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Human Rights Defender Kristine Grigoryan met with Council of Europe Secretary General's Special Representative for Migration and Refugees Leyla Kayacik during her working visit to Strasbourg today, was informed by the Armenian Ombudsman's Office.

Grigoryan briefed Leyla Kayacik on the problems of ensuring the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in Armenia, including those arriving in Armenia from the Russian Federation and Ukraine, and the activities of the Ombudsman's Office in this regard.

Leyla Kayacik presented her mandate and stressed the importance of work and cooperation with both states and human rights institutions in implementing the obligations under the CoE Convention.

Referring to the report of the Human Rights Defender published on September 16, Grigoryan stressed the need to provide housing to at least 7,600 people displaced from Gegharkunik, Syunik and Vayots Dzor regions as a result of the Azerbaijani attack, noting the importance of special protection of women, elderly people, children and people with disabilities, who constitute the majority of displaced persons.

The two sides agreed to continue cooperation toward concrete actions, including support for the institution of the Defender.

The Defender also met with Christophe Poirel, Director for Human Rights of the Council of Europe's Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law.

During the meeting with Christophe Poirel the programs implemented with the Office of the Human Rights Defender within the mandate of the General Directorate were discussed, in particular, the results of the program "Human and Women's Rights in the Armed Forces of Armenia" and the importance of continuing it was discussed.

In her speech, the Ombudsman underlined the high level of continual effective cooperation with the Yerevan Office of the Council of Europe, stressed the need to adopt and launch a new Armenia-EU action plan, as well as presented proposals for planning new program directions through other possible mechanisms of the Council of Europe, aimed at supporting the Human Rights Defender institution.

Referring to the urgent need to ensure the rights of displaced persons as a result of the Azerbaijani aggression, the Ombudsman stated the importance of providing appropriate support and reiterated the readiness of the Office of the Ombudsman to continue efforts aimed at deepening cooperation.

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