fact that adults over the age of 18 live in child care and protection institutions,
continues to remain a matter of concern.
What constitutes an issue here is
that in those institutions (for example, orphanages, etc.), children with
disabilities are not taught independent living skills.
The monitoring results of the Human Rights
Defender serve as a proof that the main reason for the presence of adult students
with disabilities in child care and protection institutions is that for years
the state has not taken measures to teach them independent living skills in
accordance with the assessment of their needs and development opportunities.
This matter continues to remain of concern even nowadays.
These issues, in turn, lead to the violation of
the rights, dignity and best interests of these children and later also of
adults. This concerning matter, in turn, leads to social isolation as after
becoming adults, the children are not able to fully integrate into life, and
live an independent and dignified life.
Issues related to the care of students over the
age of 18 in child care and protection institutions, housing problems, and the
full involvement in the society of current students and alumni, as well as
former students who are not considered alumni, are described in detail in the 2020
Annual Report the Human Rights Defender.
According to the Ministry of Labor and Social
Affairs of Armenia, as of December 31, 2020, 145 adults were receiving care in
the Specialized Children's Home of Kharberd, and 23 adults in the Marie
Izmirlian orphanage. All the adults receiving care in these facilities have disabilities.
Kapan Special Educational Complex No. 3 SNCO
informed that in February 2020, 8 adults who previously lived in their
institution were accommodated in the collective house of the Jermik Ankyun Foundation
in Geghanist community of Ararat region of Armenia and as of December 31, 2020,
no adults lived in their institution. The "Republican Special Educational
Complex No. 2" SNCO informed that as of December 31, 2020, 24 adults lived
in the institution, 15 boys and 9 girls. All adults living in that institution
also have disabilities.
The efforts of the Ministry of Labor and Social
Affairs of the Republic of Armenia in 2020 to provide apartments to the alumni
of the institutions show a positive tendency. In 2019, 55 alumni of the
orphanage received the right to obtain a certificate to purchase an apartment,
and in 2020 that number increased to 149, however even in these matters, there
are no institutional guarantees.
The provision of apartments is not a solution
in itself or is merely a partial solution, since this is not a combat against
the real causes. Children with disabilities do not acquire independent living
skills, as a result of which, later in life, they will not be able to live
independently, and to participate in public life fully and with dignity.
The issue of providing care for the students
who have reached the age of 18 and still live in child care and protection
institutions continues to remain of concern, both in terms of the rights of
these students and the other children living in the same place as them. For
example, serious problems arise in the case of cohabitation of adult male
students with female children.
It is especially problematic that, for example, the Specialized Children's Home of Kharberd has been providing
care for a lot of students over the age of 18, all of whom have disabilities,
and the state does not take appropriate measures to ensure the realization of
their right to live independently, to be involved in the community, as well as
to solve housing problems based on needs assessment and development
opportunities, as guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Even when these persons live in collective houses,
their right to live
and independent and dignified life and to be fully involved in the community is
still not ensured.
But this is not a solution to the issue, but merely a positive
temporary step, which, however, does not solve the issue of those adults who
have received apartments to live independently.