Assessing the threat of online violence in Armenia

Joint statement by UNICEF and Ministry of Internal Affairs

25 December 2023
Առցանց վտանգների գնահատումը Հայաստանում. ՅՈՒՆԻՍԵՖ-ի և Ներքին գործերի նախարարության համատեղ հայտարարությունը
UNICEF Armenia/2023/Biayna Mahari

“Disrupting Harm” is a large-scale and a multi -country research project to generate unique insights about online child sexual exploitation and abuse, providing tailored roadmaps for countries to strengthen their prevention and response systems. The project funded by the Safe Online Initiative at the End Violence Partnership, brings together global organizations – ECPAT International, INTERPOL, and the UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti. In Armenia UNICEF is closely working with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of RA, Police and other relevant state agencies.

Internet provides children with opportunities to learn and socialise. But it can also increase the risk of exposure to negative experiences, including online child sexual exploitation and abuse. There is a lack of evidence to quantify these risks and identify which children are more likely to be harmed. This makes it difficult to prevent and disrupt situations of abuse and exploitation.

“Disrupting Harm” employs a multi-sector approach, leveraging the expertise of its global partners and local collaborators to develop a nuanced understanding of the threat landscape. The methodology includes desk-based research on existing laws and policies, nationally representative surveys with children and caregivers, data from law enforcement agencies, interviews with justice actors, and surveys of frontline service providers.

"What happens online, reflects the realities children face every day – at home, at school and in their communities. Through this initiative we gather evidence on children’s digital rights, opportunities and risks to better understand how the use of digital technology contributes to their lives – and when it exposes them to harm,” explains Christine Weigand, UNICEF Representative in Armenia.

“Recognizing the profound impact of violence on a child's well-being, we emphasize the paramount importance of addressing this issue as a top priority. Collective efforts from all concerned organizations are crucial in implementing effective measures to tackle this challenge. The Ministry of Internal Affairs is steadfast in its commitment to preventing and identifying any form of harassment against minors. Our dedicated focus on this matter is unwavering, with ongoing collaboration and coordination with relevant organizations. We maintain a close partnership with UNICEF, which is instrumental in our shared goal of achieving positive and lasting results," said Minister of Internal Affairs Vahe Ghazaryan

Data collection in Armenia is set to commence in 2024. The results are expected to be available in 2025, offering tailored roadmaps for all participating countries to strengthen their prevention and response systems. By basing solutions on the latest data and evidence, UNICEF is committed to work with partners to fully understand the risks, making sure measures are taken to minimize them to create a safer online environment for children in Armenia and beyond.

Media contacts

Zara Sargsyan
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Armenia
Tel: 37455232169
Tel: 37410580174

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