U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Armenia
|Publisher||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants|
|Publication Date||25 May 2004|
|Cite as||United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, U.S. Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey 2004 - Armenia , 25 May 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/40b459320.html [accessed 28 April 2015]|
Armenia hosted about 11,000 refugees, almost all ethnic Armenians, who fled conflicts in Chechnya (Russia) and Abkhazia (Georgia). Although the government took steps during the year to grant them "temporary asylum," they lacked a permanent solution to their plight at year's end. An estimated 50,000 persons remained internally displaced because of conflict in the early 1990s. The government received 75 asylum applications, the majority (60) from Iraqis. The Department of Migration and Refugees (DMR) granted 29 applicants temporary asylum, rejected or closed 16 claims, and had 36 claims pending at year's end.
About 7,800 Armenians were refugees or seeking asylum at the end of the year with about 7,100 filing new claims.
Some 239,000 ethnic Armenian Azeris fled the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh more than a decade ago and were eligible for Armenian citizenship, faced no threat of forced return to Azerbaijan. Armenia recognized them as prima facie refugees and registered them upon their arrival and the legality of their presence is indefinite and subject to no substantive review. Public sympathy for them in Armenia is high and there is little or no likelihood of revocation of this status. Many left the country years ago, principally to Russia, and but some return with the same status. Their children born in Armenia acquire citizenship automatically. Their numbers are thus subject to constant decline due to death, departure, and de-registration required for naturalization. The U.S. Committee for Refugees considers that they have a durable solution.
Armenia is a party to the UN Refugee Convention and adopted implementing legislation in 1999. In 2003, the DMR took steps to amend the refugee law to bring it in greater compliance with the Convention. At year's end, a draft law on amendments to the Law on Refugees was pending. In 2003, Armenia began issuing a renewable "temporary asylum" status good for one year.