Ombudsman received delegation of the Council of Europe

The Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Elmira Suleymanova received the Council of Europe (CoE) delegation composed of Head of Gender Equality Division Ms. Caterina Bolognese, Policy Adviser of Capacity-building and co-operation projects of Gender Equality Division Ms. Sara Haapalainen and Head of CoE Baku Office Mr. Zoltan Hernyes.

The Commissioner spoke about set of measures directed at undertaken obligations after Azerbaijan became a CoE member, including establishment of the Ombudsman institution in the country that proved itself as an effective mechanism for the protection of rights and built international relations with global and regional organizations, including the CoE, and implemented joint projects.

It was noted that the Programme of Action was adopted in the UN World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993, where the violence against women was noted as one of the most difficult problems in reaching the goals before the UN, equality, development and peace. In 1993, Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women was adopted by the General Assembly and became foundation for the fight against violence in the entire world together with Beijing platform for Action of the fourth World Conference on Women.

It was noted that considering education as one of the most precious means for ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment, subjects on “Human Rights” and “Introduction to Gender” are taught in Law faculty of Baku State University at the initiative of the Ombudsman.

E.Suleymanova told that a thousand of IDPs attended trainings jointly organized with the UNHCR in IDP settlements in Baku, Ganja, Goranboy, Mingachevir and other cities and rayons, also manuals titled “Let’s prevent domestic violence”, as well as  leaflets and brochures about “order of protection” both in 3000 copies. Furthermore, the manuals developed at the initiative of the Ombudsman and with support of UNFPA on child vaccination, benefits of breastfeeding, fight against drug addiction and domestic violence have been distributed among different population groups.

E.Suleymanova noted the gender-related activity of the Azerbaijani Ombudsman which had been positively evaluated by Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI).

The Ombudsman mentioned that Convention against Discrimination in Education and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have been signed and ratified, as well as proposals were made for ratification of the Convention on Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

It was also stated that strengthening the fight against violence, including domestic violence against women, securing the legal remedies, necessary compensation, rehabilitation, medical and psychological assistance to the victims of such violence have been set as a goal in the clause 2.15 of the National Program for Action to Raise Effectiveness of the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The Commissioner also informed the guests about the preparatory campaign for Cairo+25 conference, regional hearings held in Lankaran, Sheki,Ganja and Guba.

It was also brought to attention that "Open door" reception was organized in penitentiary facility for women prisoners, their appeals were heard, and legal advice was provided.

At the end, the guests expressed their satisfaction about exchange of views and warm welcome. They made mention of their interest for further cooperation with the Ombudsman institution and consideration of the sounded proposals.