Meeting with Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs: Agreements Have Been Reached

On 5 May, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Ruben Sargsyan met with President of the “Point 33” Non-Governmental Organization Astghik Karapetyan. MLSA Labor and Employment Department Head Zhora Sargsyan and lawyer, advocate of the “Point 33” NGO Gevorg Sloyan also attended the meeting.  

During the meeting Astghik Karapetyan presented the “Right to Breastfeed and Family-Friendly Approaches in the Workplace” research carried out within the “Comfortable Environment for Women at Early Stages of Motherhood” project. It was realized in the scope of the “Civil Society Actors As Drivers of Change in South Caucasus and Moldova” project funded by the European Union and implemented by the “People in Need” Non-Governmental Organization.

Problems hindering the exercise of the right to breastfeed in the workplace, the respective legislative regulations and the changes proposed by the “Point 33” NGO were discussed. 

Deputy Minister Ruben Sargsyan noted that the issues of women’s participation in the job market and the realization of their right to breastfeed are important to them, taking into account the fact that it may have a positive impact on birth rate growth and demographics. 

He also mentioned that the draft amendments to the Labor Code included more flexible approaches at that time in terms of using breaks for breastfeeding. Unlike the existing regulation, this may bring about a positive change. However, other steps should also be taken so as to exercise the right to breastfeed in the workplace. 

Ruben Sargsyan spoke about their readiness to discuss the recommendations of legislative changes presented by the “Point 33” NGO and their rationale in greater detail, to later consider their inclusion in the draft amendments to the Labor Code that had been put into circulation by then or, alternatively, their submission in the form of a separate new draft. Continuous cooperation is expected.