“The MPs gave a positive conclusion on the ratification of the pedophilia conventio”’! This is a headline from the newspaper “Iravunk”, 28 April issue. The reference this time is to the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, in other words – the Lanzarote Convention. The newspaper headline reminds us of the vocabulary the newspaper had been using when covering the topics related to the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violennce, i.e. the Istanbul Convention. And each time they find experts and psychologists that manage to create a distorted image through biased commentary. This said, prior to this:
As early as November 2019 the Government approved the draft RA Law on ‘Ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.’ Following this, the Government applied to the Constitutional Court for the latter to determine the compliance of the obligations prescribed by this international treaty with the Constitution. The decision of the Constitutional Court was positive and the draft was submitted to the NA, following which discussions were held on the topic on 27 April. Incidentally, the Convention was signed by the Republic of Armenia on 29 September 2010. At the moment the document is effective in 45 out of 47 Council of Europe States.
Christine Grigoryan, Deputy Minister of Justice stated in her presentation of the document in the NA on 27 April that “it is meant to protect children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse by setting out general standards and definitions.” Today, on 11 May the National Assembly adopted the draft law on “Ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.”
In what follows we would like to cite the opinion expressed in the newspaper “Iravunk” and compare it with the document. Hayk Ayvazyan, the head of the Informational and Analitical Center “Luys” states in an interview with the newspaper that “… with the ratification of this Convention the State undertakes to ensure that a child has the sexual orientation of his/her choosing and freedom from being discriminated against on this ground.” However, the Convention does not have such provisions. The expression “sexual orientation” is used only once in the article on the prohibition of discrimination, whereas there is no work about “choosing” it. The following is the excerpt in question from Article 2: “The implementation of the provisions of this Convention by the Parties, in particular the enjoyment of measures to protect the rights of victims, shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national 14 Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse minority, property, birth, sexual orientation, state of health, disability or other status.”
The expert continues to insist that: “The Convention imposes upon the State an obligation to include in the school curricula materials on sexual education with a view to arousing interest in sexual relationship among children from an early age.” Now let us see if the Convention has such wording. Article 6 of the Convention states “Each Party shall take the necessary legislative or other measures to ensure that children, during primary and secondary education, receive information on the risks of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, as well as on the means to protect themselves, adapted to their evolving capacity. This information, provided in collaboration with parents, where appropriate, shall be given within a more general context of information on sexuality and shall pay special attention to situations of risk, especially those involving the use of new information and communication technologies.”
In summary, we become convinced that the thoughts expressed by the expert has no legal basis in the Convention. It becomes obvious that we have to deal with distorted facts here. And given that such commentary is voiced in relation to a convention signed by the previous authorities, it is obvious that this is just another topic that is being manipulated against the current authorities.