Sweden was the first country to establish the office of Ombudsman. The word Ombudsman is of Swedish origin. The term was translated from the Old Norse umboosmaor, meaning representative.
In recent years, the institution has become more closely linked to safeguarding the rule of law and the rights of citizens. The Ombudsman is increasingly being seen as a promoter of the fundamental rights of individuals and a defender of citizens against maladministration, abuse of power and improper discrimination.
On February 9, 2005, the NKR law on “Human Rights Ombudsman” was adopted. However, for about 3 years the Ombudsman had not appointed as the law did not specify exactly which state body should nominate the Ombudsman candidacy as both the President of the Republic and 1/5 of the members of the National Assembly had the right to appoint.
The Ombudsman gained the status of a Constitutional Institute in 2006 through the NKR Constitution, adopted on December 10, 2006.
On May 30, 2007, through the legislative amendment, the Ombudsman's election mechanism was improved by enabling the nomination and election of the candidate to the NKR National Assembly.
On April 16, 2008, NKR National Assembly elected the NKR First Ombudsman of Human Rights, Yuri Hayrapetyan, and his staff was formed in May.
The law affirmed that the Ombudsman is honorable, independent person who is authorized by the parliament to protect the rights of the citizens and exercises control over all state and local self-governing bodies and their officials in the form of extensive supervision without the right, adopted by them, to change the decisions.
In 2009, the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh became a member of the European Ombudsman Institute.
On May 5, 2016 Ruben Melikian was elected as the Human Rights Ombudsman of the Republic of Artsakh. The Office expanded its activities by strengthening the internationalization and publicizing activities of the Ombudsman institute.
The Ombudsman put in the core of his activity the presentation of sufficient facts to the international community on the war crimes committed by the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the war of April 2016, in order to make this incident internationally chargeable and assessed in an appropriate way.
On February 20, 2017 , Constitutional amendments were adopted, which put the policy of human rights protection at a qualitatively new level.
On December 21, 2017, a new law on Human Rights Ombudsman was adopted, which provided the institution with qualitatively new opportunities, here are as follows:
On October 31, 2018, the National Assembly elected Artak Beglaryan in the position of Human Rights Ombudsman, who selected main four directions of his work, which are as follows:
In March 2021, acting Ombudsman Gegham Stepanyan was elected the Human Rights Defender of the Republic of Artsakh.
Due to the post-war situation, the following have been announced as priority areas of the Ombudsman’s activities apart from the functions arising from the constitutional mandate: