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Justice Reform Monitoring in Armenia (JUREMONIA)

After the Velvet revolution in 2018, the Armenian authorities devised meaningful and far-reaching human rights based strategies to reform the justice sector. This important step, however, still needs to be followed by the implementation of practical measures. While the introduction of individual solutions is welcome, a systemic, transformative and holistic approach is crucial to permanently implement the reforms.

The European Union (EU) Roadmap for Engagement with Civil Society in Armenia (2018-2020) and the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) agree that in order to achieve a far-reaching and permanent transformation of the justice system, civil society needs to play a central role.

Our Aim

As such, the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (NHC) is collaborating with Penal Reform International and local Armenian organizations – Social Justice and the Civil Society Institute, to design a project aimed at strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations, and empowering them to effectively engage with government actors throughout the justice system reform process.

The project focuses on three key areas:

  • Increasing the capacity of CSOs in monitoring, reporting and advocacy throughout the implementation of justice sector reforms;
  • Strengthening the role of civil society in providing policy proposal and concrete recommendations and action plans;
  • Raising lasting public awareness and sparking a debate about the justice reform processes, along with stimulating the participation of citizens and media in monitoring efforts and formulating informed public demand.

The project is going to unfold through several activities.

Most importantly, the NHC along with its partners will establish an NGO platform for peer-to-peer CSOs exchanges, as well as provide training workshops for CSOs on monitoring and reporting. The project will also include the launch of a small three-pronged grant scheme aimed at CSOs active in criminal justice and Human Rights, universities and academic institutions, and journalists. The NHC will also assist in publication of research, monitoring reports and discussion papers and lastly, in producing policy briefs, joint petitions, campaigns, action plans and recommendations.

The project follows a rights-based approach at every step of the way. It focuses on both strengthening the capacity of rights holders to enjoy their rights, and creating incentives for duty-bearers to meet their obligations.

Overall, Juremonia is set to significantly improve CSO’s capacity and advocacy skills necessary for a profound justice reform. The project aims to empower CSOs to become fundamental mediators between society and government institutions in this delicate and complex process of justice system reform.

Project Implementation

Funder: European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands

Partners: Social Justice, Civil Society Institute, Penal Reform International

Project period: February 2022 – January 2023 (Extended to 2024)

Budget: 850,366.49 EUR