The Council of Europe HELP online course on Asylum and Human Rights was successfully completed by a group of students from Armenia and other countries. The HELP course project was materialised owing to the efforts of the Yerevan State University (YSU), the Centre for European Studies (CES) and the Council of Europe (CoE) Justice and Human Rights Training Division (HELP Secretariat), as well as UNHCR.
On 8 December 2022, the HELP course graduates were invited to a certificate handover ceremony by the CoE, UNHCR and the CES.

In her opening remarks, the Deputy Director of the CES, Lilit Mirzoyan, congratulated the students on the successful completion of the course and thanked the HELP Secretariat and UNHCR for their genuine partnership and cooperation. She highlighted the well-established practice of incorporating HELP courses into the Centre’s educational programmes and particularly mentioned the pilot HELP course “CPT standards” accomplished in 2021. “We shall continue to build on our achievements and deepen engagement in the adaptation of the HELP courses to the Armenian context and their further incorporation into the Centre’s programs,” Ms Mirzoyan stressed.

On her turn, the Project Officer and HELP course Coordinator of the CoE Yerevan Office, Anna Sahakyan, said, “I would like to congratulate the graduates on their success and express my appreciation to the UNHCR colleagues in Yerevan and Strasbourg for the realisation of this important course. I would also like to commend the tutor Sergey Ghazinyan for his utmost dedication and professionalism in adapting the Asylum and Human Rights HELP course to the Armenian context.”. “Dear students, I am assured that the knowledge you have gained, will greatly help you in your professional career and personal growth”, Ms Sahakyan concluded.

The UNHCR Armenia Protection Associate, Naira Marutyan also acknowledged the project’s achievement and presented UNHCR’s global mandate and the activities in Armenia. “To enhance protection of refugees, asylum-seekers and other displaced persons in Armenia, UNHCR works in partnership with the state and local authorities, international and local organisations and NGOs, as well as with the academia: teachers, tutors and students – future human rights defenders such as you.”, Ms Marutyan said. “We are delighted to have the first group of students at the CES successfully completing Asylum and Human Rights course the positive feedback we heard from you is really encouraging and inspiring us. So, we strongly hope that the course will soon be incorporated into the faculty’s curriculum to benefit many more students of the CES”, Ms Marutyan said to the students.

The course tutor and the YSU adjunct lecturer, Sergey Ghazinyan saluted the graduates and all the partners for the joint success. He updated the participants on the inclusion of the HELP courses in two master programmes of the CES and expressed his appreciation to the students for their active participation and success rate, and elaborated on the use of other HELP courses in a self-learning format.

The event was concluded with a handover of certificates and a group photo to serve as a memory of the joint achievement in the realisation of the Asylum and Human Rights HELP course for the CES students at the YSU.