Several mines are currently exploited in the mountainous areas of Armenia, resulting in dozens of large industrial waste disposal sites in inhabited regions, creating problems for public health. This situation infringes upon the people’s right to lead a healthy and secure life.
Diverse indicators have been applied in the areas where these mines exist which show that the percentage of serious diseases and health problems (cancer, respiratory diseases, abnormal births, sterility, miscarriages, etc.) among the local population is on the rise and is much higher than the similar average indicators for the country as a whole. Heavy metals and other dangerous substances (agricultural land and products, air, water, living organisms) accumulated in the surroundings far exceed the authorised norms dozens of times.
Violating the national legislation and several international norms, the Government of Armenia has issued licenses to exploit known mines and prospect new ones, among which the Teghut and Shahumian mines in the town of Kapan, and has also allowed prospecting for the future mining of uranium. Work has already begun in the Lernadzor community of the Siunik Marz Region, raising concerns especially among the local population who is constantly fighting against this Armenian-Russian venture for the prospecting and future mining of uranium.
To ensure the protection of basic human rights such as access to health and safe food and an ecologically harmless environment, the Parliamentary Assembly should evaluate the extent of the damage the mining has caused to the population and the environment of Armenia and provide sound recommendations to the Armenian authorities.