APPEAL of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the announcement of “Child Rights Month”

Children are precious treasure of every nation and state. Children as vulnerable members of society need special protection. In this regard, every person should ensure their rights and interests and not leave them without care.

Our State undertook several obligations by joining the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted on 20 November 1989, national legislation was improved, important measures were taken to protect children’s rights.

Learning the situation of ensuring children’s rights, protection, promotion, restoration of rights, and prevention of their violation are the main activity directions of the Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

This year – on the 32nd anniversary of the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we announce “Child Rights Month” from 20 October to 20 November.

The aim of this month-long campaign is to increase attention and care for children, to ensure realization and more effective protection of child rights.

Every year, within the framework of the month-long campaign, several awareness-raising activities are held, competitions and exhibitions are organized, investigations are conducted, and other activities are done by the Ombudsman Office, central and local executive bodies, civil society organizations, including representatives of NGOs and mass media, communities.

The children in our country have also faced the consequences of the Second Karabakh War along with the challenges arising due to the COVID-19 pandemic, declared by the World Health Organization, which is going on for about two years. 

As it is known under the leadership of the country President, glorious Supreme Commander in Chief Mr. Ilham Aliyev, our Army liberated the historical Azerbaijani lands and won the 44-day Patriotic War.

During the war, as a result of heavy artillery shelling of Azerbaijani civilian settlements by Armenia, more than 10 children were killed, 50 were wounded and many children lost their parents. At the same time, targeting civilian objects, the destruction of many residential areas, education, and health facilities have led to violations of education, health, and other rights of children. Furthermore, the intense fire caused psychological trauma to the children.

Children should not be targeted during military conflicts and should not suffer from the consequences of war! 

During the period of war, we prepared a special report in connection with the loss of children as a result of military attacks by Armenian armed forces on Azerbaijani settlements and submitted it to the international organizations. At the same time, I have sent relevant statements and appeals to the international organizations and corresponding bodies regarding the violated rights and freedoms of child victims of these war crimes and called on the world community to properly assess this injustice in the legal field.

As a global pandemic, the complications of the rapidly spreading COVID-19 infection, which has become a real threat to all peoples and nations, do not avoid children as well. Thus, along with problems with children's health due to the known disease, the transition to distance education, the closure of educational and other institutions, children's creative centers, limited meetings with parents, increased domestic violence due to psychological stress in families and other similar factors negatively affected the development of children.

As it is known, the “Strategy of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Children for 2020-2030” was approved by the Order of the country President Mr. Ilham Aliyev dated 2 June 2020, and the relevant government agencies were instructed to take measures to ensure the effective protection of children's rights through the “Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for Children for 2020-2025” approved by the Presidential Order dated 27 November 2020.

The important goals set out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the field of protection of child rights necessitate intensive efforts for improving the welfare of children.

All institutions working in the field of protection and social welfare of children must work together to ensure the rights and interests of children more reliably.

So, I call every organization involved in ensuring, promoting, and protecting the rights of the child to join the “Child Rights Month” and to ensure their direct participation in all activities related to children by following special quarantine rules.

Let's join our efforts for the bright future of all children!

Sabina Aliyeva

The Commissioner for Human Rights

(Ombudsman) of the Republic of Azerbaijan

20 October 2021