July 1st, 2014 – ChildPact, the Armenian Child Protection Network and Unicef Armenia organized a public hearing in Yerevan to discuss child protection issues in the on-going social reforms in Armenia.
The event was chaired by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Mr. Artem Asatryan and the president of the Armenian Child Protection Network Mrs. Mira Antonyan.
Over 75 stakeholders including parliamentarians, government officials, international agencies, Human Rights Defender’s office, local civil society organizations, childcare institutions and child protection specialists attended the event.
The main purposes of the public hearing was to advocate for effective reforms in the child protection system and discuss the deinstitutionalization process that should reduce the number of Armenian children in orphanages.
“We should do everything for children to grow up in a family environment. Of course, it is most desirable that they grow within their biological family, but if it is not possible, then they should grow with foster parents, or, at least, in an environment with conditions close to family conditions,” declared the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of Armenia Mr. Artem Sargsyan.
At the end of the event, the Armenian Child Protection Network called on all relevant stakeholders to mobilize their efforts and effectively address the gaps in the current child protection system in the country.