A roundtable to present and discuss the legislative package on prison healthcare in Armenia took place on 23 June 2017, in Yerevan bringing together fifteen high-level representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Penitentiary Department, Ministry of Health, Ombudsman Office and members of Public Monitoring Group and the civil society.
The legislative amendments were drafted on the basis of the “Concept paper on upgrading medical services in penitentiaries in the Republic of Armenia” that was developed with the support of the Council of Europe and adopted by the Ministry of Justice in July 2016. They aim at further harmonising the Armenian legislation with the European standards pertinent to health care in prison. As the Deputy Minister of Justice underlined, the position of the Ministry of Justice is that prisoners should receive the same quality of health care services as they would outside of prison, in the community. The Deputy Head of the Anti-Corruption and Penitentiary Strategy Planning Department of the Ministry of Justice together with two Council of Europe experts presented the proposed legislative package to the participants in more detail. They have been submitted to the Ministry of Justice for finalisation and adoption.
On the occasion of the discussions over the proposed legislative changes, the Deputy Minister also informed the participants that 11 penitentiary institutions of Armenia will be furnished with new medical equipment in the coming months, and that around 800 penitentiary staff had been trained on medical ethics and health prevention activities with the support of the European Union/Council of Europe project. The event was also highlighted in the official website of the Ministry of Justice.
The roundtable was organised within the Project on “Strengthening healthcare and human rights protection in prisons in Armenia”, funded under the Partnership of the European Union and the Council of Europe for Good Governance in the Eastern Partnership Countries.