Prosperous Armenia MP Gevorg Petrosyan and former Justice Minister Gevorg Danielyan have recently criticized the ratification of the Lanzerote Convention by the National Assembly. However, when both officials were ministers 10 years ago, they considered it expedient to sign this convention.
The Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, ratified by the National Assembly on May 11, has been the subject of heated debate. The Convention, also known as the Lanzarote Convention (the place where it was adopted), has been criticized by some lawyers, lawmakers, and others.
Gevorg Petrosyan, a member of the Prosperous Armenia parliamentary faction, also opposes the ratification of the Convention, noting that this convention compromises the Armenian value system. “What does it mean to provide sex upbringing to children during sex education?” The PAP MP said.
According to Petrosyan, the convention contains some threats. Former Minister of Justice, lawyer Gevorg Danielyan agrees with the latter.
The latter wrote a post on his Facebook page, noting that under the Convention, amendments to the Criminal Code have been made in previous years, and as a result, persons under the age of 16 can have sexual intercourse by mutual consent, and, in reality, the convention aimed at combatting sexual exploitation of children leads to the opposite result; children find themselves in a vulnerable position.
A brief note
As it is known, Armenia signed the convention on September 29, 2010.
Prior to the signing, the Ministries of Justice, Labor and Social Affairs, as well as the Police (headed by Gevorg Danielyan, Gevorg Petrosyan and Alik Sargsyan, respectively) submitted documents on the expediency of signing the convention.
The Fact Investigation Platform requested the aforementioned documents from the Ministry of Justice. The documents provided by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Justice deserve special attention.
Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
In particular, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs noted that the signing of the convention is expedient, as it will contribute to the reform process in the sector, clarification of relevant control mechanisms.
It is noteworthy that the document, which was submitted in 2009, was personally signed by PAP MP Gevorg Petrosyan, who was then the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. In spite of the recent statements, there is no concern about the ratification of the convention in the document signed by the latter. The issues that Petrosyan is raising today are not reflected in the document.
Ministry of Justice
The document of the Ministry of Justice speaks about the necessary and important regulations in the field envisaged by the Convention. The Ministry considered the signing of the Convention expedient, based on the need for international cooperation in the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. There is no mention of “any threats” in this document. The document was submitted in June 2010, when Gevorg Danielyan was Minister of Justice.
Thus, Gevorg Danielyan and Gevorg Petrosyan, who actively oppose the Lanzarote Convention and who see it as a “wedge” in the Armenian value system, not only failed to see any problems in the Convention years ago, but officially considered it expedient to sign it.