Azerbaijan has a young population, with nearly 1 in 3 people between the ages of 14 and 29. But all too frequently its youth – especially girls, young people with disabilities, those who are internally displaced or are from poor families and communities – don’t receive the support and skills needed to maximize their potential as they grow into adulthood.
UNICEF works with youth workers, teachers, counsellors, mentors and sports coaches across the country not only to facilitate young people’s participation in education, sports and recreation, but to equip youngsters with a range of skills to enable them to play a full role in their communities. Creating an enabling environment for learning and developing skills can help reduce unemployment, poverty and challenging behaviours that in turn can stifle economic and social growth and place increased pressure on public services and expenditures.
Promoting greater inclusion and opportunities for marginalized young people is a priority for UNICEF. For example, we have partnered with the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) and the National Paralympic Committee to implement public engagement campaigns that promote positive perceptions of girls, young people with disabilities, and other groups that are often socially excluded and marginalised.