INFORMATION on the measures carried out by the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan for effective protection of the rights of migrants due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection

The protection of human lives takes a priority for the world at the current circumstances of the rapid outbreak of new coronavirus (COVID-19) infection as a global pandemic threatening all mankind.  

Emergency measures are being taken in accordance with the country President’s directives to  protect the public health, provide medical service, meeting the World Health Organization standards, and prevent further spread of the contagious infection at the time, when the scale and scope of this epidemic rapidly expanded and became a pandemic.

The preventive and protective measures, adopted decisions, as well as quarantine regime and social distancing policy carried out by the Operational Headquarters under the Cabinet of Ministers, consisting of heads of the relevant state bodies and agencies, are getting strenghened.  

The Commissioner also keeps effective ensuring of the rights of all population groups in her focus within the measures taken by the state. In the frame of this activity, the rights of migrants, including foreigners and stateless persons are paid attention as well.  

The Commissioner as a National Preventive Mechanism discussed the current situation with the migration bodies, and conducted investigations with respect to the created environment, quarantine regime, access to medical health and other services taking account of the social status due to the outbreak of coronavirus infection in relation to the migrants residing in the territory of the country and who are placed in the Detention Center for Irregular Migrants. 

Consequently, it was recommended raising awaraness of the migrants on the current situation, providing opportunities to apply, and strenghening medical and other social services.

Considering the special quarantine regime declared in Azerbaijan since 24 March, 2020, the State Migration Service has also lifted the necessity for the migrants to apply for an extension of the temporary stay, who are in the country at present time and could not leave the country due to the obvious reasons, in order to prioritize online applications, minimize physical contact between individuals and optimize the application documents submitted for residence permit. Thus, the applications of  foreigners, whose staying period is expired until 30 April, is considered by the State Migration Service as accepted, and online opportunities for documentation concerning state fee required for their stay in the country have been expanded.

Currently, according to the special quarantine regime enacted due to the existing epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan, and, although the live reception of applicants in the Ombudsman Office and its Regional Centers has temporarily been suspended, everyone, including the foreigners and stateless persons can apply to the Commissioner via post, online application, e-mail, fax, social networking (facebook, twitter), as well as 24/7 operating hotlines (0503709896 and 012916).

The location of the four Regional Centers of the Commissioner in the four  directions - North, South, West and Northern-West of the country facilitates the investigation of applications on the spot and the effectiveness of the awareness-raising activities.  

These issues  are kept under the control by weekly exchange of information.