4th Republican Forum of Azerbaijani Children

November 20, 2017

The 4th Republican Forum of Azerbaijani Children took place in Baku, with joint organizational support from the State Committee for Family, Woman and Child Issues of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and UN’s Children Fund, November 20.


380 children aged 6 to 18 from all cities and districts of Azerbaijan, distinguished for their activity, special abilities and skills, and leadership qualities attended the Forum.


Before the Forum started, an exhibition comprised of children’s handicrafts, and documentaries about child rights were demonstrated.


At the event, which started by playing the state anthem of the Republic of Azerbaijan, children who have participated in the previous three forums passed on the baton to participants of the 4th Forum.


Then a video footage about the state’s child policy in Azerbaijan was shown.


Deputy Prime Minister Ali Ahmadov read the congratulation letter from President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to Forum participants.


Ali Ahmadov expressed pleasure of having conveyed President Ilham Aliyev’s congratulations to children. He said children should both grow by number and have other qualities defining their potential. All state entities, including the State Committee for Family, Woman and Child Issues, have been operating in an efficient way to ensure that children are protected and brought up healthy.


Underscoring the Forum’s significance, Chairperson of the State Committee for Family, Woman and Child Issues Hijran Huseynova talked about President Ilham Aliyev’s constant care for children, creating all possibilities for protection of their rights. Protection of child rights is one of the state’s primary objectives, along with parents. Child issues have been reflected in every document, and legislative acts. A number of objectives and targets have been set out in the Targets for Sustainable Development for 2016 – 2030, associated with children’s having proper education, growing healthily, living in comfortable and clean environment etc. In order to reach these targets, we have to work hard. We believe the baton is in very reliable hands.


The committee chairperson emphasized the works carried out by First Vice-president of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, led by her, towards protecting children’s rights. Hijran Huseynova noted that it is no accident that the Forum is held on November 20, and this date has been marked as the World Children’s Day for 61 years. She mentioned that the Republican Child forums are of great significance from the standpoint of ensuring children’s participation in taking decisions concerning their rights, creating possibilities for them to put forward initiatives in regard to solution of their problems, giving proposals, and turning the society’s attention to protection of child rights.


Regional Director of UNICEF for Europe and Central Asia Afshan Khan underscored the undeniable significance of the Forum in children’s future lives. Mentioning that the government of Azerbaijan has been approaching the issues concerning children and protection of their rights very carefully, Afshan Khan underscored the significance of creating possibilities for children in order to bring them up to be capable of continuously contributing to the future of their families and peoples. UNICEF’s regional director for Europe and Central Asia noted that children, especially those in the most vulnerable circumstances, in need of special care, should everywhere in the world be treated properly, showing necessary care.


Turkish Republic’s deputy minister for Family and Social Policy Mehmet Karabay, deputy chairperson of Bulgaria’s State Agency for Protection of Children Valentin Dimitrov highly appreciated the fact that children’s views were taken into consideration in the holding of the Forum, and protection of their interests. They told that giving children a chance to voice their problems, put forward initiatives is tantamount to providing them great support in ensuring their rights.


Then a video footage, made by AZERTAG, reflecting the selection phase of the 4th Republican Forum of Azerbaijani Children, was shown. SCWCI’s special tanks were announced to AZERTAG for their support provided in selecting children in the regions to participate in the Forum.


This Forum introduced a novelty. So, children got the possibility to put questions to government officials, having a dialogue with them. Taking the children’s floor, deputy chairperson of the National Assembly Bahar Muradova, chairperson of SCWCI Hijran Huseynova, deputy interior minister Oruj Zalov, deputy minister for labour and social protection of population Ilgar Rahimov, deputy minister of healthcare Elsevar Aghayev, deputy minister of transport, communication and high technologies Elmir Velizadeh, deputy minister of education Firudin Gurbanov, deputy minister of youth and sports Intigam Babayev answered questions of the children on the themes “Child rights: let’s get together for development”, “New standards in education: challenges and equal possibilities”, “Children’s Internet security”, “Protection of health, healthy lifestyle. Protection of environment”, “Efficient organization and appreciation of leisure”, “Role of the family and society in children’s formation as a personality”, “Let’s love the Homeland and be worthy of it. Let’s convey the true facts about Garabagh to the world”.


Children from Turkey and Bulgaria delivered a speech in the framework of the Forum.


Thereafter, a map of Azerbaijan - made of soils brought from all the regions of Azerbaijan – was presented, to be given to President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva on behalf of Forum participants.


At the end of the official part, a video footage reflecting the proposals of children from districts was shown. What aroused the biggest interest was that a girl from Jojug Marjanly drew attention of the world society to the facts of children’s being killed. A citizen of Jojug Marjanly emphasized the necessity of putting pressure by the world union on Armenia to put an end to its policy of vandalism.


An appeal to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, a statement to international organizations, and Forum’s declaration was adopted on behalf of Forum participants.


The Republican Child forums are of importance in terms of ensuring children’s participation in taking decisions related to their rights, creating conditions for them to put forward initiatives in connection with solution of their problems, and turn the society’s attention to protection of child rights. Forums are held with a view to taking into consideration children’s views with regard to protecting and advocating child rights in legislation, while drafting and implementing programmes and projects, protecting their interests, creating possibilities  in order for children to voice their problems, put forward initiatives and recommendations, and turning the attention of state bodies, the society, including civil society, as well as mass media to the necessity of protecting and ensuring children’s rights and freedoms. The primary and distinguished feature of the Forum is that it is fully managed by children.