Asylum and protection


Constitution of the Republic of Armenia:

“Everyone subjected to political persecution shall have the right to seek political asylum in the Republic of Armenia.” (Article 54)
“No one may be deported or extradited to a foreign state, if there is a real danger that such person may be subjected to the death penalty, torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in that country.” (Article 55(1))

Asylum is legal protection given to foreign citizens and stateless people with rights and freedoms coming from it. Asylum is granted to a person recognized as a refugee. Everyone has the right to seek asylum in a foreign country.

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Governments normally guarantee the basic human rights and physical security of their citizens. But when people become refugees this safety net disappears.

At UNHCR Armenia, we seek to uphold the basic human rights of uprooted or stateless people who seek asylum or refuge in Armenia, ensuring that refugees will not be returned involuntarily to a country where they could face persecution. In longer term, we also help refugees find solutions, by repatriating voluntarily to their homeland, integrating in Armenian society or resettling in third countries.

UNHCR Armenia is also involved in:

  • Support and provide advice to the Migration Service to maintain, improve and monitor access to the asylum system, basic reception conditions and quality of the Government asylum procedures, while promoting stronger (financial) engagement of authorities in addressing displacement challenges;
  • Provide training of judges and lawyers as part of strategic judicial engagement to enhance the capacity of courts and judges;
  • Provide legal aid and counselling services to asylum-seekers and refugees; capacitate the Public Defender’s Office to provide services to persons of concern;
  • Monitor reception and detention conditions by regular participatory assessments and missions to ensure that UNHCR’s activities are rights- based and respond to actual needs;
  • Help responding and preventing sex and gender-based violence and child abuse by providing complementary systems for persons of concern to bridge gaps in the government response;
  • Meet basic needs of the most vulnerable refugees through cash assistance;
  • Promote amendments to citizenship legislation and the establishment and implementation of a statelessness determination procedure.