June 1 is International Children's Day. The first Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted in 1924 proclaimed that humanity is obliged to provide the children with the best. Children are the future of every nation. Protecting them is the duty of each of us. Do we really provide our children with the best? What are the deficiencies in their protection? In general, should the legislative framework be improved in this direction?
According to MP Chingiz Ganizade, a great deal has been done in the field of protection of children's rights in Azerbaijan in recent years. "Great leader Heydar Aliyev paid special attention to this issue after coming to power. Numerous laws were adopted in the Milli Majlis for the protection of children's rights. Today, the state continues to care for the protection of children in Azerbaijan. Their rights are fully protected. True, sometimes, certain things may happen that are contrary to the law's requirements. These cases happen all over the world. But this is not a matter of legislation. I think that the necessary base has been formed in the field of legislation. And this base allows Azerbaijan to fully protect the rights of every child. The State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs operates in the country. There are related departments in charge of guardianship. In addition, the courts take the necessary measures to provide alimony. In general, I normally assess the overall situation of child rights protection in the country. At the same time, I value the legislative basis positively," he said.
Javid Imamoglu, public advocacy expert of the SOS Children's Villages Azerbaijan Association, emphasized that Azerbaijan has ratified the most important international documents on the protection of children's rights. "Azerbaijan has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and has determined its laws accordingly. There is a separate law that protects the rights of the child in the country. However, unfortunately, there are still some problems with the protection of children's rights, even though the legislative framework is at the highest level. The source of these problems is the absence of full formation of the child protection mechanism. At the same time, there is no coordinating work on child rights, as a result of which some children are exposed to violence in schools, gardens and families. In general, our mentality is not actual in the case of children's rights. In some cases, psychological violence and neglect of children are perceived as part of the educational process. However, these are considered to be a form of violence and the responsible authorities should take appropriate actions in this direction. In particular, little girls do not tolerate insults, oppression, and even commit suicide," he said.
The expert said that protecting children's rights should become topical in the country. "Everyone in this area has certain responsibilities. If there is violence, the relevant authorities should be immediately informed. Relevant measures should be taken in accordance with this information. Everyone should understand that it is impossible to ignore or compromise any violence against children. If there is a negative situation, it should be immediately detected and necessary measures should be taken. Unfortunately, as in the rest of the world, children with physical disabilities and children deprived of parental care are the most whose rights are violated in Azerbaijan. I think that there is a need for an additional action plan to protect the rights of these children. Also, there is a great need for enlightenment in this field," Imamoglu added.
According to chairperson of the Azerbaijan Children Union, Kamala Agazade, there is a need for some changes in the law on the rights of the child in Azerbaijan, in particular, to prevent early marriages. "The recent reports of four pregnant women, who are under the age of 18, once again prove that the legislation should be toughened. These points should be considered in the criminal code. Is the opinion of girls who are forced to marry at the age of 15 to 16 taken into account? In my opinion, this is one of the most pressing issues. Therefore, special attention must be paid to this area. We are in touch with NGOs, government agencies, and we carry out some work together. We try our best to prevent violations of the law. But today, in some vulnerable families, the fact of violation of children's rights should not be ignored. Therefore, regular awareness raising activities should be undertaken in this direction. There is a need for registration of vulnerable families, carrying out dozens of work on the territory, implementing rehabilitation programs and creating more centers," Agazade noted.