2. Background and Context:
is a resource-rich country, which weathered the recent global economic crisis
much better than many other countries. In 2012, 3 % of GDP was allocated for
Education, 1.2 % for Health and 3.6 % for social protection including all
pensions - low compared to the rest of the region. As a result of earlier
double-digit economic growth, the poverty rate has fallen sharply, from 49
per cent in 2001 to 6 per cent in 2012
to increase in real wages and social cash benefits. At the same time, only
25% of the recipients of the Targeted Social Assistance lived below the
national poverty line suggesting that the programme remains insufficiently
targeted. The Government intends to advance to the “second generation” of
social protection reforms, which will aim to develop a broader set of social
services that could address the root causes of poverty.
coverage and quality of preschool education for children 3 – 5 years old
remains challenging: enrolment is only 14.8 per cent in 2013 with disparities
between urban and rural areas: 21.8 and 8.1 per cent respectively. This shows
a downward trend compared to 16.9 per cent in 2011 (24.6 per cent for urban
and 9.2 for rural areas).
There is also clear evidence that the secondary education system currently is
not of high quality, including low success rates in university entrance
exams, low scores in the PISA international testing, and the high number of
families who seek assistance from private tutors for their children to pass
their university entrance exams. Children with disabilities and girls who
have entered child marriages are not attending schools while IDP children
face challenges in access.
the efforts of the Directorate for Child Protection and
Deinstitutionalization, at the end of 2012, there still were 42 institutions,
which serve more than 8,300 children, out of which about 1/3 were children
Currently, 168 children aged under 3 are in baby homes under the Ministry of
Reforms are slow, mainly due to challenges in coordination between different
Ministries, and there is a need to build substantial community-based services
to support families so that they do not have a need for institutional care.
inclusion of children with disabilities remains a serious challenge in
Azerbaijan, which ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities. According to official statistics, there are more than 62,000
children with disabilities registered across country, with less than 10% of
them receiving education services. Due to lack of community-based support
services, many children with disabilities grow in isolation at home or sent
to large-scale residential institutions. Lack of adequate health and social
services are the main barriers to the full development of children, whose
rights are enshrined both in the UN CRC and the national Law on the Rights of
Child. In 2013, 520,793 people with disabilities receiving pensions and
benefits were registered; 62,866 of them are children (2.5% of child
to the official statistics, the number of children in conflict with the law
who committed a crime and were convicted has been declining since 1995. In
2012, 466 children went through justice system.
The majority of the cases concerned robbery (231 cases) and only 42 were
grave crimes. In most cases, it was boys aged 16-18 who participated in the
crimes in groups.
Due to the
very low share of health sector expenditure in GDP (1.2% in 2012), the
Government is unable to fulfil all its commitments to children. According to
UN estimates, under-five mortality in Azerbaijan U5MR was 45 in 2011, which
is high for an upper-middle income country, but also represents a halving of
Under-Five Mortality Rates since 1992. The Government has initiated health
system reforms, but much remains to be done to increase the quality and
accessibility of health services.
prevalence of HIV/AIDS is less than 0.2
per cent among the adult population and still concentrated among certain
high-risk groups, mainly injecting drug users and commercial sex workers.
Population of injecting drug users and sex workers is estimated to be 71,283
(2011) and 25,054 (2011) respectively. 0.2 per cent of the sex workers are
living with HIV (2012). People with HIV are severely stigmatised,
and comprehensive knowledge of HIV and its prevention is very low even among
young people: only 4.8 per cent of girls/women and 5.3 per cent of boys/men
have a comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS.
people living with HIV is estimated to be 10,000 (2012); percentage of young
people aged 15 to 24 who are living with HIV – less than 0.1 for girls/women
and 0.2 for boys/men (2012). 3,800 adults are in need of ART, while actual
ART coverage stands at 24 per cent (2012). Reportedly 22 children are
receiving ART. Very few facilities are providing HIV services integrated with
other health services.
another important issue. In the absence of official statistics, anecdotal
evidence suggests that in 2012 there were 482 suicides registered (105 of
them were females and 34 were school children and teenagers).
Since the beginning of 2014, 19 suicides have been already reported by different
media. Lack of adequate and community-based psycho-social support services
further exacerbates the fragile situation.
information and communication technology has been on the rise. Proportion of
households with Internet access at home has increased to 64.4 per cent in
2012 (compared to only 16.6 per cent in 2005). Internet is used to search for
information (29.5%), communicate (29.7%), and increasingly to deal with
public authorities (12%). Mobile phones have also been extensively used and
in 2012 on average there were 105 mobile phones for 100 people.
of the social media has also been increasing. As of February 2013, number of
Facebook users in Azerbaijan exceeded 1 million (12.21 % of Azerbaijan
population and 24 % of the total number of Internet users). By the number of
Facebook users Azerbaijan is ahead of many others post-Soviet countries such
as Georgia, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Belarus, Armenia, Moldova, Uzbekistan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
and evidence is available in public domain on the scale of child labour, sale
of children, child prostitution, trafficking in children and other child
protection issues. The country has a child protection system, which involves
many government organizations, sometimes with overlapping duties and
mandates. The complexities of this system results in unfulfilled rights of
many vulnerable children in need of protection and services. A crucial figure
is missing in the system – the figure of the social worker that should be
part of the key decision making bodies of the child protection system.
under the current ToR will aim at development of the National Strategy for Children
2015-2020 that would ensure prevention of child rights violation, effective
assistance and support to all vulnerable children and their families and
communities. The Strategy will be in alignment with the approved Azerbaijan
2020: Vision on Future Strategy Document. Details of the assignment are