What we do

What we do




Harnessing youth energy to speak out on social issues Young people aged 14-29 make           up             31 per      cent          of              Azerbaijan’s            population.              Adolescence (10-19 years) is the crucial stage of development during which children gradually transform into adults, assume greater responsibilities and learn important skills on how to interact and participate in society.  As adolescents have the greatest potential to stimulate changes in society, UNICEF plans to empower them to become positive social change agents rather than passive recipients of services and assistance. It is expected that adolescents will contribute to changes that will make the society more equitable and inclusive especially for children with disabilities and girls. Safe and inclusive sports will be supported among the entry points for greater social inclusion of the vulnerable groups.


With a third of the population aged 14 - 29 years, increased attention is being paid to youth development, for example by upgrading youth policies, endorsing a National Youth Development Strategy, including youth considerations in other key strategies and advocating for their operationalisation through costed state programmes and action plans. Equally important is engagement of adolescents and youth in monitoring of state youth programme implementation through seeking their opinion and suggestions through online and face-to-face consultations. Limited engagement with young people on decision-making and lack of access to positive social and recreational space and school-to-job transition opportunities, have shaped UNICEF Azerbaijan’s approaches to youth and adolescent development.

Revitalization of the cross-country network of Youth Houses (YH) through piloting equitable, inclusive youth services based on the 11 MoYS-led Youth Houses is among priority actions. UNICEF’s technical support includes development of the life skills course as a part of the common UN programming along with the development of the academic course for preparation of youth workers for Youth Houses and other adolescent and youth systems and services.  


UNICEF Azerbaijan continued using sports for development approach as a core entry point for adolescents’ participation. A detailed assessment of accessibility of 28 Olympic Centres and 141 schools helped to determine the degree to which these facilities were accessible for children and youth with a disability, particularly those who are wheelchair users. Recommendations were given to the Government for steps needed to address identified barriers. Coaches from seven Women’s Football Leagues working with as many as 900 girl footballers aged 10 to 21 are increasing their knowledge on girls’ rights and on building the level of participation of girls, including leadership roles and decision-making. This was guided through new guidelines for coaches specially adapted for girls’ football by UNICEF Azerbaijan and the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan. The potential for sport to foster social inclusion with young people was also explored through a partnership with the National Children’s Paralympic Committee and the 2nd National Children’s Paralympic Games. Some 70 children and adolescents with disabilities were enabled to compete in five sports. The role of young people as ambassadors for social change was also promoted, with young sport ‘ambassadors’ from the Under-17 and National Women’s Football Leagues’ spearheading an End Violence against Children Campaign.

Young people were also supported to become involved in research and analysis on youth issues, with a number of young researchers trained as facilitators to support future surveys and assessments – building capacity of young people in these roles will strengthen the relevance and focus of future research into issues affecting young people.




33% of work eligible youth are unemployed;

More than 50% of adolescents and youth are not able to access the information they need;

Social services are not accessible for 70% of youth in their location;

Young people do not understand their role in participation in youth related decision making process at the local level

Youth Strategy

How old are you?

·             If you are 14 to 29 years — You are a young person

·             Not older than 35 years + married or with a child —You are a young family.

Who are we?

•           Young scientists

•           Students

•           Youth doing their military service

•           Youth from vulnerable families

 •          Young entrepreneurs and farmers

•           Refugee and IDP youth

•           Unemployed youth •    Youth working in industrial and service sphere

•           Young athletes

 •          Civil servants and youth represented in elective authorities

 •          Married youth

             Youth represented in various parties and non-governmental organizations

 •          Youth suffering from drug addiction or HIV/AIDS

•           Youth with disabilities


Do you know?

              2.7 million or 28.9 % of the country’s population are people from 14 to 29 years old.

 •          49.2 % of youth are females.

 •          82.6 % of the newborn babies are born in youth families.

 •          Youth plays a key role in the demographic development of Azerbaijan.


Where do young people live?

% 48 – Rural Areas

%52 – Urban Areas


What are the goals?


              Develop the CAPACITY of the Azerbaijani youth in the time period covering 2015-2025 years

              Form a new generation of active CITIZENS


What are the objectives?


Increasing opportunities:

•           Healthy lifestyles

 •          Active participation

Creating an enabling environment:

 •          Learning

•           Talent

•           Innovation

•           Young families

•           Labour market

 •          Entrepreneurship

Providing support:

•           Vulnerable groups

•           Citizenship / patriotism

What are the expectations?

To increase

 •          Educational participation, progression and achievement

 •          Employment (commensurate with        qualifications)

•           Entrepreneurship

•           Innovation

•           Science and Technology

•           Arts and Creativity

•           Patriotism

 •          Military preparedness

 •          Regional opportunities

 •          Housing (including dormitory provision           for        those    studying)


To reduce

•           Unemployment

 •          Poverty

 •          Offending, deviance, antisocial behaviour

Baku 2015 Adolescent Decleration on Safe and Inclusive Sport 

We, the participants of the National Adolescent Consultation on Safe and Inclusive Sport have gathered in Baku, Azerbaijan from 10 to 11 June 2015, to discuss the importance of safe and inclusive sport in the life of children and adolescents in Azerbaijan and beyond.

