The fifth annual award event for journalists covering trafficking-related topics was held in Yerevan on Friday to honor the best authors of reports addressing the problem and proposing possible solutions.
The initiator of the event was an anti-trafficking council headed by Vache Gabrielyan a deputy prime minister and minister of economic Integration and reforms.
In his speech praising the journalists’ endeavors, Gabrielyan highlighted the importance of thoroughly addressing, and raising public awareness of, the problem. “It is important to remember that coverage and open-minded commentary, and endless training activities are a key component of progress,” he noted.
Journalists’ work has both a preventive and supportive significance in the fight against trafficking, said Vahram Kazhoyan, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s International Relations Department. Citing the US Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report, Kazhoyan noted that Armenia has for the fourth year running topped the ranking of countries conducting an effective anti-trafficking campaign.
“Climbing up is really good, but what is actually more complicated is keeping the result up,” he said, adding that they annually observe progress in journalistic reports addressing the issue.
President of the Freedom of Information Center of Armenia, which organized the contest, announced the results. The participants will receive certificates and money prizes – AMD 300,000 for the first place, AMD 200,000 for the second place and AMD 100,000 (AMD 484=US $1).
Specifically, Nune Hovsepyan, reporter for Yerkir Media TV, won the first prize; Armen Hayrapetyan of the AR TV company won the second prize, and Sona Khachatryan of Yerkir Media – the third prize.
In the print and online media category, Inna Verlinskaya, reporter for Novosti-Armenia news agency, received the second prize, and Taguhi Melkonyan of Yerkir.am received the third prize. No one received the first prize.