SHUSHI, Artsakh (Armenian Weekly)— Artsakh Ombudsman (Human Rights Defender) Ruben Melikyan has appointed Artak Beglaryan as the Head of Department and Babken DerGrigorian as an Adviser.
“It is a great honor and pleasure,” Beglaryan said, “since I get to serve the people of Artsakh and defend their rights.” Beglaryan, who is a specialist in politics and public administration, previously worked as the Assistant then as the Press Secretary to the Artsakh Prime. Most recently, he served as Advisor to the State Minister.
Under the new “Law Regarding the Human Rights Defender,” passed by the Artsakh Parliament on Dec. 21, 2017 and enacted on Feb. 1, the Ombudsman’s staff has been restructured into two administrative units—the Department and the Secretariat.
The Department will provide key legal and expert support, while the Secretariat will be tasked with carrying out the Ombudsman’s day-to-day activities. Along with a number of other content and structural changes, the new law also allows the Ombudsman to appoint up to five advisers on a pro bono and voluntary basis.
“I do have a lot to learn in order to increase the effectiveness of my service,” Beglaryan added in his comments to the Armenian Weekly. “I’m sure that Ombudsman Melikyan and our team will help me get integrated quickly.”
Under the Republic of #Artsakh new Law on “#HumanRights Defender” enacted on February 1, @Artak_Beglaryan is appointed as Head of Department, & @Babken DerGrigorian as Advisor to Ombudsman (on a pro bono basis).
Welcome aboard!#NKpeace #Karabakhhttps://t.co/j8i74hmm1G pic.twitter.com/LHae2mI0pU
— Artsakh / Karabakh Human Rights Ombudsman (@ArtsakhOmbuds) February 5, 2018
Beglaryan holds a master’s degree from the University College London in Politics, Security, and Integration and has also studied at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, specializing in Public Policy and Administration, and at the Alexander Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, with a specialization in Business Management with the EU Erasmus Mundus student exchange program. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Political Science, Yerevan State University.
Beglaryan has also participated in a number of international conferences, published academic articles, and been involved in civic activities for years in various non-governmental organizations.
Commenting on his appointment as Advisor to the Ombudsman, DerGrigorian said it is an honor for him to support what he called the “crucial work” being undertaken by the Artsakh Human Rights Defender.
“I very much look forward to working with Ruben, Artak, and their incredibly talented staff in furthering the protection of human rights, and bringing Artsakh’s already improving human rights situation up to the international standards that are befitting of a modern democracy,” DerGrigorian said about his appointment.
DerGrigorian is an economist and international development consultant, with an area focus on the South Caucasus. He currently serves as the founding executive director of the Artsakh Human Rights Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the protection of fundamental human rights in Artsakh.
DerGrigorian has also consulted for a number of international human rights organizations and development agencies, including the HALO Trust, Transparency International, and the United Nations Development Programme. In addition, he has worked as a programs coordinator for the Open Society Foundations in Armenia. DerGrigorian holds two master’s degrees from the London School of Economics, in Political and Development Economics and Political Communication, respectively. He also holds an bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Affairs from UCLA.