Law on Repatriation?

AZG Armenian Daily #176, 01/10/2005



“Yerkir” NGO sent a letter to Tigran Torosian and Vahan Hovhannisian, deputy
chairmen of the Armenian Parliament, as well as to a number of political
parties and factions proposing to pass a law on repatriation. The NGO
presents its views on national policy of repatriation and how it should be
implemented. It believes that current constitutional reforms are a unique
opportunity for documenting the importance of repatriation. The NGO suggests
passing a law on repatriation before the constitutional referendum that will
specify the status of a repatriate, his/her privileges as well as setting an
order for a state program on repatriation. The needs highlight the following
basics: it is the state that should organize repatriation, giving right to
every Armenian to be repatriated and recognize him/her citizen of Armenia
without prerequisite once they return.

The NGO suggests elaborating and adopting a state program on “repatriation
and settlement” that will ascertain arrangements for adaptation and
integration, social rights protection and for providing favorable conditions
and freedom of activity in the early stage of repatriation.

The NGO thinks that the Armenians of Diaspora will be ready to repatriate
only in case of carrying out these arrangements. Approach to all groups of
repatriates should be differentiated. The traditional Diaspora that was
formed as a result of the Armenian Genocide also needs to be distinguished
from the “new Diaspora” formed after the collapse of the USSR.

The letter also points out to the negative consequences of immigration of
the last year and a half that will be noticeable in the coming decade. The
NGO alarms about reduction of the male population of the country which
resulted in decrease of married couples, aging of the society, decline of
birth rate, migration within the country etc. “Yerkir” NGO does not think
there are sufficient measures to stop further flow of immigrants and undo
the damage caused by immigration.

By Ruzan Poghosian