Prospects for future cooperation between the Ombudsman Institution and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights discussed

A videoconference was held between the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ms. Sabina Aliyeva, and the Senior Human Rights Adviser of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for South Caucasus, Mr. Vladimir Shkolnikov. The meeting was attended by the National Human Rights Adviser of the Baku Office of the OHCHR, Mr. Kamran Bagirov and the head of the Ombudsman Office, Mr. Aydin Safikhanli.

During the videoconference, the prospects for the development of relations between the Ombudsman Office and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in various areas within the framework of a three-year cooperation plan were discussed.

The Ombudsman Sabina Aliyeva gave broad information about the events conducted during the past period in cooperation with the OHCHR, training on various topics related to human rights, with the participation of lawyers, law students, and representatives of NGOs, including the organization of free legal aid for low-income families in the capital and regions, and emphasized the importance of these activities in terms of protecting human rights.

Ms. Aliyeva noted that as a result of the recent Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan, the norms and principles of international law, the norms of international humanitarian law were grossly violated, civil population and objects were fired using internationally banned weapons, which resulted in numerous casualties among the civilians, and destruction of houses, historical and cultural monuments, administrative buildings, educational institutions, kindergartens, hospitals, and social facilities. The Ombudsman also noted that the territories liberated from Armenia have been heavily mined by the occupant forces, as a result of which innocent civilians died, and the population affected by the war experienced psychological trauma.

At the same time, it was proposed that the UN provide the necessary support to the psychological assistance project initiated by the Ombudsman in order to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder in war victims.

During the meeting, the parties also discussed areas of cooperation in the preparation of bachelor’s and master’s training programs on human rights in higher educational institutions, as well as parallel reports submitted by the Commissioner for Human Rights of Azerbaijan to the UN Treaty Bodies as the National Human Rights Institution of Azerbaijan.