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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                           

Republic of Armenia

Armenia joined the World Trade Organization in January 2003. The government has made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been largely ineffective. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms and strengthen the rule of law in order to raise its economic growth and improve economic competitiveness and employment opportunities, especially given its economic isolation from Turkey and Azerbaijan.

  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2021]

Description: Description: Armenia

Armenia is primarily a source country for women and girls trafficked to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Armenian men and women are trafficked to Russia for the purpose of forced labor. NGOs reported that Armenian women were also trafficked to Turkey for the purpose of forced labor. Women from Ukraine and Russia are trafficked to Armenia for the purpose of forced labor. Victims trafficked to the UAE usually fly to Dubai from Yerevan or via cities in Russia; the trafficking route to Turkey is generally via bus through Georgia. A small number of Armenian girls and boys are trafficked internally for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced begging.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here or a full TIP Report here


CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Armenia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include possible precursors of trafficking such as poverty. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims


United Methodist Committee on Relief
800 50 558
Country code: 374-



Gyumri’s Human Trafficking Victims

Varduhi Zakaryan, Hetq Online, January 15, 2007

[accessed 5 September 2014]

“Seven of us lived in one room, where we didn't even have the most basic facilities. We would be kept partly hungry almost all the time – there would be days when we would eat dry bread, cabbage stems and even days when we would go hungry. We had already been working in those conditions for eight months when we learned that Ararat had not sent any money back to our families, even though he would swear on his brother's grave that our families were receiving payments regularly each month,” narrated 42-year old Robert Karapetyan, a resident of Gyumri.


*** ARCHIVES ***

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Armenia

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 10 May 2021]


The law prohibits and criminalizes all forms of forced and compulsory labor, although it does not define forced labor. The government did not effectively enforce the law. Prosecutions were not proactive and heavily relied on victim self-identification; the most recent labor-trafficking conviction was in 2014. Resources, inspections, and remediation were inadequate to identify forced labor cases at large due to the lack of an effective labor inspection mechanism.


Children younger than age 14 worked in a variety of industries, including agriculture, construction, and begging. Children living in rural areas were more vulnerable to forced labor in the agricultural sector. In addition, while the government made an effort to reduce institutionalization of children with disabilities, those living in institutions were more vulnerable to child labor.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 19 March 2020]


Legal protections against exploitative or dangerous working conditions are poorly enforced, and about half of workers are employed in the informal sector, where they may be more exposed to such conditions. Armenians are subjected to sex and labor trafficking abroad, and some children in the country work in agriculture and other sectors. According to the US State Department, the government has made efforts to address trafficking in persons in recent years, in part by raising awareness of the problem and training law enforcement authorities, but it has done little to identify victims proactively, and the number of successful prosecutions remains small.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 15 April 2019]

[accessed 22 April 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 158

Despite government efforts to decrease institutionalization of children, nearly 3,500 children remain in government boarding schools, orphanages, and special education institutions. (26) These children are more likely to experience physical and psychological violence and were at a higher risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. (6; 19; 26) Children living in these institutions were reportedly also vulnerable to exploitation in child labor, including in labor within the institutions. (27; 28).

Exact data on trafficking victims not available in Armenia

PanARMENIAN, May 8, 2009

[accessed 19 January 2011]

The data on trafficking victims on the territory of Armenia is not exact and should be corrected. According to the data of non-governmental organizations, the number of detected crimes in the area of human trafficking was 8 in 2007 and 4 in 2008 in Armenia. Eva Bede also noted, that 80 per cent of trafficking victims are women.  «PanARMENIAN.Net»

Human Trafficking: Armenia is Reporting More Cases, 05/09/2007

[accessed 19 January 2011]

According to data released by prosecutor’s office, the cases of trafficking are increasing in number. In 2004, 14 cases were reported, in 2006 – 32 and in the seven months of this year – 20.

Armenian women are mainly transported for sexual abuse to Dubai, Turkey, Georgia and other countries. The prosecutor’s office has developed 2007-2008 national program including comprehensive efforts against trafficking.

Armenian Prosecutor ‘Alarmed’ By Human Trafficking

Karine Kalantarian and Anna Saghabalian, Radio Free Europe /Radio Liberty, June 7, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 3 September 2011]

A senior prosecutor dealing with human trafficking admitted on Wednesday that transport of Armenian women for sexual exploitation abroad has reached “alarming” proportions but denied that Armenian law-enforcement authorities are too lenient towards traffickers.

Armenia ratifies Optional Protocol on Sale of Children

UNICEF Media Centre, Yerevan, March 19, 2005

[accessed 19 January 2011]

[accessed 22 April 2020]

President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan today signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, ratified by the National Assembly of Armenia on 28 February2005

The UMCOR Hotline

United Methodist Committee on Relief UMCOR, April 13, 2004

[accessed 19 January 2011]

ARMENIA: "HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS RUINOUS" - UMCOR will cooperate with the United Nations and the government of Armenia in a counter-trafficking program similar to its current activity in Kosovo. Characterizing human trafficking-- the coercion of people, usually women and children, into prostitution-- as "ruinous," a UN official announced the launch of the two-year project. UMCOR's part will be operation of a safe house for trafficking survivors. Other program components include raising public awareness and strengthening the capacity of government agencies to combat trafficking criminals.

