Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr S. Ilhamgizi / There are 49,000 mentally and physically disabled children in Azerbaijan, the Director of the Azerbaijan League on Protection of Children's Rights, Yusif Bakirov, reported on 1 June.
According to Azerbaijani Constitution, the citizens of the country under eighteen years old are assigned 'child' status. Some 3.5mln people in Azerbaijan out of the 8.5mln general population are considered children.
Sixty-five children's homes sheltering 23,000 children are operating in Azerbaijan. Bakirov noted that the UN Children Committee had sent guidelines consisting of forty-nine items to Azerbaijan. However, a number of laws adopted since then infringe the rights of the children. According to Bakirov, privatization of kindergartens, holding exams for children on the basis of a centralized test system are both infringements on these rights. The most serious infringements are related to the trafficking of children. Bakirov stated that some 150 children had been sold to foreign citizens by 2005. Moreover, the number of children sold in the last two years was not released at all.
According to official statistics, 148,946 children were born in 2006, with 1,508 of them dying within a year. Some 22,029 children were born out of wedlock, meaning they are born without rights.
Notably, 1 June is International Child Protection Day.