Protecting Child Rights
Child rights protection and promotion are also one of the main directions of the Commissioner’s activities. Commissioner takes necessary measures for the investigation and restoration of complaints on the violated child rights, which are addressed to the Ombudsman, organizes awareness and propaganda on child rights, conducts investigations in order to learn the situation of children, prepares proposals for further improvement of the relevant national legislative framework and situation of children through cooperation with public institutions, international as well as non-governmental organizations and mass media. To ensure access to the Commissioner, calls incoming to 24-hour hotline “916” are investigated immediately. Furthermore, in order to coordinate activities in the field of child rights, the Commissioner appointed an adviser on child rights.
At initiative of the Commissioner, it is annually held “Child Rights Month-Long Campaign” between the 20th October and 20th November and on the eve of the anniversary of UN Convention on Child Rights (hereinafter CRC) throughout the country; and local executive bodies are requested to take measures for conducting child-related studies, increasing attention to this category of the population and organizing awareness events, exhibition and competitions in the frame of the noted Month.
It is annually held the drawing competition “Me and My Rights” on the 10th December-International Human Rights Day, and the winners are awarded with certificates accordingly.
Since 2009-2010 over 110 schools are involved in the annually running Hierarchic Education on Child Rights and more than 6350 pupils are awarded with certificates by the Commissioner. Moreover, over 500 teachers and school principals are given thanksgiving messages as well.
Ombudsman’s Resource Center on Child Rights “Azerbaijan Child and Youth Peace Network” and the School of Leadership, which is operating under the motto “My Home county-Azerbaijan”, regularly hold trainings on CRC, awareness events on patriotism; the problems of the children are discussed; and organize effective leisure activities for children, study tours to museums and historical places.
At the initiative of the Commissioner and with support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country, on occasion of the anniversary of Khojaly Tragedy and in a frame of a Year of Child in Azerbaijan, which was approved by the Presidential Decree in order to draw attention of international community to the realities of Azerbaijan, under the motto “We are peace ambassadors! Join us!, it has been sent a document to Radhika Coomaraswamy, UN Under-Secretary-General, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, with signatures of more than 310.000 students, including refugees and internally displaced children, inhabited and educated in various areas of the country.
The Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights became a member of the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children (ENOC) in 2008 on the recommendation of UNICEF Innocenti Research Center and takes an active participation in its work. As a consequence of the Commissioner, since 2010 it has been carrying out the European Network of Young Advisors (ENYA) Project. Specialized Adviser on Child Rights of the Ombudsman was appointed as ENYA Project Coordinator. A group consisting of children aged of 10-18, published articles in relation to child rights in the frame of the ENOC Project “Let’s talk young, talk against violence”. By the way, only ten States were offered to make a film relevant to this theme; and the film of Azerbaijan, due to his successful work, has been selected for the demonstration in Member States as a summarized 50 minute-film.
Some recommendations and suggestions, proposed by the Commissioner for further improvement of the national legislative framework in relation to child rights, were taken into consideration. Here it should be particularly underlined the establishment of the “Committee on Family, Woman and Child Issues” of Parliament by the Decision of the Milli Mejlis, dated November 24, 2015.
Some of the Ombudsman’s recommendations include the adopting the draft Law on the Protection of Children from Corporal Punishment, the draft Laws on Juvenile Justice and Reproductive Health; ratifying Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, III Optional Protocol to the CRC on the procedure of submitting of application; and the creating the Alimony Fund.