Hearing of the fifth and sixth joint periodic report on " Convention on the Rights of the Child" has started

23 January 2023


Hearing of the fifth and sixth joint periodic reports of the Government of Azerbaijan under the "UN Convention on the Rights of the Child" has started.
The first round of the fifth and sixth joint periodic report of the Azerbaijani Government regarding the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was held in Geneva on January 23, 2023 during the 92nd session of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.

Welcoming the participants, the Chairperson of the State Committee Mrs.Bahar Muradova expressed her appreciation for the presentation of the fifth and sixth joint periodic reports under the "UN Convention on the Rights of the Child" on behalf of the Government of Azerbaijan.

Noting that the report was prepared on the basis of information provided by relevant state bodies, she also mentioned that meetings and consultations were held with civil society working in the field of children's rights.

Drawing attention to the new normative acts directly and indirectly influencing protection of children's rights that have been adopted in order to bring the national legislation in accordance with the Convention, the Chairperson of the Committee said that the basis has been laid on the directions of providing children's safety, protection of their food and health, strengthening educational opportunities and social protection of children from vulnerable groups.
It was noted that the "Strategy for Children of the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2020-2030", adopted in 2020, and the 5-year Action Plan in this context had been developed in line with the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Council of Europe Strategy for Children's Rights. 
Speaking about the work done during the reporting period to strengthen the institutional mechanisms, Mrs.Muradova stressed about 12 Children and Family Support Centres under the State Committee , and Community Resource Centres in 18 regions. 
It was stressed that the number of such centres will increase in the coming period and that new buildings are planned, especially in the territories liberated from occupation. 
Stressing that the issue of professional development of social workers and psychologists working with children is constantly in the spotlight, the Chairperson of the Committee added that, in particular, during the pandemic and post-pandemic, the 'School Psychologist' project provided training to 2,500 psychologists.
In this context, it is planned to develop support programmes aimed at increasing the number of clinical psychologists and social workers working with sexually abused children and providing quality services .
She also noted that the President recently adopted a new package of social reforms, which includes another support for vulnerable groups. She said that this included an increase in childbirth benefits, benefits for low-income families and mothers with many children under the age of one year, as well as benefits for persons with disabilities.
Underlining that improvement of the juvenile justice system is one of the important directions for our country, the chairperson stressed that the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan in this field is mainly in line with international norms: "Every year 5 percent of crimes committed in Azerbaijan are committed by juveniles. Part of them is brought to criminal liability and another part - to rehabilitation actions.
Noting the 44-day long Patriotic War between Armenia and Azerbaijan ended with Azerbaijan's historic victory and liberation of the occupied territories, Bahar Muradova stressed that unlike Armenia, during the war Azerbaijan fulfilled its obligations taken in the international conventions and did not allow involving children in armed conflicts. 
Also noting that Armenia's deliberate demining of Azerbaijani territories over the past 30 years had prevented large-scale reconstruction works, the Chairperson of the Committee pointed out that demining also posed a serious threat to the return and residence of newly arrived civilians, including children, in those territories.
In conclusion, she stated that the Republic of Azerbaijan is ready for effective co-operation and open dialogue with relevant international partners, including UN entities, who wish to contribute to peace and stability in this region.
Afterwards, the Azerbaijani delegation responded to questions from experts of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (for clusters 1-6).