By Rashid Shirinov
Baku has hosted a seminar entitled “Protection of the rights of refugees”, organized by the ANAS Human Rights Institute in cooperation with the European Union.
Director of the Human Rights Institute Aytan Mustafayeva, addressing the event, said that the main objective of the seminar is ensure protection of the rights and freedoms of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), analysis of the current situation in this field in Azerbaijan, and exchange of experience in supporting them in various fields.
She reminded that the policy of terror, genocide and aggression pursued by Armenia against Azerbaijan has a centuries-old history.
Mustafayeva noted that 250,000 Azerbaijani citizens were expelled from Armenia in 1988 and hundreds of people were killed as a result of the severe tortures.
Armenia broke out a lengthy war against Azerbaijan laying territorial claims on its South Caucasus neighbor. Since a war in the early 1990s, Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions.
Due to the ethnic cleansing policy carried out by Armenia and the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and seven surrounding regions of Azerbaijan, the number of refugees and internally displaced persons hit more than 1.2 million.
Mustafayeva, speaking about the problems of refugees and IDPs in Azerbaijan and works done in this field, said that Azerbaijan's experience in this area is an example for Europe, which has faced with the problem of migrants.
She said that the government of Azerbaijan has done much work in the past years for protecting the rights of these citizens and their integration into society.
Azerbaijan spent 6.1 billion manats (over $3.5 billion) over the past 23 years for the solution of problems of refugees and IDPs. With a population of over 9.6 million, Azerbaijan is among the countries carrying the highest IDP caseload in the world in per capita terms.
During the past 13 years, 161,000 able-bodied IDPs were provided with permanent job in budget organizations and in other areas, while 200,000 people were provided with temporary jobs.
With the growing economic and political situation of the country, the state pays more attention on the most difficult problem once concerning the refugees and displaced persons. The state improves the living conditions of refugees and IDPs, it has adopted relevant state programs and legislative acts.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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