Armenia - Social development

Pension and disability benefit systems were first introduced in 1956 and 1964. More recent legislation was passed in 1990 and updated in 1992. Retirement is set at age 62 for men and age 57 for women, although early retirement is allowed for those engaged in hazardous work and for mothers with more than five children. Retirees normally receive a base pension plus bonuses depending on years of employment.

Work injury legislation provides 100% of average monthly earnings for temporary disability and a proportion of wages up to a maximum of 100% for permanent disability, depending on the extent of incapacity. Unemployment, sickness, and maternity benefits and family allowances are also provided under Armenian law.

Women in Armenia largely occupy traditional roles circumscribed by their families despite an employment law that formally prohibits discrimination based on sex. Women do not receive the same professional opportunities as men and often work in low-level jobs. Violence against women and domestic violence is believed to be underreported.

The constitution protects the freedom of assembly and the freedom of religion. The government allows minorities, such as the Russians, Jews, Kurds, Yezids, Georgians, Greeks, and Assyrians, the right to preserve their cultural practices, and a 1992 law allows them to study in their native language. Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, sex, religion, language disability or social status.

Human rights abuses appear to be widespread. Prison conditions fail to meet international standards and accusations of police brutality are not uncommon.

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