Delegation from Japan was received by Ombudsman

The Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) Elmira Suleymanova received  the delegation led by Mr. Hideo Ohnishi, the Parliamentary Vice-Minister for  Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan. The delegation was accompanied by Mr.Akiro Sanno, an attaché of the Embassy of Japan in Azerbaijan.

During the meeting aimed at familiarizing with the institution, the Commissioner gave information about the close cooperation with international organizations, international and regional ombudsman institutions, including European Ombudsman Institute (EOI), Asian Ombudsmen Association (AOA), International Ombudsman Institute (IOI), her participation in the meetings of those organizations, as well as about Baku meeting of the AOA Board of Directors and her participation in the international conferences held in Japan.

E.Suleymanova spoke about the Azerbaijani Ombudsman institution established in 2002, its mandate and efficient activity.

In response to the questions of the delegation, the Commissioner provided information about the protection of rights of vulnerable groups of population. In accordance with the Ombudsman’s mandate, her activity is built on the basis of non-discrimination, independence, publicity and transparency principles.

The Ombudsman spoke about military aggression of Armenia against Azerbaijan, ethnic cleansing policy and noted that one million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Azerbaijan compose 10 percent of the Azerbaijani population, the number of incomplete families and children, who lost their parents, increased; also problems arose with regard to health, education and other social spheres in the country. 

The Ombudsman noted about military aggression and ethnic cleansing policy of Armenia against Azerbaijan, compatriots expelled from their lands. It was noted that one million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Azerbaijan compose 10 percent of the Azerbaijani population, while  the ratio of persons of these groups in the world amounts to one percent. As a result of this conflict, thousands of families became incomplete; number of the children, who lost their parents, increased; problems arose with regard to their health, education and other social spheres. Due to the successful policy of the country President, settlements with modern equipment were built for refugees and IDPs, they were moved from shelters to these settlements.

The Ombudsman mentioned that in spite of the damage caused by this armed conflict, sustainable state policy aimed at socio-economic development resulted in decrease of poverty rate from 85 to 5 percent during a short period of time.

It was emphasized that 65 pardoning and 11 amnesty acts were signed based on the humanistic policy. At the end of each month the Commissioner applies to the Pardoning Issues Commission under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. On the basis of the Commissioner's motions 692 convicts have been released.

Furthermore, she brought into attention the National Preventive Mechanism function of the Ombudsman, the regular visits of the National Preventive Group and the Ombudsman to the places which persons cannot leave, including penitentiary institutions, temporary detention places, psychatric hospitals, social establishments, boarding houses for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The delegation was informed about consecutive measures directed towards increasing effectiveness of penalties alternative to imprisonment, applying electronic bracelets to nearly 1000 convicts, who are continuously and efficiently controlled by the Electronic Monitoring Center while serving their punishment.

E.Suleymanova informed the guests about the public hearings in numerous districts and cities regarding monitoring of the implementation status of the National Action Program (2011).

She has further mentioned about awareness raising on reproductive health and family planning in IDP settlements in capital and regions, using the positive experience  of community-based services.

The Ombudsman pointed the comprehensive activity in protection and promotion of human rights, hotline services on child rights and against torture, four regional centers covering 35 rayons, resource centers for the rights of children and the elderly, peer-to-peer child rights education, free psychological, medical services rendered to the elderly etc.

More than 700 proposals of the Ombudsman and provision of majority of them were noted in the meeting.

During the meeting, the Commissioner also noted the institutional reforms in the country, efficient functioning of “ASAN” and “DOST” centers that serve improving the welfare of population, raising quality of state services.

The Commissioner answered the questions of the guests in detail.

Mr.Hideo Ohnishi extended thanks to the Commissioner on behalf of the delegation, expressed his hope that the Commissioner will both continue to contribute to successful work in human rights field and enhance her activities in Asian countries as the vice-president of the AOA.

At the end of the event, parties presented each other symbolic souvenirs promoting their institutions.