We are eighty adolescents and youth from Azerbaijan, Brazil and South Africa, who believe in the power of sport and of sport mega-events to improve the life of children and adolescents, and we would like our opinions to be heard.

The opinions and recommendations presented in this document reflect not only our views, but also the views of 15,273 of our peers from across Azerbaijan, who took part in the Online National Adolescent Consultation on Safe and Inclusive Sport in May 2015.

We also believe that sport is a powerful tool to promote better education, better health, greater wellbeing, and opportunities to develop skills, confidence, tolerance, cooperation, solidarity, peacebuilding and resilience. For many, like for us today, it is also an opportunity to establish new friendships.

Our dream is that all children enjoy the benefits of an active life style, and we believe that all adults at family, community and state level should inspire and motivate all boys and girls to play and get involved into sport, including the most disadvantaged, such as children with disabilities or those living in rural areas.

We praise the government of Azerbaijan for investing so much in sport, for establishing modern Olympic and Youth Centers all over the country, and for expanding sport infrastructure in schools and communities.

At the same time, in our daily experience, we notice that too many of us are still not fully enjoying their right to safe and inclusive sport:

•  53 percent of us said that girls continue to experience multiple forms of discrimination and are not allowed to practice sport by their families when female instructors or teachers are not present or because of cultural norms and gender stereotypes that limit girls’ options in life

•  67 percent of us said that in some cases children with disabilities do not have access to sport because of lack of adequate transportation to reach sports facilities (49%). In addition to this, the existing infrastructure is often not accessible (46%), and teachers and coaches do not know how to include them (39%)

•  Children living in rural areas do not know how to reach available sports facilities, as they live too far from sports centers

•  Entry fee to sports centers continue to be a major barrier to the practice of sports.

In the last two days, in the context of the Baku 2015 First European Games, we have worked together to identify effective solutions to these challenges, because we want to make a positive contribution to the development of sport in our country and communities.

Firstly, we would to like to ask all policy and decision makers to remember when you were our age, how much you liked to play and practice sport, so that it will be easier to understand the opinion and recommendations of adolescents.

Secondly, we would like to recommend the following actions to make safe and inclusive sport a reality for children, adolescents and youth in Azerbaijan:

 1 Collect data and information on the availability and accessibility of sport and recreational facilities for children and adolescents, identifying specific factors that hinder the participation of children and adolescents into sport, with a focus on the participation of children with disabilities and girls

2 Establish adequate and appropriate policies, programmes and services that promote and provide free access to safe and inclusive sport and physical activities for and with children and adolescents in schools and communities on a daily basis, with a focus on the most disadvantaged children

 3 Remove barriers to participation into sport and recreation in schools and sport centers, such as lack of adequate sport materials, separate changing rooms for boys and girls, high fees to access existing facilities, and lack of inclusive services for children and adolescents with disabilities.

4 Invest in the capacity building and training of our teachers and coaches, to ensure that sport in schools and communities is run by people who have the proper skills, training and experience, to design and deliver sport activities that take into consideration culture and gender dynamics, and the specific needs of each child, particularly children with disabilities

 5 Increase the presence of female sport teachers and coaches to better address the specific needs of girls, allowing them to express themselves easier

6 Inform and motivate parents and guardians about the benefits of sport and recreation for their children through awareness raising activities

7 Ensure that sport programmes and opportunities are well publicised to children in schools and communities and create demand for sport and recreation services among children and adolescents at state and community level

 8 Ensure the full participation of adolescents and young people in decision-making process, and promote their active role in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of sport and recreation policies and programmes at national and district level

9 Strengthen volunteering and social legacy programmes linked to the European Games and future sports mega-events, focused on the social inclusion of the most disadvantaged children and adolescents, in and through sports, and promote the exchange of experiences at country, regional and international level.

We would like to commend the Government of Azerbaijan and UNICEF for giving us a voice today, on the eve of the Baku 2015 European Games.

The work we have begun must not end when the European Games will be over. We want adolescents and young people to continue to be the torchbearers of safe and inclusive sport in our countries, in our communities, in our schools.

Together, we can promote sport as a right of all children. Together, through sport we can make Azerbaijan a better place for children and adolescents, a vibrant, happy and healthy country where all children fully enjoy their right to safe and inclusive sport.

To do that, we call upon Ministries responsible for sports and youth, education, non-governmental organisations, international organisations, the media, private sector, local authorities, parents, and many more adolescents and young people, to join us in our efforts.



 Email this article

unite for children