HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Civil Society Institute is one of the most experienced civil society organizations in Armenia that has implemented a vast number of projects and initiatives in the area of rights protection and democratic development, rule of law and state accountability, social integration and response to conflict.
Established in 1998 in Yerevan and formerly known as Civil Society Development Union, the organization embarked on assisting and promoting establishment of a free and democratic society in Armenia, further embracing and engaging in a wide spectrum of areas responding to situation and developments.
We have been actively working on programs aimed at civil society development, penal system reform, human rights advocacy and awareness, peace building and conflict resolution, freedom of information and anti-corruption, youth empowerment, education reform and capacity building.
Areas of focus of CSI have included:
Preventing torture and ill treatment
Promote fair trial and justice reform
Fostering probation system in Armenia
Reintegration of women, juvenile ex-prisoners
Community-focused to responses in insecurity and conflict
Rebuilding trust: mutual understanding and reconciliation in the region
Promote criminal justice in the region
Penitentiary system reform and monitoring
CSI has contributed to state policies and institutions to become more responsive, accountable and alert on human rights issues. Among our achievements are: high level debates and discussions, formation of institutional bodies following-up on human rights issues and strengthening capacities of state representatives, creative initiatives on education and promotion of on arts and craft, apprentices for vulnerable groups to promote inclusive and tolerant society are among the achievements of our activities.
In promoting more democratic and accountable governance we have focused on:
- Capacity building, establishment and development of institutional structures ensuring human rights protection in line with international standards
- Partnership with state institutions, international community, civil society organizations
- Monitoring and uncovering issues in various spheres, analyzing and reporting to government bodies and providing recommendations
- Promoting government efforts to address pressing issues
- Facilitating discussion and debate
- Promotion of civic participation and facilitation of platform for discussion on challenges
- Supporting oversight and monitoring
- Legislative reform and implementation
Our team of experts has contributed to achievements in human rights reporting, monitoring, establishment of human rights protection mechanisms, raising issues to government bodies and providing professional expertise and recommendation to address a number of issues in line with international commitments. The organization has monitored, urged and facilitated debates, workshops and meetings on pressing issues with the state institutions and international organizations to uphold institutional change as well as address specific problems. Among achievements we may outline a vast number of research, monitoring, expert recommendation to state institutions, co-operation and establishment of bodies addressing democracy and rights protection, legal amendments.
We have also initiated and realized innovative and targeted initiatives in area of penitentiary monitoring and reform, probation and reintegration of convicted persons, social rehabilitation, and contributed to reform on state policy level and real impact.
IN THE AREA OF PEACEBUILDING AND RESPONSE TO CONFLICT
We have initiated projects to highlight and adress the issues in border communities, facilitate civic engagement and platforms towards confidence building, uphold humanitarian laws, etc.