Russian Police ‘Helping Stop Human Trafficking From Armenia

Karine Kalantarian, Radio Free Europe /Radio Liberty, July 2, 2004

[accessed 3 September 2011]

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

Growing cooperation between Russian and Armenian law-enforcement bodies has prevented more than one hundred Armenian women from being trafficked abroad for sexual exploitation, Russia’s Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev said on Friday.  Nurgaliev said “criminal groups” neutralized in joint Russian-Armenian police operations planned to transport the mostly young women to third countries, mainly the United Arab Emirates, via Russia. He revealed that members of one such group, allegedly intent on forcing six Armenians into prostitution in the Gulf state, were arrested as recently as on June 24. He did not give details.

U.S. Supports Projects to Stop Human Trafficking in Armenia

Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State, 10/09/2003

[accessed 5 September 2014]

INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION RECEIVES $170,000 GRANT - The United States has provided a $170,000 grant to the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Yerevan office to fund two projects to stop human trafficking in Armenia, according to an October 7 IOM press release.

The two projects will be aimed at raising awareness among potential victims of human trafficking, strengthening the capacity of personnel at Armenian diplomatic missions to assist victims of human trafficking, and increasing the capacity of a national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provides shelter, support and counseling to victims.

Trapping women and children in world of prostitution

Ann Cahill, Irish Examiner, September 29, 2001

[accessed 19 January 2011]

The story in Georgia is similar but while most of the Armenian victims end up in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates working as prostitutes, the Georgians end up in EU countries including Greece, Spain, France, Holland, Germany, Britain, Ireland and Belgium.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, January 30, 2004

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, January 30, 2004

[accessed 19 January 2011]

[243] The Committee welcomes the recent efforts made by the State party to combat the phenomenon of trafficking and sale of children in the State party, including the establishment of an inter-agency commission to deal with trafficking in women and children and the amendment of the Criminal Code in April 2003 whereby trafficking and sexual exploitation are made specific criminal offences. However, the Committee notes that a comprehensive policy to combat trafficking in women, girls and boys is still lacking. Furthermore the Committee is concerned that refugee children and children living in orphanages may be particularly at risk.

Human Rights Overview by Human Rights Watch – Defending Human Rights Worldwide

[accessed 19 January 2011]


Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 5   Civil Liberties: 4   Status: Partly Free

2018 Edition

[accessed 22 April 2020]


Armenia is a source and, to a lesser extent, destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex and labor trafficking. The government has made efforts to address the problem, including by initiating a national plan of action, identifying more victims, and setting up a compensation fund for trafficking victims. At the same time, there is no formal protection program for victims or witnesses, and funding to NGO-run shelters for trafficking victims has recently decreased.

2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 20 April 2018

[accessed 12 March 2019]

[accessed 24 June 2019]


The law prohibits and criminalizes all forms of forced and compulsory labor, although no definition of forced labor is provided in the law. While the government effectively prosecuted labor trafficking cases, resources, inspections, and remediation were inadequate to identify forced labor cases at large due to absence of an effective labor inspection mechanism. Penalties for labor trafficking ranged from five to 15 years in prison and were sufficiently stringent to deter violations.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 4 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – According to the general prosecutor's office, at least 80 women were victims of trafficking in 2004. Trafficking organizations typically recruited victims with the promise of high paying work in another country. Once in the country of destination, victims were deprived of their travel documents, locked in hotel rooms, and told that they must "repay" their expenses. There were reports of women encouraged to become recruiters for trafficking rings with a promise of keeping a percentage of their "earnings." Prostitutes, orphans, the homeless, and those in difficult financial situations were at particular risk of being trafficked. Trafficking victims were at greatly increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, and some reported incidents of physical violence.

Victims reported that Russian and Armenian border guards were easily bribed or commonly worked with traffickers. Some prosecutors were also reportedly complicit in trafficking. There were persistent allegations that senior members of the prosecutor general's office were susceptible to outside influence. Some observers asserted agreements between corrupt court officials and traffickers were also common. There were persistent reports that police employees and employees of the country's international airport assisted traffickers with transportation of victims to and through the country. Unlike in previous years, there were no arrests in these types of cases

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 19 January 2011]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - Trafficking of girls to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates for prostitution is a problem.

[276] Minors are sometimes unaccompanied by their parents, which implies the involvement of corrupt officials in the trafficking chain. See IOM, Trafficking in Women and Children from the Republic of Armenia: A Study, Yerevan, 2001, 10, 11, 20, 22. Girls are also thought to be trafficked to Germany, Greece, the United States, and other European countries. See U.S. Department of State, Country Reports- 2003: Armenia, Section 6f. See also U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report - 2004: Armenia, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2004.

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