medicine, increase the capacity of state institutions, and legal and health workers to implement those standards, and ensure the application of the provisions of the Oviedo Convention in the Republic of Armenia.
During the Session, opening speeches were made by the Human Rights Defender of Armenia Arman Tatoyan, the Head of the Human Rights Policy and Cooperation department of the Council of Europe Mikhail Lobov, and the First Deputy Minister of Health of Armenia, Anahit Avanesyan.
"There are issues and problems in the field of protection of patients' personal data in Armenia. We have documented the issue of equitable accessibility of medical services in Psychiatric Establishments and Penitentiary Institutions. In particular, there are cases where the principle of informed consent to the treatment of patients in Psychiatric Establishments is not protected, and they are not properly informed of their rights. In Penitentiary Institutions, there are problems related to the proper delivery of medical services, including the absence of medical equipment, the deteriorating building conditions, and the protection of the personal data of the patients. Sex-selective abortions, and inaccessibility of medical services, specifically in rural regions/provinces are also barriers for the protection of the health of the population" stated the Human Rights Defender in his opening speech.
The Human Rights Defender stressed the importance of increasing the role of health workers, of strengthening decent working conditions, especially their social safety.
The list of participants of the online session included representatives from the Ministries of Health, of Labor and Social Affairs, of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports, of Justice. Representatives of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Health Care and Environment, of the Academy of Justice, and of the Embassies that assisted in the financing of the project.
The Human Rights Defender's Office and the Office of the Council of Europe will implement the project during the period of 2020-2022.
Source: The Human Rights Defender's Office of Armenia