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“Support to Migration Policy Development and Relevant Capacity Building in Armenia” quarterly programme. Outline

“Support to Migration Policy and Relevant Capacity Building in Armenia” quarterly programme has been implemented with financial assistance of the European Union since January 1, 2007 in close cooperation with Yerevan Office of the British Council, the Migration Agency of the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration (RA MA MTA) and the International Center for Human Development (ICHD) NGO.

The necessity of implementation of such a programme is conditioned by two reasons. Firstly, it should be stated that since the independence of the Republic of Armenia migration of the population has been continued, though in small volumes. Assessments of the specialists suggest that the number of population emigrated from the Republic totals approximately one million persons. Such an emigration poses a number of issues and questions for the state, as well as the society, and urges that immediate effective steps be taken for improvement of the current situation, elimination of social, economic and legal reasons behind emigration and providing positive impact on the consequences of that phenomenon.

Secondly, growth in the number of those returning to the country as compared to those leaving the country is recorded; hence, it is necessary to promote a relatively positive trend of migration flows and to make it a stable process.

The Programme pursues the goals of:

  • Preventing illegal migration;
  • Assisting in the increase of the efficiency of the processes of return and reintegration;
  • Bringing the migration policy and legislation in conformity with the universally recognized norms and principles of the migration law.

The objectives of the Programme are as follows:

  • Increase the level of public awareness of illegal migration and the risks and consequences thereof;
  • Present the current Armenian reality and opportunities to our citizens living abroad in view of promoting their return;
  • Strengthen the institutional, consultative and technical capacities of the RA MA MTA;
  • Establish a system of communication with the returning migrants that operates by the principle of phone hot line;
  • Ensure an effective dialogue between the organizations developing and implementing the migration policy and the interested public structures;
  • Promote elaboration of a migration policy that will be consistent with the international law and will take into account the current social-economic situation in Armenia.
  • Establish a higher level of development in cooperation of the state government bodies with non-governmental structures.

“Support to Migration Policy Development and Relevant Capacity Building in Armenia” quarterly programme has three components supplementing each other:

Component 1. TV campaign aimed at alteration of the public consciousness

Nowadays many of the RA citizens having an intention to leave for abroad are unaware of the problems resulting from irregular migration and the consequences thereof. RA citizens already emigrated from Armenia, in their turn, are not aware of the opportunities available in Armenia and the assistance that they can receive from the state. To fill this gap, short films, talk-shows and TV debates dedicated to migration issues will be shot and aired within the framework of the Programme.

Component 2. Capacity building for the institution assisting with return and reintegration

Many citizens that have left Armenia have obvious shortage of information on one or another question re their possible return. The main questions relate to documentation, employment, social assistance, health services, educational problems and military service.

Since the scope of potential questions is too wide, and the geography of the countries that have received our citizens is too widely extended, it is impossible to find solution on the spot to the questions that are brought up or are being brought up. That is why within the framework of the Component 2 of the Programme, Center of Assistance to migrants (where you are now) is established at the RA MA MTA, wherefrom people that have left Armenia, being scattered all over the world, will be able to get complete information on any problem re migration; via direct network communication the migrants will get appropriate exhaustive answers to any question that they are interested in. The Center has a direct link with other RA state government bodies; hence, responses to any “non-standard” problems brought up by the migrants will be given after consultation with competent institutions.

Component 3. Establishing dialogue on the policy

Nowadays it is necessary to elaborate an appropriate migration policy that will be consistent with the principles of the international law and attributable to Armenian migration realities. With the view of the latter, it is necessary to evolve dialogue between different decision making authorities in Armenia and interested institutions of the civil society.

For that very purpose, round tables and business discussions are regularly organized with participation of the representatives of public and non-public sectors and international and local experts. The most sensitive issues and problems are put under discussion; draft legal acts, policy briefs of the discussions on the policy and expertise analysis are elaborated, etc.