By Amina Nazarli
Internally displaced people (IDPs) in Azerbaijan are considered migrants not only by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) of the United Nations, but also by all international structures, said Serhan Aktoprak.
The head of the IOM Baku Office, talking to reporters in Baku on June 19, reminded that there are approximately 250 million international and 750 million internal migrants in the world.
With a population of over 9.8 million, Azerbaijan is among the countries carrying the highest IDP caseload in the world in per capita terms.
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.
The large-scale hostilities in Karabakh ended with a Russia-brokered ceasefire in 1994 but Armenia continued the occupation in defiance of four UN Security Council resolutions calling for immediate and unconditional withdrawal. Peace talks mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. have produced no results so far.
He added that as the countries develop, the number of migrants arriving in these countries is also growing.
“As Azerbaijan develops, and we all witness the development of Azerbaijan, migrants from many countries will also come here, and we should not be afraid of it. First of all, the State Migration Service is ready for this. Secondly, migrants bring with them new ideas, new experiences that they can share,” he said.
Aktoprak went on saying that the migration management system of Azerbaijan is being studied by other countries.
He noted that the Azerbaijani government systematically improves measures in the migration sphere. IOM cooperates with relevant state structures of Azerbaijan in this sphere.
Legislation in the field of migration in Azerbaijan is constantly being improved, according to Aktoprak, and the government is making efforts to develop a national model of the migration management system.