YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia’signed a revised European Social Charter on October 18 and will ratify it by January 2004. By signing the document–Armenia pledges to implement the rights indicated in the Charter.
According to Armenia’s Minister of Social Security Razmik Martirossian–an information center "Nemrut" has been created at the Ministry. The next step will be the unification of nearly 180 social centers into a single network. The Social Security Ministry is also working to introduce a personal identification system–and a supporting law–"On personal data protection," has already been drafted.
Stressing the importance of protecting the rights of children–the minister said that there is a need to develop a national program for children’s protection. Reporting that $335,000 have already been spent on the improvement of domestic conditions in orphanages–however–Martirossian pointed out that the ministry does not encourage the establishment of orphanages–but instead would like to see a foster care system which will hopefully be introduced in Armenia in 2002.
The Ministry of Social Security finds that at the given moment–the creation of a modern system of social security is the top priority for the Ministry.