The Human Rights Defender provides protection for the individuals where their human rights and freedoms have been violated by state or local authorities. At a wider level, the Human Rights Defender protects and promotes human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals (and legal entities) by observing the human rights situation in the country, dealing with individual complaints and engaging in the process of improving national regulatory framework in accordance with internationally recognized human rights standards.

The establishment of the institution of the Human Rights Defender (HRD) of Armenia in 2004 was a significant step towards a more systematic human rights promotion and protection in the country.The Human Rights Defender is guided in its activity by the following principles: Independence, Autonomy, Impartiality, Transparency, Justice, Equality, Professionalism and Pluralism.

The Defender reports on the state of human rights protection, makes proposals for legislative reforms, carries out human rights education projects and conducts research. The 2005 Constitutional Amendments endowed the HRD Institution with a constitutional status. Further amendments provided for the parliamentary election of HRD, the recognition of the Institution as a National Preventive Mechanism under OPCAT and introduction of state service in HRDO.

Since 2015, the mandate of the Human Rights Defender was expanded to cover the private sector and a new Constitutional Law on Human Rights Defender was drafted, in line with the Constitutional Amendments.

According to the new law, the HRD has jurisdiction over private entities in the field of health care, education and culture. With the enforcement of the new law in September 2016, the HRD has become directly engaged in the process of improving the legal frameworks and has a permanent designated representative at the National Assembly.

Head of Institution

Anahit Manasyan



Armenia, 0002, Yerevan, 56a Pushkin St

Year of establishment


Accreditation status


Year of accreditation


Number of staff


Regional offices

3 regional offices:

  • Gegharkunik
  • Shirak
  • Syunik


  • Ombuds
  • National Preventive Mechanism under OPCAT Art. 3 (NPM)

Core functions

  • Monitoring
  • Publishing research, recommendations, opinions
  • Reporting to international and regional human rights mechanisms
  • Complaints handling
  • Legal assistance
  • Advising government, parliament and other public bodies
  • Supporting the work of human rights defenders
  • Cooperation with civil society organisations
  • Human rights education and training
  • Awareness raising activities