Ombudsman Office held a series of awareness raising events

In the framework of the Human Rights Month-long Campaign announced by the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Ombudsman Office and the Ministry of Youth and Sport held a series of online events devoted to the rights of young people. The events were organized in collaboration with the district executive authorities in Baku, youth and sport departments of various cities and districts, including those under Armenian occupation, and brought together the youth organizations and young people.

The first event was entitled “Importance of holding online trainings and events on sustainable development of youth in education and career sphere” and brought together representatives from youth and sport organizations, universities, municipalities, public union and student youth organizations. 

The representatives of the Ombudsman Office spoke about the existing legislative framework, objectives and duties arising from relevant Laws, State Programs and Action Plans. They stressed upon the significance of trainings, events organized in online form due to the ongoing pandemic and noted the existing resources, newly created opportunities for the young people to ensure their sustainable development in education and career sphere, also put forward recommendations to young people.

The next meeting was on the topic “Importance of distance learning in the educational institutions during the pandemic”. This online meeting brought together the representatives of the Ombudsman Office and the authorized staff from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Transport, Communications and High Technologies, as well as the organizations, active young people from higher and secondary institutions.

The speech delivered by the representative of Ombudsman Office was titled “Right to education as one of the rights of human beings”. Discussions conducted on the necessity of improving distance education, prospects of effective implementation of legislative acts in force, actions in relation to implementation of relevant strategies and state programs, the Ombudsman’s activities aimed at ensuring the right to education were highlighted here. Representatives of other state bodies and education experts provided the information about the education forms in Azerbaijan and shared their views on distance education. 

The third event of this chain was devoted to the topic “The Ombudsman’s role in protecting and promoting the rights of children and young persons with disabilities”. 

The participants were briefed about the comprehensive activities carried out by the Ombudsman institution with regard to protection and promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, including youth and children with limited health capacities, envisaged in the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as in other legislative acts.

The Commissioner’s relevant awareness raising activities and a special message addressed to state and self-government bodies, officials, entrepreneurship subjects containing proposals to follow the principles of proportionality, necessity and non-discrimination during the current COVID-19 pandemic were also brought to the attention. The participants were informed about the Ombudsman’s proposals put forward for improving legislation in compliance with the modern requirements; awareness raising aimed at shaping a true understanding of disability, instilling respect for those persons; actions taken to eliminate physical and mental impediments limiting their participation in social life; achievements and challenges in this regard; monitoring in social care institutions, psychiatric facilities and other places, which persons cannot leave on their own will, for ensuring the rights of children and young persons with limited physical capacities; as well as legal awareness-raising discussions for administration and staff of facilities, recommendations for elimination of shortcomings.

In conclusion, a meeting was held via videoconferencing titled “Actions carried out and tasks ahead in the field of solving social problems of refugees and IDPs” on the eve of June 18- Human Rights Day in Azerbaijan and June 20-World Refugee Day. The videoconference brought together the staff members of the Ombudsman Office, deputy chairman of Azerbaijani Community of Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, the heads of Youth and Sport departments of Lachin, Fuzuli, Aghdam, Khojaly, Shusha, Khojavand, Kalbajar, Jabrayil, Gubadli, Zangilan and Tartar districts of Azerbaijan and active young people. 

The speech of the Ombudsman’s representative was entitled “Ombudsman’s approach to protecting the rights of refugees and IDPs: modern practice and perspectives” and focused on the pecularities of refugee and IDP problem in our country, necessity of developing cooperation with international organizations for restoring their violated rights. 

During the event, the participants were informed about the immediate response to the appeals addressed to the Ombudsman by those people concerning provision of their social needs and ensuring their rights; proposals and recommendations submitted to relevant state bodies; necessary steps taken for allocating soft loans to them for educational, health, employment and entrepreneurship activities, land plots for planting; elimination of problems related to utilities.

The Commissioner’s messages addressed with regard to the protection of rights of persons with disabilities, children and migrants due to the COVID-19 pandemic were also mentioned. It was also added that the Ombudsman of Azerbaijan has issued a Statement condemning violations of ceasefire by the Armenian armed forces at different directions, including civilian dwelling places amid the pandemic. The Commissioner has always urged the international organizations to assess the criminal deeds committed by Armenia and called for respect to international law norms. 

The topical problem of urging international community about mass violation of the rights of refugees and IDPs, the facts of destruction of natural, historical and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan as a result of Armenia’s policy of military aggression and occupation,  were also brought to attention. The activities aimed at protecting rights and solving social problems of internally displaced young people were noted in the speechs.