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Armenia Grants Refugee Status to Artsakh Displaced, Offers Path to Citizenship and Pensions

Armenia Grants Refugee Status to Artsakh Displaced, Offers Path to Citizenship and Pensions
Artsakh Displaced Citizens in Kornidzor

The Armenian government has officially granted refugee status to individuals forcibly displaced from the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) due to the recent forced mass exodus by Azerbaijan. The decision, approved during Thursday's Cabinet session, outlines the identity documents for those under temporary protection and refugees, along with the issuance procedures.

Justice Minister Grigor Minasyan, who presented the decision, clarified that those eligible for temporary protection include individuals registered in Artsakh's population register, those residing in Armenia or abroad with their last registered address in Artsakh, and individuals not registered in Artsakh's population register but living there, having been registered by the Migration and Citizenship Service of Armenia after September 19.

"Given the current situation, residents of Nagorno-Karabakh have no opportunity to return permanently. This decision will define the legal status of forcibly displaced persons, outlining their rights and responsibilities," Minister Minasyan stated.

Under this ruling, individuals under temporary protection automatically obtain refugee status, granting them rights according to national laws and international conventions, including the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The decision enables more effective protection of their rights and legal interests, providing them the opportunity to secure a refugee document from Armenian authorities within three months, necessary for travel purposes.

Additionally, Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan emphasized that those with refugee status have the option to apply for Armenian citizenship, allowing them to access additional rights, including pensions. However, it's important to note that the social support provided to refugees may be affected upon obtaining citizenship and receiving a pension.

This decision marks a significant step in addressing the challenges faced by displaced individuals and offers a pathway for them to rebuild their lives, ensuring legal protection and access to essential services as they integrate into their new communities.


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