AIDHR: “Every two hours a child dies in Azerbaijan” – Report

usaq35 children committed suicide in Azerbaijan within only 2004

The International Day for Protection of Children is celebrated today. It was on June 5, 1950 during the International Women’s Conference organized by the United Nations General Assembly that proposals were made aiming to ensure children’s rights. On the same day 1st of June was declared by the conference as the International Child Protection Day. Since that time International Child Protection Day is marked on June 1.

As in many parts of the world this day is celebrated in Azerbaijan as well. The number of children in the country constitutes 30 percent of total population and approximately it reached to 3 million. Roughly 300 000 of 1 million internally displaced people are children.

Regardless of country’s rich recourses, widespread mortality among children under age that occur not only health care system but specifically poor families still remain critical problem in Azerbaijan. It has to do with the system and as the Azerbaijani Institute for Democracy and Human Rights we are unable to address to each of the causes that ultimately lead to this problem.

A quarter of a million children (Two of every five children) are suffering from anemia

Nutritional problem among the children is another significant problem and diseases like anemia and celiac conditions (for age indication) which became prevalent are the clear evidence of lack of nutrition. Both of these disorders badly influence cognitive development and physical resistance in children.

One out of every four children is short stature

There are number of reasons that cause short stature condition among children. It’s necessary to carry out measures on enhancing nutrition of children, its effectiveness (Starting from breastfeeding) through granting some allowances to parents (Particularly to mothers).

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Approximately 10 000 children are living in state institutions

A lot of issues associated with child protection are evidently obvious. One of the concerning matter for AIDHR is the number of children who live in the sate institutions. We use the term “Social orphans” towards this group of children as the institutions where they get a shelter are considered as centers for orphan and homeless children. However, majority of these children have one or both parents.

More than one third of women aged fifty are subjected to early marriage

Another concerning issue is the “Early marriage” where young girls aged 18, in some cases 13 or 14 years old enter into marriage. These early marriages are dangerous not only for young girls (from the viewpoint of their heath condition and social life) but for a child that they will give a birth (They are a high-risk group in terms of miscarriage and child mortality).

erken_nikahAt the moment, only a quarter of children with disabilities are receiving education. During 2009 and 2010 years 7750 disabled children received private lessons at homes, 156 of them at secondary and 5925 at the special schools.

The problems (obstacles) faced by the disabled children deeply concerns the whole society. The government needs to implement effective projects to eliminate prejudice (one side attitude towards them which is prevalent), to facilitate their involvement into secondary schools, identify reasons of disabilities among children and improve preventative measures.

4 out of every 5 children get less than 300 scores at University Entrance Exams (Maximum score is 700)

Relevant steps must be taken to improve education system and school environment for secondary and high education institutions where the concept “School is the friend of child” that constitutes school management, training of school workers, new curriculum and parents-teachers relations is applied.

tqdkYouth awareness on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and how to pursue healthy lifestyle is not in a satisfactory level and as a result their acting in a risky manner became widespread. This is why government should provide spaces, platforms for young people where they can learn needed information to protect themselves (for a long term perspective), to express themselves, to act in a more constructive and where teenagers can channel their energy to the more useful ways. HIV infection is occur chiefly among injection drug users and recent studies showed that 96 percent of drug users do not utilize safer sex measures, 46 percent of them use same syringes and needles. This problem is kept under control in most countries; however it’s going to reach epidemic proportion in Azerbaijan.

Elimination of barriers among young people

The government needs to work closely with the youth on eradicating prejudice of every kind to able-bodied and handicapped people, difference between IDPs, local communities, the rich and poor families. Youth voice refers to the distinct ideas, opinions and only they are able to determine future of their own.

Each year 300 children are infected with oncological diseases in Azerbaijan. 80 percent of them are healed, 20 percent can not be cured.

Oncological diseases on children are observed in the form of embryonic carcinoma and they emerge after some period of birth. Unlike adult who got infected with oncological diseases because of environmental, ecological and genetic, lifestyle, nutrition, stress and other factors, a baby is infected with these diseases while he is in the mother’s womb. In comparison with adults, children can be easily healed from these diseases. 80 percent of them can recover, 20 percent unfortunately can not be cured. Parents of already recovered children sometimes conceal cancer diagnoses on children and that their children are healed from these diseases. However, 20 percent of the parents whose children could not be cured talk about this everywhere. As a result, it lefts behind misconception that these sort of diseases are incurable followed by death.

usaq_hekimMajor oncological diseases are observed among the children aged 3-10 years old. In general the number of children infected with Oncological diseases is not high. A child out of ten thousand children is suffering from these diseases. According to the physicians one of the main reasons that cause this disease is the early child labor. One can come across children in the capital city of Azerbaijan who engaged in flower selling, shoe shining and car washing in the streets.

Absence of statistic figures on child mortality

There are also challenges related to guardianship for children deprived of parental care and those who live in the families in Azerbaijan. Lack of statistical figures on child mortality and suicide rates is experiencing. It’s known that 35 children have committed suicides in 2004 due to unknown reasons.

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One of the problems associated with children in Azerbaijan is Child trafficking

Increased rates of children who face domestic violence over the last years is another concerning problem. Adoption of children is also complicated issue. At the moment 50 orphanages operate in Azerbaijan and they provide care to more than 20 thousand children. The number of children who deprived of parental care is more than 5000 in the country. The solution of children problems is negatively influenced by 300 thousand Azerbaijani refugees and IDPs children.

In general it’s not appropriate to discuss children rights on the day dedicated to them, their rights must be in the center of attention all the time.

Azerbaijani Institute for Democracy and Human Rights – AIDHR
1st June, 2014, Baku city


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