In 2018, the State Revenue Committee of Armenia proposed draft amendments to the Law on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that interfered with the right to freedom of association.
Among them were ones that would oblige all NGOs to publicise the content of their annual reports, information about their financial activities, projects, number of employees and personal data of their employees, among other requirements.
Based on the Constitutional Law on Human Rights Defender of Armenia the NHRI opinion is mandatory for all initiatives that may anyhow relate to Human Rights.
The draft law was shared with the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Armenia. The Defender raised numerous concerns on how the draft law might affect the autonomy, independence and activities of civil society.
The NHRI provided recommendations based on the OSCE/ODIHR and Venice Commission’s Guidelines on Freedom of Association and Recommendation CM/Rec (2007)14 of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.
The State Revenue Committee partially accepted these recommendations, and the draft law was adopted with changes addressing a number of the Defender’s concerns.
Listen to Kristinne Grigoryan, Human Rights Defender of Armenia, recount the experience from the point of view of the NHRI. Subtitles are available.