Event on protection of rights of persons with disabilities and mine victims held in Baku
A roundtable on “The Protection of the rights of persons with disabilities and mine victims in Azerbaijan”, co-organized by the Office of Azerbaijan’s Commissioner for Human Rights (Ombudsman) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegation in Azerbaijan, has been held in Baku, News.Az reports.
Addressing the event, Ombudsperson Sabina Aliyeva noted that the rights of persons with disabilities must be constantly protected and promoted; equal opportunities must be created for them in all spheres of life; and educational efforts in this field must be intensified.
"As a result of Armenia's military aggression against Azerbaijan during almost 30 years of occupation and in the subsequent years, a large number of mines and unexploded ordnance have been planted in the territories of Karabakh and Eastern Zangazur regions. The Armenian side still refuses to provide accurate data on minefield maps," Sabina Aliyeva underscored.
Ombudsperson Sabina Aliyeva mentioned that according to statistical data, since the end of the second Karabakh war (November 10, 2020), that resulted in the liberation of Azerbaijani territories from Armenian occupation, 65 people died and 272 sustained various injuries from mine explosions.
“A total of 3,416 people, including 357 children and 38 women have become victims of landmines in Azerbaijan since 1991,” she said.
"The global mine terror, which has led to numerous human casualties, severe injuries, and disabilities for thousands of people, poses a serious obstacle to the large-scale reconstruction and restoration works carried out in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, as well as hinders the process of the safe return of former IDPs to their native land,” the Ombudsperson underlined.
Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Delegation in Azerbaijan Dragana Kojic stressed the importance of providing multifaceted assistance to the mine victims and their families. “Following 2020, the vast majority of landmine victims in Azerbaijan are men. Considering the fact that they are main breadwinners in their families, it is crucial to meet any needs of their family members. We are ready to provide support to Azerbaijan's Ombudsman Office. Our goal is to assess the best practices, discuss and eliminate the gaps, and discuss the future activity,” Kojic added.
Deputy Head of the Education, International and Public Relations Department of the Azerbaijan Mine Action Agency (ANAMA) Farhad Isayev said that over 390,709 anti-personnel and anti-tank mines had been found and neutralized in the liberated territories to date.
Moderated by head of the Chief of the Ombudsman’s Office Aydin Safikhanli, the event brought together the representatives of the agencies operating in the relevant field, representatives of public organization, as well as international experts.