State of the World's Minorities 2006 - Azerbaijan
|Publisher||Minority Rights Group International|
|Publication Date||22 December 2005|
|Cite as||Minority Rights Group International, State of the World's Minorities 2006 - Azerbaijan, 22 December 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48abdd855d.html [accessed 9 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The government of Azerbaijan has not attempted to elaborate a clear ethnic policy and appears to avoid solving problematic issues by postponing them while the socio-economic situation in the country continues to decline. In pursuit of the goal of promoting the state language, a Law on the State Language was adopted in 2002, which contains certain regrettable reductions in the legal guarantees for the protection of national minorities. These put at risk certain practices in the field of electronic media. Although the Constitution provides for the right to maintain minority culture and language, authorities have restricted minorities' effort to teach or print materials in their native languages. Farsi-speaking Tallish in the south of the country, Caucasian Lezghins in the north, displaced Meskhetian Turks from Central Asia, and displaced Kurds from the Armenian-occupied Lachin region have all experienced discrimination, restrictions on the ability to teach in their first languages, and harassment by local authorities. Anti-discrimination does not appear a government priority. Armenians and persons of mixed Armenian-Azerbaijani descent have been denied work, medical care and education and were unable to register their residences due to their ethnicity. Discrimination and harassment at work seems the norm, and in some cases local authorities have refused to pay pensions to members of the Armenian minority. Similarly, in the area occupied by ethnic Armenian forces, authorities have effectively banned ethnic Azerbaijanis from all spheres of civil, political and economic life.