UNICEF: Juvenile arrests decreased in Azerbaijan in 2007-2014 - PHOTOSESSION
Baku. Farid Mirzayev – APA. Azerbaijan has today hosted the presentation of the project Support for Use of Justice Mechanisms for Children, which was jointly organized by
UNICEF’s Azerbaijani Office, the European Union, the Azerbaijani government and the Commissioner for Human Rights.
Deputy Head of UNICEF’s Azerbaijani Office Nafisa Shafique congratulated the Azerbaijani government for its achievements in the area of juvenile justice.
“There are considerable achievements about the issues such as the decrease in the number of children at penitentiaries and employment of judges specialized in the area of juvenile justice, etc,” she noted.
Head of the Office of the Ombudsman Aydin Safikhanli told the participants that they hold round-table meetings on a regular basis. “This initiative was put forward by Ombudsman Elmira Suleymanova. I believe this project too will be successfully realized,” he added.
Head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Malena Mard expressed satisfaction of their cooperation with the Azerbaijani government: “The involvement of judges, judicial authorities, and prosecutor’s offices is very important. Today’s project is well coordinate with the activities of state and civic societies. To get to the maximum result, we need to unite our efforts. We must provide necessary assistance to children in terms of early intervention”.
Chief of Child Protection of UNICEF Representative in Azerbaijan Ramiz Behbudov said that the cases related to juveniles are considered by three specialized judges in Baku Court on Grave Crimes. “Because 60 percent of the cases related to juveniles are considered in this court. UNICEF plans to hold an extensive training regarding specialization of those three judges”, he said.
Giving detailed information about the project, Behbudov said measures of restraint imposed upon juveniles decreased by 30 percent in 2007-2014.
“The number of children sentenced to pre-trial detention dropped 50 percent in the last 8 years. The number of children directed to the program of distraction from prison increased by 25 percent”, he added.
Behbudov mentioned that the juveniles who violated the law are subjected to long prison sentence. “We think that 10-year imprisonment is a long period for juveniles. On the other hand, the works of coordination should be strengthened among various institutions. Social workers, psychologists should be involved in the law enforcement agencies. Psychologists are less addressed in this field and unfortunately, there is no detailed information on the understanding of social worker”, he said.
Behbudov stressed that the project mainly aims at promoting the solution of these problems: “The goal of the program is to strengthen the rights of children at risk."
It was note that over 3000 children, juveniles and their families will directly benefit from the project, which will cover 10 districts and more than 300 professional staff will be trained.
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