Decisive steps towards making rights of all children a reality
Gaining a thorough understanding of why many children in Azerbaijan still cannot realise their rights is the essential step towards designing effective responses. This section explains the ways in which UNICEF, jointly with strategic partners in public and private sectors, will generate the knowledge and evidence and address the root causes responsible for limiting the realisation of child rights.
UNICEF will strengthen the capacities of the national social protection system so that it reaches all children, especially those who are currently not covered but are most in need. In the first phase, the most deprived children will be identified, as well as specific reasons for their exclusion from services, such as social protection and care, education, health and nutrition. As many of the reasons for exclusion are interconnected, multi-sectoral and inter-sectoral coordinated responses are envisaged. To this end, UNICEF will support the Government in establishing efficient and effective national and local identification and referral mechanisms among the different services. Special attention will be paid to coordination in the regions to ensure that all children are covered by the social protection system.
UNICEF plans to improve the protection of the best interests of children in contact with the justice or administrative systems, with special emphasis on the most deprived children and their families. This improved protection will include free legal aid, representation in courts, and training and specialisation of judges and law enforcement personnel. UNICEF will also strengthen the diversion possibilities to prevent deprivation of liberty and support systems of compensatory measures and remedies in cases of rights violations.
In order to address children’s vulnerabilities during disasters, UNICEF will support the Government in developing national action plans that promote a better understanding of disaster risks, especially among most marginalised communities and children.
One of the most important ways to protect a child´s right to life, from the moment of birth onwards, is the application of the International Live Birth Definition (ILBD) which was introduced in Azerbaijan in 2015. In this context, UNICEF will support the series of public service announcements and provide technical expertise to assist the Government in the correct implementation of this important international standard.
The interconnected and multi-layered causes simultaneously affect different child rights. In addition, certain groups of children are more vulnerable than others for reasons of gender, disability, poverty or geographical location. Collecting and analysing adequately disaggregate data is an essential step towards reducing inequities. For this reason, UNICEF plans to assist the Government in establishing a central and comprehensive database on children and child rights in Azerbaijan. To measure and monitor different and overlapping deprivations, a knowledge base will be developed. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to establish a comprehensive child rights monitoring system in cooperation with all stakeholders, including the Government, civil society, academia, the private sector, media, as well as children and adolescents.
In order to make Azerbaijan’s society more inclusive and respectful of child rights, UNICEF plans to continue building new alliances with a variety of partners in both the public and private spheres. As part of its efforts to strengthen accountability, UNICEF will promote child rights through the media, including social media and encourage the private sector to adopt child rights principles to underpin corporate social responsibility.
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. 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.
UNICEF will support the inclusive education reform in three crucial areas: 1) legislative adjustments; 2) educational content, including teaching-learning environment; and 3) behaviour changes to improve the attitudes of parents and schoolchildren. This combined approach will help to identify and include children who are out of school and provide timely support to those who are at risk of dropping out. It will also facilitate the remedial action and second chances for children who did not complete basic education.