OSCE Office in Yerevan helps to develop a guide on social services to promote child rights’ protection in Armenia

Co-ordination between different players to prevent crime among youth and children is the main focus of a roundtable discussion organized today by the Children’s Support Centre, the Police and the OSCE Office in Yerevan.

It aims to introduce the newly developed Guide on organizations which provide social services to children and their families and launch a new project to work on the development of juvenile crime prevention strategy.  The guide is based on mapping of all social services in the country and includes information on 236 public organizations, 23 foundations, 3 associations and 10 services provided by 8 church units.

“We very much hope that this initiative will be useful and instrumental for the child protection and welfare specialists in joining and doubling their efforts in strengthening the protection of the rights and best interests of a child, which forms an essential part of the OSCE Human Dimension Commitments acknowledged by the OSCE participating States,” said Lilian Salaru, Acting Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan. He said that close partnerships including families, schools and communities will be vital in developing juvenile crime prevention strategy in Armenia consistent with child-friendly justice standards.

The event brought together representatives from various state and non-state institutions including police forces, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, National Assembly Standing Committee on Protection of Human Rights and Public Affairs, Child Protection Units of the municipalities, regional administrations and civil society, which deal with juvenile crimes.

Mira Antonyan, the Executive Director of the Children’s Support Center, said: “We would like to call on our partners and all stakeholders to co-operate in the framework of the new project which strives to assist the efforts of the state bodies aimed at development of juvenile crime prevention”.


The roundtable follows a series of forums held last year in different regions of Armenia by the Children’s Support Center Foundation with the support of the OSCE Office in Yerevan to ensure better co-ordination and closer cooperation among different state and non-state agencies dealing with juvenile offenders.

Aleppo’s Armenian Forty Martyrs Church compound suffers damage

The Armenian Forty Martyrs Church compound in Judayda, Aleppo, has suffered damage. The reports that a hall, parts of the wall, the courtyard, and the gate have been damaged.

Earlier, the Armenian Weekly had reported based on news sources from Aleppo that the church was destroyed. Sources in Aleppo have since informed the Weekly that despite damage to the church compound, the church itself has escaped major harm.

Some sources reported on April 29 that the church was bombed with explosives placed underneath the structure through underground tunnels; others claimed the destruction was due to shelling.

The Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of the Eastern U.S. confirmed the attack on the church to the Armenian Weekly on April 28.

The Forty Martyrs Church dates back to the 15th century. The first mention of the church appeared in the second edition of the book, The Exploit of the Holy Bible, by Father Melikseth in 1476. The bell tower was built in 1912. The Church housed khatchkars, relics, and icons, including “The Last Judgment,” a painting that dates back to 1703.

The Church has been at the center of Armenian community life in Aleppo, where for centuries religious and cultural initiatives took place.

The attack on the Forty Martyrs Church comes about four months after terrorists bombed the Armenian Catholic Cathedral Our Lady of Pity (also known as St. Rita), located next to the Armenian Catholic Archeparchy of Aleppo, leaving the church partly destroyed. In September 2014, terrorists destroyed the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Der Zor, Syria—considered the Auschwitz of the Armenian Genocide.

Before the start of the Syrian crisis in the spring of 2011, between 60,000-70,000 Armenians called Syria home, constituting less than 0.5 percent of the country’s total population. More than half of them lived in Aleppo, with the other half scattered in such cities as Latakia, Homs, Qamishli, Hasakeh, Yaqubiye, Raqqa, Kessab, and the capital Damascus.