Delinquents in Armenia Come From Socially Vulnerable Families

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–According to the "Analysis of the Situation of Women and Children in Armenia in 1998" published as a result of cooperation between the UNICEF Armenia-based office and the American "Save the Children" fund–a 56 percent increase in juvenile delinquency is reported in the period of 1989-1996. Most of the delinquents (78 percent) are charged with larceny–which indicates to economic reasons as a potential factor of juvenile delinquency. 95 percent of the delinquents are from socially vulnerable families. The actual annual public health expenditures make up $20,000,000 ($5.40 per capita) in Armenia. By 1997 the number of beds in children’s hospitals had decreased by 18 percent as compared to 1990; the number of pediatricians decreased by 20 percent. At the same time a decrease in the death-rate among children was observed during the same period of time: the death-rate among children under 5 decreased by 18 percent. In 1997–the police brought 325 waifs to reception centers.

It should be noted that the "Analysis of the Situation of Women and Children in Armenia in 1998" concerns the problems of the state of health of women and children in Armenia–sanitary conditions–education as well as those of different groups of children who need special protection. The National Assembly and the government will use the information contained in the document in developing the national policy in all the social sectors. This information will also become a basis for the programs of the UNICEF Armenia-based office–the "Save the Children" Fund and other international organizations which implement various programs in Armenia.

The presentation of the document attended by the officers of the UNICEF and "Save the Children" fund as well as the officials of the Ministry of Health–Foreign Ministry–Ministry of Science and Education and Ministry of Welfare was held on May 14.

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