Child Protection

Child Protection


Our Response

© UNICEF Azerbaijan/Pirozzi/2004
A boy at the dormitory of the boarding school for children without parental care in Sheki, 330 km northwest capital Baku

UNICEF has been working in Azerbaijan since 1993. Child Protection Programme aims at building a protective environment for all children – no exceptions. A protective environment is one where all elements are in place – from legislation at the national level, to empowered families at the local level – and the rights of a child are respected in all spheres, including health, education, social welfare and justice. The protection of children against violence, exploitation, abuse and discrimination is a global priority for UNICEF. In Azerbaijan, our programme is guided by the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Taking a rights-based approach to child protection means finding answers to the basic questions:

- Who and where are the children and families most directly affected by a given issue?
- What are their views on their situation? What do they see as the solution?
- Who is responsible for action on this issue?
- Do they have the necessary capacity and resources to take action?

Action on Children in Institutions: UNICEF is strongly supporting the implementation of the national programs of de-institutionalization at present through defining priority areas for the State Program on Child Welfare reform and De-institutioanlization which is about to be finliased by the Inter-ministerial Task Force appointed by the Deputy Prime Minister. The action plans will be incorporated to the Ten Year Human Development Program due to replace the current PRSP.

The main priorities for the short-term intervention of UNICEF in this sector are:

- Strong advocacy and national, district level awareness campaign on the situation of children living in institutions
- Development of accurate information and building evidence-based knowledge on overall child protection situation through data collection and analysis.
- Support to the creating of social services units at district level as the first step for the set up community – based services and gate-keeping mechanisms, through the involvement of key stakeholders from the communities.

Action on children in conflict with the law: In 2005, UNICEF initiated a project targeting  children in conflict with the law. The project aims to increase awareness of duty bearers and rights holders on human rights of children in conflict with the law or in risk to be in conflict with law.

The project will focused on:

Propose to the Government a high level program of training for policemen, judges and care/security personnel on rights of children in conflict with the law, with the final aim to set up proper referral system to assist children in their contact with the law enforcement and justice environments.

Support already existing network of NGOs working in the sector of juvenile justice

Advocate for the consistent review of existing norms regulating juvenile justice, in particular with reference to the pre-trial detention measures, with explicit attention to the policies of the presumption of innocence.

Action on Integration of Children with Disabilities: UNICEF is working with its partners to change attitudes towards children with disabilities in Azerbaijan, as part of the initiatives of school inclusion which is a fundamental and integral component of de-institutionalization reform. In this regard, UNICEF gives particular attention to reform home education, reducing stigmatization of children with disabilities, revision of data collection.

Action on Street Children: UNICEF has carried out research into the conditions that lead to children ending up on the streets and a permanent working group has been created on this issue at government level. We work with child protection authorities and NGOs to develop community-based social services for children living and working on the streets, including day care centres and counselling and treatment centres for children suffering from abuse and neglect.

Action on Mine Risk Education: We are gravely concerned about the children living in areas contaminated with landmines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO). We work with national partners to include Mine Risk Education in the school curriculum in frontline districts to reduce the number of children dying as a result of mine/UXO explosions.





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