By Rashid Shirinov
Although today Azerbaijani children are surrounded with comprehensive care by the state and society, the Nagorno-Karabakh left an indelible mark in the life of many Azerbaijani children.
Unfortunately, the rights of many Azerbaijani children to live freely in their homeland have been violated, and it has not been possible so far to ensure all rights of refugee and IDP children.
Chairperson of Azerbaijan State Committee for Family, Women and Children Affairs Hijran Huseynova made the remark at a meeting of the PACE Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development in Baku on June 1.
She went on to say that no one in the world ignores these rights and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is recognized by all. “However, the aggressor country Armenia, which violated rights of Azerbaijani children, deprived them of their lands and homes, still does not respect international law and does not want to withdraw its armed forces from the occupied territories.”
As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding regions. More than 20,000 Azerbaijanis were killed and over 1 million were displaced as a result of the large-scale hostilities. The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations.
Armenia still controls fifth part of Azerbaijan's territory and rejects implementing four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding districts.
Huseynova stressed that 193 Azerbaijani children were killed during the Nagorno-Karabakh war, while the number of injured children is hundreds.
She stressed that during the war years, Azerbaijan has managed to release 210 children from the captivity and hostage-taking.
“61 children went missing, 27 are still in Armenian captivity. Unfortunately, despite the announcement of the ceasefire in 1994, the killings of Azerbaijani children by Armenians continue to this day,” Huseynova said.
Since the fragile ceasefire, 32 children were the victims of Armenian terror - 13 of them were killed and 19 were wounded, said Huseynova.
From time to time, residents of the frontline settlements of Azerbaijan get wounded or killed in their homes or on their farms due to frequent ceasefire violations by the Armenian armed forces. The Armenian militaries do not hesitate to kill the innocent children.
For instance, in March 2011, nine-year-old Fariz Badalov was shot in the head by an Armenian sniper while playing in the courtyard in Aghdam region.
In July of the same year, 13-year-old Azerbaijani girl Aygun Shahmaliyeva fell victim to the Armenia’s inhumane and immoral policy in the Alibayli village. She tragically died as a result of the explosion of a toy with an explosive device, which the Armenian side deliberately dropped into the river flowing to the village.
Back in 1994, other two Azerbaijani children died for the same reason.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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