This Alternative Report aims to provide information to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) on the implementation of the Armenian Government’s obligations under Article 7 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (hereinafter – “the Covenant”), which sets forth the obligation of a state to ensure the right of everyone to the enjoyment of just and favourable conditions of work.
The Report in particular addresses the problem of realization in Armenia of the right to safe and healthy working conditions as prescribed under Article 7(b) of the Covenant. CESCR General Comment 23 outlines the parameters of this right, and points out that “Preventing occupational accidents and disease is a fundamental aspect of the right to just and favourable conditions of work…” It calls on states to adopt nationwide policies to prevent workplace accidents, injuries, and health hazards and provides considerable guidance on what those policies should include. (Paras. 25-29.) It also explicitly states that “Workers should be able to monitor working conditions without fear of reprisal” (Para. 26).
Following a general discussion of the legal, regulatory, and policy framework impacting safe and healthy working conditions, the Report assesses the labor rights of persons working in the mining sector in Syunik region through the lens of the right to safe and healthy working conditions. It also includes the results of field work conducted in April, 2019, which formed the basis of assessment.
Armenia ratified the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1993. In 2009, it signed the Optional Protocol to the Covenant allowing for individual communications on alleged violations of the Covenant. Unfortunately, the Optional Protocol has not been ratified.