There are over 900 children placed in 8 state orphanages, although the majority of these children have at least one parent.
More than half of the 10,000 children enrolled in 52 special schools providing free education, food and boarding are from socially vulnerable families.
After leaving these institutions many of these children are at risk of being trafficked.
Recent studies conducted in the country revealed the problem of domestic and institutional violence against children (mainly psychological and physical). Majority of service and care providers working with children do not have or do not use professional guidelines and code of conducts.
In the most socially disadvantaged communities, parents are often unable to register their children at birth and continue to rely on public care institutions as their primary social safety net.
Most kindergartens and schools are still unable to provide services to over 8,000 children registered as disabled in Armenia, and the majority of them remain excluded from special and mainstream education. Many children with disabilities are identified late and the early intervention services are not available at community level.
The newly established child protection units functioning at provincial level have limited capacities and poor data collection, monitoring and planning skills.
There are credible reports from local NGOs on the existence of child labour in Armenia and in 2007 UNICEF is planning to conduct an in-depth study into the child labour issue to obtain information on the magnitude of the problem, its forms and causes.
UNICEF supports the Government of Armenia to implement the National Plan of Action on Children adopted in 2003 and the child welfare reforms.
We also advocate for policies and strategies directed at prevention, early identification and follow- up to child abuse and neglect cases and childhood disability.
UNICEF promotes the establishment of community centres for reintegration of children with disabilities, children at-risk and children in conflict with law. Those centres are considered as an effective alternative to placement of children in residential care institutions and are being replicated throughout the country.
We disseminate information to parents and children and train teachers, police, social workers, nurses and doctors for them to be able to prevent and respond to cases of violence against children.
Together with other partners we build the capacity of child protection bodies functioning at national, provincial and community levels.
UNICEF actively supports reforms in the Juvenile Justice Administration, advocating for community alternatives to imprisonment such as probation and community restorative justice.
UNICEF addresses the problem of birth registration through co-ordinating activities of all responsible governmental structures and training of civic registration bodies.Impact